This plan is based upon a place we went to look at when we were planning our recent move. The original set up was a loafing shed that was going to be rebuilt. It had two adjoining pastures but the configuration of the loafing shed itself would have been left to ourselves. Here was the plan we came up with (click here to see it full size):
Although this is shown with one stall on the left and two stalls on the right, you could flip the design, or duplicate the two stall arrangement on both sides of the plan. Our plan was to make four stalls, two on each side, but for diversity I decided to show it with 3 stalls for those who might need to isolate one horse in turnout.
This is not too scale and I just jotted down stall sizes I would like – such as 12×14 and two 12×16 stalls. Tack and feed room is each 12×6; I prefer to keep these separate especially if you have someone else feed as this protects tack and equipment behind a locked door. The door front would be sliding and not hinged to maximize space.
If you are running a boarding establishment, another option would be for the one-horse boarder to have one 12×6 unit for tack/feed, and the 2-horse boarder to have the other. This separates a joint storage area for feed and tack which always becomes problematic, especially if you are offering self-care.
The stalls on the right have a removeable stall panel that allows the two stalls to become one large stall or to become a run-in shed shared by two. This can easily be done with a round pen fence panel.
There are alot of gates in this design and they are there for a purpose. I’ve found that too many barns don’t put in enough gates and when it comes to chore time you can’t do your work quickly or effeciently. Cutting corners in a design (not enough water pumps, not enough electric, too few gates) doesn’t ever work in the long run.
Stall fronts allow horses to be section off into their stalls with no turnout; into the drylot and not pasture – with or without shelter; into the playground area with or without shelter; or with no access to the playground, yet still give the pasture horse(s) on the right, a shelter.
By having the two paddocks in the front, you can section a horse off to dry lot, section off an injured or a horse needing rehab from the other horse, remove horses from pasture to allow pasture rest or mowing, or simply keep the horses up during bad weather. The “alley” between the units allows you to drive up your truck to unload feed or to park and feed in bad weather.
Note: the front gate and the side left gate angle would need to allow a radius for a tractor to enter.
The front gate, allows gates in between paddocks to be opened and horses to be moved over without a halter. In my experience the more you can move horses without haltering, the quicker turnout and movement can happen during chore time.
The “human pass through” is simply a small space between fence posts (with no cross fencing) that allows a human (but not horse or pony) through. I have had these in the past and they save an incredible amount of time as you can move through with hay and feed in your hands without worrying about a gate. They are located under the eaves of the loafing shed so you can go stall to stall, feeding and watering and be sheltered from rain or snow.
Blue squares are places for water; orange squares are for electric. Lights are not in this plan but I would plan one at the door front of the feed/tack area and have some safely placed in the stalls. Not having enough light during the night is another serious issue for many barns.
What is the playground? This is an area where you can do groundwork with your horse – putting out a few poles, a platform or other interesting “toys”. The plan allows you to bring your horse into (with this plan it is specifically designed to open a gate and allow the horse to enter of his own free will – no halter) and work him tackless.
I hope you enjoyed this plan… I’ll probably post some others as I play around with different concepts, different locations etc…