A well-designed horse barn is the perfect mix of form and function, and working with an experienced horse barn builder ensures you’ll get years of enjoyment and performance out of your structure.
Many factors need to be considered when planning your equine project, starting with site placement, barn size, and desired building style. Important decisions also need to be made around details like stormwater management, ventilation systems, and of course, the types of rooms you’d like to include.
Here are 11 types of rooms you may want to consider when planning your horse barn.
1. Laundry Room
Having a laundry room in your horse barn provides many benefits. It can keep other areas of your barn cleaner because you have a dedicated space to store all your dirty saddle pads, towels, blankets, and wraps. A laundry room will also save you the headache of traveling off-site to do your laundry, whether at home or at a laundromat.
If you do add a laundry room, consider a commercial-grade washer and dryer, which are better equipped to handle equine laundry. Although more expensive than residential appliances, commercial washers/dryers are more durable, run faster, and also reach higher water temps, giving you cleaner items.
2. Living Quarters
A horse barn with living quarters offers extra convenience, especially for owners who spend a significant amount of time on-site. The overall size of your horse barn, and the number of other rooms planned for the space, will typically determine how expansive the quarters can be. But both large and small quarters can provide valuable functionality.
The most common features in horse barn living quarters include bedrooms, bathrooms, a full kitchen or kitchenette area, an owner’s office, and a personal lounging area.
3. Dog Kennels
It’s not unusual to see dogs roaming a horse farm property. But some breeds are more horse-savvy and comfortable around the large animals than others, and it’s important to keep both horses and dogs safe. Adding dog kennels to your horse barn site is one smart solution.
When planning a dog kennel, whether inside your barn or in an adjacent space nearby, choose a safe, convenient location away from high-traffic areas. Provide easy access to water for drinking and cleaning purposes.
Thanks to new technologies that make equine light therapy more accessible and affordable, a horse solarium has become a more common feature in horse barns. Its purpose is to emit infrared light onto the horse’s skin and into the muscle to help with overall horse health and wellness. It aids in injury prevention and recovery, pain reduction, blood circulation, muscle elasticity, reduced stress, and more.
A horse solarium is also a practical and much faster way to dry off a horse after bathing. In addition, it can help promote a shiny, healthy coat by speeding up the horse’s natural shedding cycle.
5. Wash Stalls & Groom Room
When incorporating wash stalls into a horse barn, focus on ease of use for the groomer, comfort for the horse, and safety for everyone. Choose a location that offers easy accessibility to your animals, and avoid placement in areas that aren’t moisture friendly. For climates that experience cold winters, it’s important to have a frost-free setup installed for proper water distribution.
B&D Builders recommends using rubber pavers or mats for flooring. Pavers deliver a nicer aesthetic but can be harder to clean. They’re also typically more expensive than rubber mats. Learn more about wash stall considerations.
6. Storage Room
Want to eliminate clutter chaos in your horse barn? Create a spacious storage room. Not only will your barn look cleaner and more organized, but it will also reduce the risk of accidents and injuries to animals and handlers.
Expanded storage space can be used for supplies that are not typically stored in a tack room (more on tack rooms below). This could include water storage, feed, hay, and practically any other type of equipment that doesn’t have a dedicated home elsewhere in the barn.
7. Changing Rooms & Showers
Changing rooms and showers make any horse barn feel more like a home away from home. If space allows, consider adding changing rooms for staff and riders where they can easily change in and out of gear when arriving or departing.
A shower area provides extra convenience and can be easily designed into the rest of your plumbing and drainage infrastructure.
8. Swimming Pool
Yes, horses can swim — in fact, they’re excellent swimmers. Having an equine therapy pool at your facility offers many great benefits to horses, especially those recovering from surgery or those needing ongoing rehabilitation. Swimming is particularly helpful for tendon and ligament injuries, fractured bones, EPM, and laminitis. It can also help improve cardiovascular fitness.
Rubber matting is recommended as a flooring material if you have an equine therapy pool. It provides firm footing for the horse following a swim and is easy to clean and maintain.
9. Foaling Box
Getting ready to welcome a foal? Most mares will foal with little to no human involvement, but setting up a foaling stall can help ensure the experience is a safe one. And should any emergencies arise, you’ll be better prepared.
Pick out a spacious stall; 12’ x 12’ or larger is recommended so the mare will not accidentally step on the new arrival. Keep the space free of any hazards that could injure the foal (nails, shelving, gates, ropes, etc.). Before prepping any flooring and laying down bedding, disinfect the stall and let it dry. Safety and comfort are the priorities here.
10. Feed Room
Some feed rooms are designed to be part of the utility room or tack room, but it’s important to create a space where your food won’t spoil and where pests won’t have easy access to helping themselves to a snack.
When building a separate feed room, the size of the space will depend on the size and number of horses that need fed. Make sure walls and flooring are tightly fitted together to prevent unwelcome vermin from entering, and keep feed stored in sturdy containers, preferably metal containers with tight lids. Finally, talk to your builder about the best lighting options and proper door widths for easy entry of people and feed.
11. Tack Room
A tack room serves as your primary storage space for all types of equine equipment, like saddles, bridles, stirrups, reins, and other items. Many horse barn builders tend to overlook this room and not make it a priority — but you’ll be spending lot of time in the space, so having an exceptional tack room is important.
Tack rooms should be both beautiful and functional, so keep these design ideas in mind. Include a large island with baskets, bins, and hooks that make it easy to access your equipment. Incorporate shelves with hooks to store and retrieve boots. And maximize wall space with a variety of cleaning racks for cleaning your saddle and other tack items. Read about more tack room design tips here.
Contact B&D Builders Today
Ready to build the ultimate horse barn? Our experienced team of equine facility designers and builders are here to share insights and answer your questions. Contact us and start the conversation today.