A barn is to horses as a house is to humans. It shelters them and provides protection from various elements. Plus, it also houses quite a number of items and stocks as well. It’s safe to say that a barn isn’t going to be some random structure in the middle of an empty piece of land. It has to be well thought of and fully equipped. That said Equine America schools us on the following must-haves.
A barn that’s cramped and inadequately built will make it hard for everyone to move about and be comfortable. In the case of horses, the rule of thumb requires a standard size box stall that measures 12 feet by 12 feet at the very least. This can even be bigger for stallions and broodmares. Of course, it is important to put the animals into consideration when thinking of dimensions.
You wouldn’t want to suffocate those animals, now would you? Barns need to breathe too and to do so will require a high-pitched roof, vented eaves (or cupolas or ridges), or any other feature that easily opens out (like the ceiling or door) to let air in and out freely. Even the use of fans can become necessary for areas with typically hot or humid climates.
Horses, their owners and caretakers need to find their way within the barn so lighting is an element you should never forget. The smart use of windows and wide doors as well as operated lights will also help avoid any accidents.
Barns need to be clean at all times so it’s not unlikely to find the need to hose down the floors every now and then. But consistently wet or even damp floors are not good for a horse’s hooves. Not only does it weaken them but they become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungi. This is why the installation of working and an effective drainage system is mandatory.
Barns also serve as a storage area for a lot of things. Think about feeds, equipment, hay, blankets, emergency first aid kits and all that stuff. Equine America reminds everyone to consider and plan out an effective storage system to ensure that everything is kept in place. At the same time, see to it that everything is properly secured. Horses are smart animals and they can find their way into the feed storage area. If they can easily be opened or are not secured, expect an indulging equine as the prime suspect.