Barn’s Design: How It Impacts Your Horses’ Health and Well-Being

Barn's Design: How It Impacts Your Horses' Health and Well-Being

Your horse barn’s design impacts your horses’ health and well-being. A poorly designed barn can cost you a fortune in veterinary bills and make your horses uncomfortable. The location, number of stalls, wash stalls, tack room, and other areas are important to consider before you pick up a single tool.


Depending on your needs, the barn should be close to your house for convenience or to minimize the distance horses need to travel to get food and water. It’s also important to ensure the location can handle the amount of manure your horses produce. The height of the barn is an important consideration as well. Horses need good air circulation in their stalls, and a high ceiling helps to achieve this. It’s also a safety feature; if a horse gets spooked and rears up, it will not strike its head on the lowest items, such as light fixtures or the truss bottom chord. The ideal height is 12 to 14 feet. 


A well-lit barn is a necessity for horse breeders. Veterinarians and other experts recommend sixteen hours of light to ensure healthy breeding and animals. Consider recessed lighting in the ceiling. This lighting provides enough light while not emitting much heat, allowing air circulation in the barn. Linear lights are another option to consider in a barn. They offer a clean look and outperform fluorescent lights, often prone to humming and light leakage. Learn about any zoning restrictions in your area that may impact your horse barn’s size, shape or location. Also, make sure to follow building codes and check for any regulations regarding water and power hookups. Having the right horse barn builders and the plan will make it easier to tackle this large-scale project.


The structure’s layout is important for building a horse barn for personal or professional reasons. Having passageways and open work areas will make cleaning, feeding, or riding your horses easier. Also, consider what material you will put on the floor of your barn. Dirt is soft and easy to clean, while cement is harder on your horses’ feet. Some people opt for a mixture of soil and some gravel to provide more comfort for the animals.

Additionally, having a wash bay in the barn is a good idea. It will make it easier for you to clean your horses and reduce the spread of disease. Consider installing a showerhead, too.


A stall should be the right size to fit your horse or horses. Small enough, you’ll have difficulty keeping your horse clean and comfortable. If it is smaller, you’ll have wasted space that you could use for storage or other purposes.

The stall flooring is another important consideration. Porous floors such as dirt, gravel, and sand are easier to clean and provide a softer surface for your horse’s feet. Nonporous floors like concrete are more expensive and harder on your horse’s feet if textured to provide traction. It would help if you also considered whether or not you want to add windows in the stalls and how tall the doors will be. Some horse breeds need barriers to prevent them from socializing, while others are fine with a full-height door.


A barn with a clear span design doesn’t need columns to support its rafters and can be less expensive than a traditional wood barn. Also, metal is durable against strong weather conditions and requires less maintenance and repair. Be sure to include plenty of windows in your stalls to allow for natural light, which is good for the horses’ eyesight. Also, these windows provide routes for air to circulate throughout the building, which helps reduce respiratory ailments caused by too-tight housing. Another thing to consider is the flooring for the stalls. The floor should be soft, not slippery, and easy to clean. Many people use dirt, which is easy on horses’ feet, but some prefer a more durable option like cement. However, that can be hard on their hooves, so some owners cover it with rubber mats.

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