How to Build Your Own Horse Farm

The barn is the center of a horse farm, from small back yard facilities to those with 100s of acres and their own race track. If you are thinking of renovating or building a barn, you would do well to go around to other horse farms and look at the barns. What do you like, and what don't you like? This will give you a starting point for your project.

Thinking ahead and plan on how many horses you envision having in the future. Multiplying that by one and a half acres per horse will give you the total acreage you will need. Additionally, ask yourself whether you might also board horses for some extra income. You might like the social interaction with the other riders.

Stalls with exterior doors as well as doors onto the aisle are handy and make it easier for you to turn the horses out. Stalls should be 12 feet by 12 feet, so the horse is comfortable and can turn around. Rubber mats on the floor are durable, easy to clean and your horse will enjoy the softer feel. The amount of square footage you will need for hay storage depends on the number of horses and how much they eat. Remember, if the barn has a hay loft, you won't be able to stack the hay higher than six feet there.

A wash rack in the barn is useful; many people find interlocking rubber bricks a nice surface for washing horses. Make sure the tack room is large enough for your gear. The barn should have enough smoke alarms for its size. The inside and outside of the barn should not have any sharp edges or corners which could injure a horse. Natural daylighting is useful. Provide a lot of natural ventilation. Barns with cupolas or continuous ridge vents on the roof provide good design for sucking out hot air during the summer time.

If you can only afford a smaller horse farm, you can divide the land into parcels so that the grass can be allowed to grow back.  Portable electric hot tape fencing offers an economical solution. Farms with a lot of acreage need to be checked regularly so that weeds don't overgrow the pasture, and wooden fencing is in good shape and won't injure any horse.
A property with mature shade trees offers summertime shading for you and the horses. The paddock (enclosed area) should be 50 feet by 50 feet to allow adequate exercise room. Many people put down cedar chips in the paddock; horses like to walk on them and they are durable and not slippery when wet. Ideally, the ground should slope away from the barn so that there is good drainage and dampness won't be a problem in the barn.

Something else to consider is an equestrian subdivision, a concept that is catching on. You get a home with a barn in a gated community, access to trails and a shared equestrian center.