We all know that horses are injury and accident prone, but designing your barn carefully can help to maximize safety for both the horses and people! Think about incorporating these safety tips into your barn.
Build a Generously Sized Barn Aisle
When planning your barn aisle, make sure that it will be wide enough to allow for horses to safely pass through. You should make your barn aisle at least 10 feet wide, though even wider is better. A wider aisle can better accommodate passing horses and equipment.
When designing your barn, also consider whether you will allow items like tack boxes to be stored in the aisle. While convenient, storing tack boxes in the aisle does reduce the amount of room that you have, and they can pose safety hazards. It may be wiser to construct an additional room or a larger tack room specifically to store tack boxes.
Build Wide Doorways
In addition to building a wide barn aisle, make sure to also build your barn doorways wide enough so that horses can be safely led through them. In addition to building large barn end doors, plan your barn so that it includes wide stall doors. Narrow doors can lead horses to catch their hips on them, and trying to lead an excited horse through a narrow door is a recipe for disaster. Some people prefer sliding stall doors to hinged stall doors for safety.
Provide Quality Footing with Excellent Traction
When you plan your barn’s design, also plan out the corresponding footing which will be in every area of the barn. If you will be laying a concrete aisle, then make sure that the concrete is textured and plan to use textured rubber mats over it to provide traction. A better option is to lay rubber aisle pavers across the entire surface, ensuring that the footing is safe and forgiving.
Don’t overlook the footing of your arenas, either. Now is the time to budget for the cost of properly building a riding arena. Having proper footing that is well-groomed can help to prevent injuries to your horses during training. Consider safe fencing around the arena.
Use Safe Grillwork in Your Horse Stalls
If you will be using stalls which include grillwork, then take the time to make sure that the grillwork is properly spaced. Grillwork which leaves spaces that are too large between the bars invites catastrophic injury if a horse rears up and gets his hoof stuck between the bars. All Classic Equine Equipment top grillwork includes 1” bars set on 3” centers. Lower grillwork includes 1” bars set on 2 ½” centers so that even the smallest hoof cannot get caught.
Provide Adequate Lighting
Finally, make sure that your barn is well lit. Including skylights can maximize your use of natural light, but it’s also important to include quality light fixtures to keep your barn well lit and provide good visibility at night.
These small design changes can create a safer barn for you and your horses! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.