Constructing horse shelters is an art form almost as old as the domestication of the horse itself. Whether considered a member of the household, a sporting partner, or a tool for work, we have always created a "place" for our horses. While today we have a greater variety of materials and equipment available for creating that special horse place than in the past, the principles remain the same: safety, ease of use, and maintenance.

Barn Layout

Caring for horses properly is a lot of work. You might love the smell of the barn and be invigorated by the exercise now, but that might not always be the case. Therefore, careful planning of your barn for efficiency will pay dividends over the years.

Placement of the barn in a convenient, well-drained location, close or adjacent to turnout areas should be your primary consideration. Access for hay, feed, or bedding delivery vehicles is important. Try to put the structure downwind from the house, if that is nearby. Since fungus and mold are enemies of horse health, make sure drainage allows moisture to escape. Utility access for water and electric service will be important as well.

Design the floor plan to minimize the number of steps you will take every day. Often this leads to the traditional center-aisle configuration with stalls and utility spaces on each side under roof, maximizing the useful space, efficiency, and ease of stall care. This design provides every stall a side facing the aisle and a side facing outdoors for access, ventilation, and natural light. Another option includes back-to-back stalls that open to the outside only (often called a shedrow). This arrange