What is the correct size horse stall?
Although feed rooms, indoor arenas and tack rooms are an important part of the overall barn design, horse stalls need to be considered first. Figuring out the size of your stalls first and making them a priority will ensure a safe, comfortable home for your horse.
A horse should be able to comfortably move, turn around and lie down in his/her stall. An average sized horse, about 14-16 hands, can fit comfortably in a 12’ x 12’ stall, although a smaller stall such as 10′x12′ may be considered. If your horse is smaller than average, you can adjust your stall size accordingly.
Ponies, Welsh or Shetland breeds for example, typically will do well in a 10’ x 10’ stall. On the other hand Warmblood, Thoroughbred or draft breeds that are usually 16 to 18 hands tall, need a larger stall than 12’ x 12’, maybe a 12’x14’ stall or larger. Mares approaching their foaling date or mares with foals are best housed in an extra large stall. Typically, a good rule of thumb is to double the size of your regular stall when planning for a foaling stall.
The stall will also need water and feed buckets, and rubber mats for the floor. Water buckets can be attached to a hook on one of the stall walls or an automatic waterer can also be used. Grain and supplements can be fed in a bucket and also in a permanent heavy rubber or metal container attached to the wall in the corner of the stall.
Rubber mats go on top of the stall floor which is usually dirt, concrete, wood or small gravel fines. Stall mats provide traction, cut down on the amount of bedding, and provide a warmer floor in the winter. Do some investigating to find out which rubber mats go with the type of barn and stalls you decide on. What part of the country your barn is located in also decides what kind of soil you have for your stalls.
When designing a horse stall, don’t forget comfort and functionality. Careful planning will prevent future headaches and frustration when your barn is built.