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Hi All biggrin.gif

I have read some of Hansi's post on the expenses that go into an equine facility but I want to create a new post for more information.

I am planning a 100 acre state of the art equine facility. The facility will be for both english and western disciplines.

I want to hear everyone's suggestions with what they would do (or have done if you already own 100 acres yourself) with such land. How is the barn, etc planned out on your property? What facilities do you have? I want to hear all sorts of views and perspectives on everything. Names of people or businesses to contact regarding this type of information or any pictures you have or you have found on the internet will also help tremendously.

Here's what I have planned so far: English Riding Trails on the acreage, pasture turnout for the horses with large shelters to protect them from the weather, Three Covered Round Pens, Swimming Pool for exercise, 2 Covered Arenas (one for dressage/jumping with mirrors and a viewing lounge and the other for Western riding with viewing lounge), outdoor arena, 50 stall barn with 12x12 stalls, windows for each stall that can be closed so that the breeze can blow through but they can be shut in severe weather, blanket bars and halter bars on the front of the sliding stall door. Metal barn where bottom portion of stall is a metal piece but top half has tiny metal bars on each side so that the horses can see each other but not nip each other, with swinging hay/feed doors, raised center aisle for maximum airflow. Wash bays (how many?) saddling areas (how many?) vet area, concrete floors with rubber mats and shavings ontop, tack rooms (how many?), restrooms, office area, covered concrete trailer parking.

Thank you in advance for all the input.
Patricia Hampton
No layout ideas but a couple of suggestions on other things. First, place your buildings where you have good drainage. Make sure shelters won't turn into mudholes during a hard rain. Second, design as much as possible so it can be cleaned with a tractor. Stalls in barns pretty much have to be hand cleaned but be sure you can get a tractor, or at least a bobcat into every run. Be sure your paddocks have shelters that can be readily cleaned by tractor. Develop a plan in advance for dealing with manure - it will build up quickly. If you can keep it clean, maybe on a cement pad, it will be easier to get dried and gone. See what gardeners in your area want in manure for fertilizer - it's easier to get rid of if you can use bedding that makes people want it. Remember, you can't have too many hydrants!!
Thank you Patricia--you're right in that drainage is important--I don't want any hand dug ditches on my facility smile.gif

Does anyone know if it is possible to incinerate manure--how do you take care of disposing of manure for 50-100 horses?

Tractors are important too...need to look at the prices on those.

What do you mean by you can't have too many hydrants? By hydrants do you just mean hoses?

Ah, I also want a misting system in place too.

There's a phenomenal facility here in the Kansas City area. Take a look at and click on "Barn Pictures." That should give you some ideas!
This is more in the relm of the finishing touches...I strongly advise against automatic waterers unless they have a guage on them to tell you the horse's water consumption. These autowaterers can really cause huge problems if you cannot monitor the intake. Also, not many places do this anymore but a long chute about 300-500' long will really be a blessing for you. Lasma had one they used to trot their horses in, a larger one can be used for freejumping to develop the horses in conditioning programs. Another thing I always like to see is a training track. It only has to be about a quarter mile or so but this is a godsend when jogging horses or ponying to leg them up.

It sounds like a great facility in the making. I can't wait to see what you do with it!
How large are the indoor arenas and outdoor arena going to be? If your going to seperate the indoors by discipline, it'd probably be best to do more than one outside arena as well. English riders may want to jump, the western riders may want to practice reining or cutting moves (perhaps building an arena suitable for team penning/cutting/reining) would be a good idea? The reason I say this is because not everyone will want to ride in an indoor arena, especially if they plan on showing, a lot of places are outside. Heat & air conditioning for the indoors is a good idea.

I agree about automatic waterers, bad idea. While they seem like a good idea, IMO, they aren't. You can't tell how much water they are drinking and automatic wateres are much more difficult to clean, unless you shut the water off and have some form of draining mechanism on each one, algae grows in them, dirt gets in them and you may be able to scrub it, but you won't be able to get it all out of there (it automatically re-fills as you try and scoop water, dirt & algae out with your hand). Just a thought.

In the barn, fly systems, fans, air conditioning and heat are also a nice idea, have swing out feed doors.

Hot walkers for cooling a horse out or for exercise are nice (be sure to fence in around it if it's not the type thats already enclosed). I also like the idea of an exercise track. Hot & cold washracks are good.

TACK ROOMS, individual tack rooms for people, one per boarder (or per stall) with lights and an outlet.

