Reader and blogger, Oregon Sunshine, has posted some comments about the barn layout and thinking it over, there are some good points to be learned that I would like to pass along to you in this post.
If I was keeping 2 or less horses, I would go with a loafing shed arrangement with a tack shed building. This would keep things on a small, affordable scale with buildings that a competent DIY person could build. Such as this two stall, one or two pasture arrangement with a center feed and tack room OR this shared, 2 shed with pasture OR this 3-stall, two pasture with feed and tack room arrangement.
Loafing sheds have the benefit of a solid north/northwest wall so provide ultimate wind, snow and rain protection. They are the simplest roofline to build and the least costly.
Once you get 3-6 horses you need something a bit larger to manage feed, bedding, hay and tack in easy distance from horses in order to feed and care for them. For that I prefer a shedrow or an L-shaped barn like I’ve been posting about.
A shedrow differs from a loafing shed due to the roofline. With a shedrow you get a covered aisle, making it a bit easier to do multiple chores such as feeding, watering, grooming, tacking up etc… and be protected from the weather. It is linear like a loafing shed with one row of stalls (though I have L-shaped in my plans that have adjacent rows of 2 stalls each). This plan uses a shedrow (for horses) and a small RCA barn (for the ponies).
Molly’s barn used a very enclosed shedrow with a very open and larger loafing shed in an L-shape. While her barn may not look all pretty – pay close attention to the design. Highly functional (view the diagram layout).
When you get to about 6 and more horses, you need to start thinking barn. A big barn with two rows and a cement center aisle wide enough a truck can drive through. OS had mentioned she needs stalls for eight, and for that number I would go with a RCA (raised center aisle) or Gable barn with two rows of four stalls and a feed and tack room at the north end.
Since she is in the southern US, I would also go to the expense of putting in overhangs. This cools the air before it enters the barn and does make a substantial difference in the summer (I’ve been in barns with and without and you would be amazed).
I prefer RCA’s over Gable barns because I am a romantic. However, there are even cute Gable barns out there if you look hard:
Both barns would have a layout similar to this:
She had mentioned that North is on the right side of the drawing so how I would deal with north winds is by simply putting some sort of structure to the right to provide a windbreak.
I am not sure how she wanted to break up the 8 in terms of pasture (2 separate? or 4? or one large?) so this plan just guesses. In my area of the world I am more concerned about NW wind so the hay barn is slightly staggered back from the line of the barn. Some gates (g) would allow you to combine the herd to one side or the other or all. The (c) marks compost.
OS had mentioned needing to see all horses at all times,and I am just not sure that it is possible with this many. I would opt for two pastures designed so they can wrap back to the front of the property or where they can both be seen from the house. For the stalls, webcams!! heehee.