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Equine Info Exchange - Horse Barns & Stalls

To choose the correct barn or stall for your horse, you need to consider a number of factors, including:

  • Size: The barn or stall should be large enough for your horse to move around comfortably.
  • Ventilation: The barn or stall should be well-ventilated to prevent the buildup of ammonia and other harmful gases.
  • Lighting: The barn or stall should have adequate lighting, both natural and artificial.
  • Flooring: The flooring in the barn or stall should be non-slip and easy to clean.
  • Drainage: The barn or stall should have good drainage to prevent the accumulation of water.
  • Amenities: Some barns offer amenities such as indoor and outdoor arenas, wash stalls, and tack rooms. Consider which amenities are important to you and your horse.
  • Location: The barn should be conveniently located for you and your horse.

Once you have considered these factors, you can start to narrow down your choices. Here are some tips for choosing the correct barn or stall for your horse:

  • Visit the barn in person: This will give you a chance to see the facilities firsthand and to talk to the barn owner or manager.
  • Ask other horse owners for recommendations: Talk to your friends, family, and other horse owners to see which barns they recommend.
  • Read online reviews: Online reviews can be a good way to learn more about different barns and to see what other horse owners have to say about them.
  • Consider your horse's individual needs: If your horse has any special needs, such as a medical condition or behavioral problem, make sure to choose a barn that can accommodate those needs.

When you are visiting a barn, be sure to pay attention to the following:

  • Cleanliness: The barn should be clean and well-maintained.
  • Horses: The horses should appear to be healthy and well-cared for.
  • Staff: The staff should be knowledgeable and experienced.
  • Atmosphere: The barn should have a positive and welcoming atmosphere.

Choosing the correct barn or stall for your horse is an important decision. By taking the time to consider your horse's individual needs and to choose a barn that meets those needs, you can help to ensure that your horse has a happy and healthy home.

Here are some additional tips for choosing and using a barn or stall for your horse:

  • Barn:
    • Make sure that the barn is properly ventilated to prevent the buildup of ammonia and other harmful gases.
    • Clean the barn regularly to remove manure and other debris.
    • Provide your horse with fresh water at all times.
  • Stall:
    • Spread the bedding evenly in the stall to provide a soft and comfortable surface for your horse to lie down on.
    • Remove wet and soiled bedding on a daily basis to help prevent the growth of bacteria.
    • Add fresh bedding to the stall as needed.

By following these tips, you can help to create a safe and healthy environment for your horse.

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Arena Footing Basics 101

by Martin Collins

Equestrians will agree, when it comes to arena riding, a well-appointed ring is a joy to work (and play!) in. The footing you choose for your enclosure will depend on a variety of factors and will be the most important component of a well-designed and properly constructed riding area. In this article, Glynnie Walford of Martin Collins© Equine Surfaces provides the information you need to create a first-rate surface for all of your equine endeavors.

Building Your Arena’s Foundation

Next to the footing, the base is the most important part of your arena, and often something that gets overlooked during construction. Here are a few things to consider before starting any new construction.

Cut and Fill

Cut and Fill is the process of cutting into a bank and re-laying the material lower down the bank to create a “level formation” for your outdoor equine arena. The banks/ slopes must be created correctly to support the new formation.

The more level the site, the less cost will be involved in the initial stages of construction.

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Is it Time to Walk Your One True Love Down the Center Aisle?

By Nikki Alvin-Smith

When I arrived in America from Great Britain eons ago, I was soon engrossed in everything horse. In fact, it only took me a few months to purchase my first USA horse and put him in livery. My first and only boarding barn experience was at Caumsett State Park Stables, Lloyds Harbor, NY, at the previous estate of Marshall Field, the American entrepreneur and founder of Marshall Field of the Chicago-based department stores.

While the majority of horses were stabled in the new forty stall metal structure with two long aisles with ten stalls set each side of a center space, the original brick built polo barn was home to a couple of Grand Prix showjumpers, and also the location for the only bathroom available, so trips to and from and through the grand building were a necessity. These trips would have been much more enjoyable without having to negotiate the fierce Dobermans, named Angel and Lucifer, who the leaseholders of the property kept on the farm (at some point Lucifer attacked our poodle resulting in an expensive veterinary visit so that dog was aptly named). Despite the dogs unwanted accompaniment of my visits, as I walked through these beautiful stables the center aisle design was obviously a superb idea.

The center aisle design was especially appreciated during our first American winter, when the weather surprised us with its tenacity and three feet of snow. Blissfully unaware of how difficult negotiating the drive to the barn would be, we knew once there we would find safe harbor from the weather in the center aisle barn to tack up before we headed to the indoor to ride. En route to the barn we encountered the scary appearance of a huge bright yellow behemoth, a snowplow, which tore through the country road with little regard for where we were going to place our car to avoid a head on collision. It was quite a surprise to us, as England had no snowplows (even now I believe the country only has a handful).

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Horizon Structures Presents: The Top Five Most Important Features to Feature in Your New Horse Barn

By Nikki Alvin-Smith

When considering various features of a barn, (regardless of whether you are going prefabricated, pole barn or stick built), it is important to carefully question the builders under consideration for the project as to which features are included in the price and which features you will be charged extra fees to include.

1. The Outside Spectacle
When choosing your new barn design it is wise to first consider how it will impact your property visually. What type of roofing and siding do you want and what colors? With the choice of color and product you should also think about maintenance and snowfall. For example, a metal roof will shed snowload better than shingle, but will also be noisier inside the building unless you add insulation underneath the roof.

2. Light is Right
Everyone loves a light barn. Regardless of whether you choose a sash window, transom window or other design it is important that the interior of the window have a protective grill. Think about how you will clean the windows too. This is at a minimum a bi-annual chore, so ease of operation and reach is important. Also consider prevailing winds and airflow in your building and try to maximize airflow. Windows add valuable light and can minimize the use of electric. You can also add skylights for natural light.

Shutters are a pretty addition but make sure they are out of the reach of inquiring equine mouths. These can be decorative or functional.

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Horizon Structures Presents….Don’t Fool Around with Foal Safety

By Nikki Alvin-Smith

The foal is the goal and the goal is to keep that foal happy and healthy. Every year foals die due to accidents. While some no-one could have foreseen, some are preventable. Many occur due to poor stall design.

The comfort and safety of ‘Mom’ is paramount. Your mare needs to have space to move around before, during and after birth. The ideal size stall would be 12 x 24 feet for a 16 h.h. horse. To achieve this stall size you may not wish to have a designated stall all year round, so when you design your new barn if you have any thoughts at all that you may have a pregnant mare in your future herd, either by design or accident, it is wise to factor in stall conversion.

If you implement a dividing stall wall that may be removed for foaling season, it will save you much heartache and provide your mare with the space she needs. The boards and/or grills may be removed from the channels and the channels removed to complete this new maternity ward. No sharp edges allowed.

When your mare goes into labor, she may throw herself about the stall as if experiencing a colic. The walls of a stall should therefore be solid board rather than the thinner tongue and groove pine. You can use 2x8 or 2x6 boards. The larger the board you use the stronger. The walls should also have support in the middle through either a wall straightener or brackets and be certain that no nails protrude.

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