Thinking of Building Stables? Here’s What You Need to Know

sarah | 01/20/21

If you’re considering getting some stables made, you probably don’t need to be told that there’s a bit to consider. Unlike other types of storage units, stables are used to house living, high-maintenance animals. And as we’re sure you’re aware, rearing horses is more of a lifestyle than it is a hobby, and requires a ton of time and effort – so you’ll also want to get their accommodation just right (remember, the better they feel, the easier they’ll be to handle). 

To help make this process a bit easier, we’ve put together a list of things to consider when planning your stables (although rest assured, when building with us, we’ll be with you all the way). 

 

Breathing Space

Being active animals, horses don’t like being stabled. In fact, they’d rather be out in the field all day and night. So in order to make their stay that little bit more comfortable, you’ll want to make sure they’re given enough space to rest comfortably.  

The minimum size requirement for a sleeping bay is 3.6mx3.6m, but you should go bigger if you can. The general rule of thumb is that all sleeping bays should be big enough for the horse to lie down comfortably in, without having to bunch up against the wall. 

Likewise, you’ll want to keep any entrances as wide as possible, giving your animals plenty of room to pass in and out of (this is typically between 1.5-2m). 

 

Materials

When it comes to internal structures (such as the walls between individual sleeping bays), we recommended you use a mesh-like design rather than a solid wall. 

This allows for two things. Firstly, the animals will be able to see each other, which will make them less prone to distress (and again, make them easier to work with). 

You’ll also experience superior ventilation around the stables, which is optimal for the health of its residents. These are also good reasons to include a few windows in your stables too (not to mention the increase in sunlight they’ll allow for). 

 

Security 

Getting the right locks for your stables is a fine art. Because you’ll often be guiding an animal whilst dealing with, locking and unlocking your stables, you’ll want a locking system that’s simple enough to operate while multitasking (and often with only one hand to spare). 

That said, horses are not unintelligent animals. It’s not unheard (no pun intended) of for horses to figure out how to unlock a simple hatch lock and go for a nightly galavant. In fact, it’s even been reported that some horses will not only break themselves out but will then also proceed to bust their friends out too. Whilst you can’t fault their loyalty to each other, this could be somewhat disastrous to deal with. 

As with so many things in life, finding that perfect locking system is all about balance. 

 

Flooring

There are quite a few options when it comes to stable flooring, each with their own pros and cons. 

 

  • Sand is probably the flooring that is used most often. It drains waste/water very well and is gentle on the horses’ hooves and legs. However, it will need to be replaced somewhat often, and seeing as horses tend to eat off the floor, it can get in amongst their feed and can cause health issues if too much is digested. 

 

  • Wood is another common (and more traditional) flooring option. It’s easy on the animals themselves and is warm, and slip-resistant when dry. It will need to be treated as not to retain odour and stand up against waste, however, and repairing it over the years will build up in cost. 

 

  • Concrete has become quite popular in recent years. It’s durable, affordable and low maintenance. What it isn’t, however, is good for the animals long term, and you may need to consider fitting certain areas of the stables with rubber mats for the comfort of your horses. 

 

  • Lastly, we have asphalt. It’s easier on the animal’s legs and can be long lasting when applied correctly. However, due to its porous nature, it will need to be disinfected somewhat often and can crack if applied too thinly. 

 

Happy homes make for happy horses. Contact us here today to get the ball rolling on your next shed-based project. 

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