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Planning Your Horse Barn Stalls

Stalls are a key component of any horse barn. They provide housing and shelter for horses, protecting them from the weather, wind and predators while still giving them space to move around and exercise. They are also the foundation of a stabled horse’s diet, and should be designed to provide adequate room for feeding and watering. There are many options for stall design, each one tailored to the particular needs of individual horses and their caretakers.

A stall should be a minimum of 12’ x 12’ and provide sufficient space for the horse to stand, lie down and turn around. It should also be large enough to allow for cross tying, which allows trainers to work with the horse in ways other than pulling on its lead rope. The stall door should be securely positioned and have a secure latch to keep the horse inside.

The aisles or pathways between stalls should be at least 10’ wide to allow for crossing, cleaning and hay storage. This is particularly important for barns that use a clear span design where the trusses extend across the building to save on interior columns. A wider aisle will also make it easier for farriers and veterinarians to visit the horses, as they will need more room to walk between stalls.

When planning your stalls, consider the number of horses barn stalls you have now and the number that may be added in the future. This will help you decide how much hay and feed storage you’ll need as well as how big to make your stalls. It’s also helpful to consider a tack room that can be easily accessed by the horses, so they can get their tack and grooming tools quickly when they need them.

Window placement is important for natural light and ventilation in the stalls. It’s recommended to have a minimum of 4 square feet of windows in each stall. They should be located high enough to be out of reach from the horses (generally above 7 feet) and protected by a sturdy grill or mesh so that the horses cannot break the glass and create a hazard. Plexiglas is an excellent option for window glazing.

Another important consideration for stall design is to choose between swinging or sliding doors. Swinging doors open towards the alley or aisleway, while sliding doors slide along a track in each side of the stall. It’s also a good idea to include a latch that opens easily but can’t be tampered with by the horses. It’s also recommended to install a water hookup within each stall, which helps prevent the spread of mud and enables the horse to drink without having to leave his or her stall. Electrical wiring should be housed in metal or hard plastic conduit to protect it from rodents that might chew on it, creating a fire hazard.