How To Create Functional Horse Barn Plans

Building functional horse stables, where both horses and people thrive, is perhaps based more on experience and knowledge than on research and imagination. Unfortunately, neither construction companies nor government officials have the necessary knowledge of what it takes to build good functional horse stables. Before doing the actual building of a stable, a horse barn plan needs to be created. This article will give the readers a basic understanding of what is important when creating big as well as small horse barn plans.

A well designed horse stable should be:

  • Silent
  • Bright
  • Well ventilated
  • Safe, for both horses and people
  • Easy to work in

Basic Barn Layout

Horse Barn Plans
A Narrow Style Horse Barn Plan

The best horse barn plans are narrow, about 11 meters wide, and the length depends on how many horses it is designed for. The horses are keptĀ in box stalls along the walls with an aisle in between. The aisle should be 2.5 to 3.5 meters wide. This layout gives a number of advantages: Brightness, as every horse gets its own window. Fewer neighboring horses, which creates a calmer and quieter atmosphere. It is also easier to build a good ventilation system.

Wide horse barn floor plans create darker and more stressful environments.


Horse stables should have a high ceiling. The height should be at least 1.5 times the withers of the highest horse, but 2.2 meters as a minimum. The stables can be open all the way up to the ceiling, which gives them a larger volume of air.

Barn doors

The barn doors should be at least 1.5 meters wide. This is to facilitate an evacuation in case of fire. A divided door, where the bigger part is at least 1.2 meters, is practical for everyday activities. It is also safe in case of evacuationas both parts of the door can be opened. The height of the door should be 2.2 meters at a minimum.

If your barn has between 4 and 20 horses, at least two doors are recommended. With more than 20 horses, we strongly recommend a minimum of three doors.


Every box stall should have a window that can be opened, but the grill in front of the window can still be static. A nice feature is when both window and grill can be opened so that the horse can have its head outside. This causes less stress than an openable grill facing the aisle. The natural light can also come through windows in the ceiling, although they can get dirty over time.


Fluorescent lamps creates a light that is free from shadows and glare. Only use lamps and fittings that are approved for stable usage, and make sure all the fittings and wirings are protected. If you have a low ceiling, you should also protect the lamps so that the horses can’t reach them.

Horse Feed

The horse feed should be stored in a separate room in a dry and cool atmosphere. Ventilation should be good, making sure that air from the stable doesn’t reach the feed. Forage should be stored at ground level in a separate barn that, for practical reasons, is incorporated into the stable. The doors to this barn should be wide enough for a tractor or truck to enter. Do not store the hay and straw directly on the concrete floor.


A nonslip flooring is a must. This can be obtained by creating grooves in the concrete flooring before it hardens. In larger stables a layer of wood-shavings in the aisles reduces dust and noise. The aisles are watered and raked regularly to keep them tidy. In some stalls it can be practical to have half a meter without wood-shavings to facilitate the sweeping up after the mucking. Floor drains are not needed in the box stalls since the urine is absorbed by wood-shavings.

Learn More

If you would like to learn more on how to create horse barn plans please take a look at this book. It could really be money well spent considering what it costs to build a horse barn.

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