Size Matters

What size stable does your horse need and how big should your hay store be?
Size Matters

What Size Stable Does Your Horse Need?

Size is a crucial consideration when planning new fixed or mobile stables, field shelters, American barns, and storage units for your horses. No matter what your animals’ daily and weekly routine is, horses tend to spend a considerable amount of time inside their stalls.The well-being of your horses or ponies should be your main priority when deciding on the dimensions of the equestrian building you intend to build. They need appropriate living space and ample ventilation to stay in good health. Badly-designed horse stables can pose a fire risk and increase the chance of health problems.

The British Horse Society (BHS) recommends the following guidelines for appropriate horse stable management and safety:

  • Large horses (17hh+): 3.65m x 4.25m (12ft x 14ft) minimum
  • Horses: 3.65m x 3.65m (12ft x 12ft) minimum
  • Large ponies (13.2hh+): 3.05m x 3.65m (10ft x 12ft) minimum
  • Ponies: 3.05m x 3.05m (10ft x 10ft) minimum
  • Foaling box (horse): 4.25m x 4.25m (14ft x 14ft) minimum

Looking a little further afield The Donkey Sanctuary recommends the following dimensions for donkeys and mules stalls:

  • Mules: 3.65m x 3.65m (12ft x 12ft) minimum
  • Donkeys: 3.05m x 3.05m (10ft x 10ft) minimum
  • Large donkeys: 3.05m x 3.65m (10ft x 12ft) minimum

For Llamas, who are likely more suited to a mobile field shelter rather than a stable, information is more scarce, but a US resource called The Open Sanctuary recommends 40 sq. ft. per animal which equates to roughly 4m squared meaning a 12ft x 12ft shelter would work well.

These are just guidelines, of course. Horses, ponies, llamas and donkeys naturally vary in size. If you own a very large or tall horse, you will want to build a bigger stable. Every animal should be able to comfortably lie down and roll around in order to stay healthy - this allows them to fight an itchy irritation or shed their winter coat. The stables’ passageways should be wide enough to allow animals to be walked outside of the stables without touching other horses.

You will also likely need to build a hay barn, where you can store food supplies, hay, bedding, tacks, rugs, and grooming equipment. For an even more efficient design, suitable for all weather conditions, you could opt for an American barn. In this equestrian building, you can house horses and store all your equipment.

Secondary factors in stable management and safety

There are other factors you need to consider when planning stables. These are:

  • Ventilation
  • Flooring
  • Design
  • Lighting
  • The shape of the doors
  • The position of fixtures and fittings
  • Water supply.

Chart Stables’ Equestrian Buildings

At Chart, we offer a wide variety of stables, ranging from the standard 12' x 12', up to 18' x 12'. We can of course build larger buildings, too. You can plan a yard with different size stables in it, so you can house different size horses together.
All our ranges are built in long-lasting timber and feature anti-chew strips. For more information on our stable ranges, contact our Sales Team on 01233 611123.

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