It’s not uncommon in this area to have one large barn with a lean-to or loafing shed built off the side.
From a distance, note the right roofline of the barn. This is the loafing shed area with the main area of the barn used for hay storage (or it could be for tractor, trailer or other type of farm/utility storage).
I’ve divided the loafing shed into two separate areas. One 12×12 open stall opens into a private field (where I was standing when I took this photo). The right stall, opens to a paddock that leads to another field.
A white gate (where horse is standing) allows horses to be switched from side to side or for me to go through. Gates can help maximize pastures and allow different configurations of keeping horses together or apart. Although a pain to install, gates always pay off (and the lack of gates is one of the huge design flaws I’ve consistently seen at barns).
For example, if I had two fields, but wanted to rotate the horse, I could open this gate, and close the gate that allows the horse to access Pasture #2 (this gate is under the big tree, right).
The paddock fence is made with the following:
Posts – 4x4x8 sunk in with dry mix cement into 2′ holes. The rule of thumb is that one third of the length should be in the ground.
Rails – 2x6x8 cut to fit halfway onto mid post. Pre-drill the holes then put in screws which makes it go up faster and allows removal at a later date (as opposed to nails). We selected a height that would allow us to run two rails instead of three. This saved us from buying another 8 boards.
Tip – if you are working on a slope like we were, measure rail placement from the GROUND not with a level.
A portable fence panel separates the stalls though I may put in a solid panel with 2x10x12’s later. Right now the fence panel allows more air current and these two horses seem satisfied with this type of barrier.
The benefit of being portable is that if you wanted to enlarge the area you could do so without too much trouble.
Each stall has stall mats with additional mats in front due to rain run off making it muddy. Hopefully, the mats will prevent this in the future.
The best thing about stall mats is that they prevent horses from making the barn stall floor a stinky, dug out mess. This saves you time in cleaning and in replacing the flooring. Shavings further help in asborbing urine.
The mare urinates and poops outside; this is not unusual with mares; while the gelding urinates and poops inside. Geldings urinating in the same spot makes it a common problem for stall floors to get dug out in the middle.
The lady I worked for in college had me dig out an entire stall to replace the flooring – after dumping 20 wheelbarrows of urine soaked dirt (over a year of a stall kept gelding that walked in circles about his stall non stop), you get to appreciate the use of stall mats.
Pay now or pay more later… it’s why it always best in the long run to invest up front and prevent expensive maintenance or worse, changes.