8 tips to consider when leasing a Horse Barn
If you’re starting your own business, consider leasing a barn so you don’t take on too much responsibility too soon. Sharing a barn with another trainer or professional rider will make things easier. When looking at barns, consider the following tips:
1) The barn and surrounding acreage should be safe, clean and well maintained. If you’re bringing boarders into the barn make sure you have enough stalls and turnout for your clients’ horses. Fencing should be sturdy, reliable and keep horses from getting out of the pasture.
2) Horses need to get rotated between paddocks and pasture several times a week. Most horses would like to have pasture to graze in every day, but often that’s not possible.
3) The barn floor should be concrete with a roughened non-slip surface for easier maintenance and safety. The aisles between stalls need to be at least 10’ feet wide. Ceilings in the barn and stalls have to be high enough so horses won’t hit their head.
4) Stalls need to be 10’x 10’ for small horses or ponies and 12’x 12’ for larger horses. Wash and tie stalls must be at least 4-5’ wide and 8’ long. Each stall floor should be flat without dips or holes and have a wood, asphalt, gravel or concrete base. Rubber mats should be added for extra support and traction. Bedding goes on top of the rubber mats. Stall doors can swing or slide open and must be at least 4’ wide.
5) Stalls need to be equipped with automatic waterers or hooks for water buckets on a wall near the barn aisle. Hay racks can be included or hay can go in a stall corner. Grain can be placed in a tub on the ground, or in a bucket attached to the wall next to the water buckets.
6) All barn lights need to be encased in safety cages and electrical wiring must be covered and moisture proof. Switches should be out of reach of the horses. Windows need to provide proper ventilation and be covered with mesh or grills. Overhead fans are necessary to keep the air moving year round.
7) The tack room needs to have space for clients’ trunks, helmets, saddles and bridles. There also needs to be a place for extra brushes, hoof picks, shedding blades, blankets, and other horse equipment.
8) For safety reasons, hay needs to be stored in a freestanding building separate from the barn. Horse feed can be kept in airtight trash cans to keep out rodents. Any supplements can be kept in the grain room and added to the horse’s feed as needed.
Having your own barn is challenging and time consuming. The more organized you are, the more time you’ll have to teach and ride horses.