This is a good foundation course for anyone who aspires to work with horses; either in their own business or elsewhere; on a farm, stud, riding school or in an equine supplies business.
The construction and design of stables and a stable yard is very important. If it is not possible to design and build a stable yard from scratch then existing buildings may have to be adapted. Primarily, in both cases, the horse should be safe and secure at all times.
The design of a stable can vary widely based on climate, available building materials and position of existing buildings etc. A wide range of building materials can be used in their construction, including bricks or blocks, stone, wood or metal.
Stable yards can range widely in size, from a small building to house only one or two animals, to large equestrian facilities, which can house hundreds of animals.
The minimum size for a stable is:
- For Ponies an horse less than 16h - minimum size: 3.6 sq m
- For Horses 16h or more - minimum size: 4 sq m
Stabling facilities can be classified into two general types:
- American Barn type facilities: internally partitioned stables within a large barn
- Traditional, free standing individual boxes, which look out onto an open courtyard or similar area
More traditional stabling consists of a single stable or a row of single stables grouped together, each with their own individual doors that open out directly onto a courtyard. Each stable should have its own window and sufficient head room for adequate ventilation. They often also have a roof overhang over the stable door to help protect the horse when standing with its head out over the bottom door. Each stable has an individual entrance and the door is commonly split into top and bottom parts, allowing the top part to be hooked back for the majority of time that the horse is in there.
- Risk of cross infection if disease is present is greatly reduced
- Each stable has its own individual access
- If a horse needs to be on shavings or rubber matting due to a dust allergy, it can be easily achieved within an individual box, and not adversely affected by its neighbours
- Extra stables can be easily converted into tack, feed and equipment rooms.
- Some horses prefer to be able to see other horses when confined inside the stable. The addition of side window panels or mirrors can prevent the horse from feeling isolated, stressed and bored
American Barn Stabling
American Barns are designed to keep everything under one roof. They are generally designed with a row of stables down each side of the barn with a corridor running up the middle and large doors at either end. Tack, equipment and feed rooms may also be incorporated into the main barn. In large complexes, indoor arenas, horse walkers and treatment areas may also be incorporated.
- The whole stabling section is undercover
- Large numbers of horses can be housed under one roof making their day to day care easier and more labour saving
- High roofs allow for good ventilation
- All the horses can see each other and what is going on around them preventing boredom
- Many barns have windows to the rear of the stable allowing the horse free access to fresh air
- The horses individual equipment can be stored close to their own stable
- Some horses find the busy atmosphere stressful.
- Any infection that occurs can rapidly spread throughout a barn situation
- Tying up facilities can be limited outside the stable
- Horses with allergies to hay or straw can be more difficult to manage unless horses in several of the surrounding boxes are also on allergy free feed and bedding