If you harbor a lifelong love of horses that prompts you to purchase property zoned for equestrian use, then you probably want to choose the right kind of real estate, complete with plenty of space for your large breed animals to run and graze, not to mention land that is already fenced to keep them from wandering off. And of course, you’ll probably look for land that lacks rocky terrain or other features that could pose a hazard to your horses.
However, whether you have just one horse, you’ve got one for every member of the family, or you’re angling to house other people’s horses for a fee, you’re going to need a proper stable in order to ensure that your horses have the shelter they need to stay healthy and comfortable. And this often means designing a structure that suits your large animals. Here are just a few useful design tips that will help to create the stable you need on your equestrian property.
- Consider sizing. The number of stalls you put in your stable will depend on the number of animals you intend to house, or at least the space you would like to have available to house them. But you also need to plan the size of the stalls to accommodate the type of horses that will use them. If, for example, you have Clydesdales, you’re going to need a bigger stall than you might for, say, Arabians or Mustangs. On the other hand, your stalls won’t need to be nearly as large if miniature horses are your passion (unless you plan to offer stable space to larger breeds).
- Consider extra rooms. Aside from the stalls themselves, you’ll almost certainly want to include a tack room, a feed room, and a room to hold hay for bedding. All of these items need to be contained in order to ensure that the contents stay free of contamination from the elements, rodents and other pests, and so on. You might also want a room that is suitable for the treatment of ill or injured animals, and many owners also include some kind of office for record keeping.
- Practical concerns. The daily operation of a stable requires a practical approach that starts with how you design your structure. Animals must be fed and bathed, their refuse must be cleaned up, and at some point you may find yourself dealing with foaling mares. All can be made easier with the right layout and design of your structure. For example, stalls could be fitted with drains to make washing (both horses and stalls) easier. And stalls could come with movable walls, allowing you to open up an area large enough for a mare and her colt. Taking these details into account during the design process will make your life a lot easier down the line.
- Comfort. When it comes to the comfort of your animals, you need to think about what the weather outside will be like and then compensate with adequate insulation, ventilation, and temperature controls, just like you might in your own home. Horses can be an expensive investment – one that you want to protect. But they’re also animals, and as their owner it’s your duty to see to their physical and mental needs.
- Proper equipment. There’s no doubt that investing in equestrian property can cost you a pretty penny, but don’t drop the ball once you’ve got the layout for your stable planned. The devil is in the details, and they can make the difference between how easy it is to manage your stable once it has been built. So don’t hesitate to add useful touches like the Treadall Horse Stall Mats Canada produces, plenty of hooks to clip lead ropes into, and mounts for all manner of riding gear. With the proper equipment you’ll have a stable that is clean, organized, and suited to the needs of horses and their people.