What are your favorite horse barn features? Usually the ones that make life easier top the list. Everyone runs their own unique horse property but there are some features that, no matter what, make most favorites lists!
Being a horse lover is one of the best afflictions you can have. Whether you lease your beloved mount or already own a team of champions, you’ll be spending a lot of time on a horse property if you’re an equine enthusiast. During this time, you’re likely to notice which features you love about the stables and horse barn and… which ones you’d prefer to see again. If your horse horse barn doesn’t adhere to some basic principles, taking care of these beautiful animals may be more cumbersome and problematic than it needs to be. Realizing which horse barn features are necessities and will be irritants isn’t an easy job for equine estate owners. With some experienced tips and guidance, however, picking out your future horse barn features can be an enjoyable task.
The first thing you should do when considering new horse barn features, is to split your mind. Think half like a horse and half like the hand who’ll be working the barn everyday. Some features add to equine safety and others just add style and convenience. It’s perfectly acceptable to want it all – and with the numerous options on the market today, style, convenience and safety are easy to accomplish!
Here are some horse barn features you can add to make to your life—and your horses’ lives—much more pleasant:
Adding Dutch Doors or Dutch Windows – Not only are Dutch Doors and Windows a beautiful addition to any horse barn, they reduce the workload and are good for the horses. The benefits of installing Dutch Doors on your horse barn is obvious: the top half of the door can opened and secured leaving the bottom half latched, making sure your horse remains in his stall until you are ready to let him out for grazing or exercise. In the meantime, you have unfettered access to your horse for a gentle show of affection by brushing his coat, or just to give him a treat. Dutch Windows and Doors allow great light, ventilation and an overall healthier environment for your horse.
- Placing Rubber Floor Mats in the Horse Stalls – Installing rubber floor mats in your horses’ stalls will help relieve some of the pressure associated with standing for long periods of time on hard or uneven surfaces. In addition, rubber floor mats make cleanup a cinch, making it easier for you to maintain sanitary conditions for your horses.
- Installing Interlocking Rubber Pavers in the Alleyways – Just as rubber floor mats for stalls add an element of comfort for your horses, installing interlocking rubber pavers in your barn’s aisles and breezeways will also make the trek to and from their stalls a lot less burdensome. In addition, the interlocking, shrink resistant, slip resistant characteristics of rubber pavers will make that journey a lot safer and cleaner than doing so on uneven or rain-soaked, muddy ground. The last thing you want to happen is for one of these beautiful creatures to sustain an injury because of uncertain terrain.
- Putting in a Feeding System and an Automatic Waterer – You might think you can forego the cost of installing an automatic horse feeding and watering system because you don’t anticipate ever having to leave you horses alone. But just suppose you are call away unexpectedly for a day or two and cannot find a boarder to take care of your animals for you while you’re away. This is a quandary I wouldn’t wish upon anyone who loves horses. So the best thing to do is expect the unexpected and install the automatic feeder. This will ensure the health of your horses and give you the freedom to manage other areas of your life.
- Plan for Proper Waste Management – When it comes to the health of your horses nothing is more important than ensuring that your horses’ living area are clean and sanitary. Ideally, you’ll want to clean your horses’ stalls every day. Admittedly, this can be a hassle, but you went a long way toward alleviating some of that work when you installed the rubber floor mats in your horse barn. Your horse will be a much happier animal if he doesn’t have to walk around in a stall here manure is piling up.
But wait a minute. You can’t just take the waste your horse produces and throw it anywhere. Before you bring the first horse in to your horse stables, you’ll need a concerted plan for disposing of your horses’ manure. Ideally, this means compost structures and built-in drainage for spraying down the stalls. Unless you have endless acres, just piling it up somewhere on your property won’t do. This will attract flies and and other pests that create a very unsanitary area. Such pests put your horses health at risk as disease is spread through fly bites and bacteria that flourishes in unsanitary equestrian areas. If you don’t have a need for the manure on your property, a good option would also be to contract a nursery or farmer, someone who can actually use the horse manure. This way you’ll have an avenue for removing the manure, while providing a badly needed product to another industry.
- Set Aside Room for a Horse Grooming Stall – No matter what climate you live in, the benefits of having an indoor grooming stall are many. You can easily run hot and cold water for one when you are first planning your barn and your horses will love you for it. With an equine grooming station in your stables, you can assure year-round hygiene and comfort for both your horses and yourself. It will also give you, your farm hands, and vets a space to manage miscellaneous tasks. No more freezing out in the mud or freezing cold will be necessary when warm water, heat lamps and fans are available!
- Make sure your favorite mount has companionship – Now, if you did your homework before you started out on this endeavor —as I know you did— you’ll know that horses are social animals. This means that, even if you run a small hobby farm, you should make sure your horse barn is large enough to accommodate more than one animal. Doing so will allow you to bring in companionship for your horse, as soon as possible. Living solo would be hard on your beloved equine as it would lock their beautiful free spirit up without the companionship that is vital to your horse’s happiness.
We all know that horses are some of the most beautiful creatures on earth. Keeping them happy will enhance that beauty. The first step in taking on this labor of love is to prepare your horse barn features so that they make life easier and safer for both you and your horse.