Lots of plugs to be able to use clippers, etc easily. Have the outdoor arena lighted (12-15 feet tall), the whole property having lights would be nice as well. There are never too many places to tie horses.

Hmm...I could go on and on with things to do, it's nice to dream...LOL! Hope you have fun coming up with ideas and seeing it built!
Dear Marsina

Sounds great. Now tell me, what do you want to spent/ 1-4 million?
What you want would take a fortune to build and a fortune to maintain. So tell us first, what is the spending intention, and than may be some of us can advise you further.

Have a nice evening
Hansi biggrin.gif
I forgot to add that putting the barn at a higher level then the rest of the land may also help with poor weather, incase it ever floods, etc.

Thank you Teri for all the ideas you gave...I forgot about the hot walkers..oh my goodness how could I have ever forgotten about those!!

Do you really think that the individual tack rooms are a good idea...perhaps the 50 stall barn would allow for enough space to do this...I'm thinking it sounds like a good idea.

Fans will be something to look at also...but I'm going to stay away from the automatic fly systems for right now...I don't know about all the pesticides.

Awesome ideas...thank You!!

This is literally the chance of a lifetime. I am interested in having state of the art facility...price is not an option...Please let me know what your thoughts for a barn are.
Hi Marsina,
At the facility I boarded at in California, not everyone had their own tack room, but if there was one available, they charged an extra $10.00/month for it.

They had some of the tack rooms as their own buildings, or added on to the side of the barn.

The main reason why I like the idea of everyone having their own tack room is because I always here people complaining and getting upset that their tack was stolen, or other things of theirs were being used without permission, in your own tack room space, this is not possible. I loved having my own tack room, it made it so I didn't have to worry about anyone taking anything, or, I wouldn't have to bother packing allmy tack, grooming supplies, etc in my vehicle every time I went to the barn. Doesn't need to be large. In the one I had, I could fit three saddles (top to bottom), both sides of the tack room had hooks to hang tack, and shelves along the top. Definately didn't mind paying the extra $10.00 a month for it!

In what way (shape) are you wanting to build the barn? Is it going to be something where there are stalls on both sides, stalls in the middle and aisleways inbetween the three? Oh, one thing I've noticed lately when people have asked about how big to make the aisleways, a lot of people said they would make them larger than 12feet wide, gives you more room to be able to drive things through it. Ventilation and insulation will be key, depending on your climate (not sure where you are).

The place I was at there also had showers for the boarders to use if they wanted, I never used it, some other people did...It's something that some like a lot and others could care less about, frankly, as long as there is a bathroom, I'm happy.

Is this facility going to be doing any breeding? If yes, breeding facilities may be a good idea as well as foaling stalls.

What sized horses are you going to be accomodating? A large horse may be uncomfortable in a 12x12.

Are you making this plan for yourself or drawing it up for someone else? biggrin.gif
al sana'a
sounds great. If you need someone for all the works with the horses and some experience just tell me. I really would like to work for you !!!!
Dear Marsina

Well now, that is different. I will ad to your ideas and that of other posters when I get back middle of next week.
What you intend to do, sounds great. We need something like this in eery country. so let's win the lotto and then donate the money.

Hansi biggrin.gif
Hi Marsina,

You may want to contact Tucalota Creek Ranch in California. I saw a brief piece about it on America's Horse and it's quite the place (often referred to as a "spa" for horses).

I can only imagine what the initial contruction costs were and what the overhead is like in maintaining a place like that - but if $$$ isn't an issue, great!

Tucalota Creek Ranch
39560 East Benton Road
Temecula, CA 92592
909-302-8719 phone

Good luck!

Hi Marsin,

Just one tip, spend money on fire resistant electrical wireing.

I wish you all the best in your projected venture.

Bob cool.gif cool.gif cool.gif
wow, wouldn't we all love to be designing this facillity! biggrin.gif you will require an isolation unit for sick horses and new arrivals. if you intend holding events basic stabling or pens for visiting equines may be useful. 12' x 12' stables are too small for large horses or those spending many hours stabled imo. you will want plastic or rubber kickboards lining the metal walls. cool.gif
Thanks everyone--Al Sana'a I'll let you know what areas I need help in as things progress closer.

Also, does everyone feel the "need" for hot walkers at a boarding facility? I guess maybe there should just be one in case people use them...sorry, I have never really used on yet so I wasn't sure about the need.

Awesome idea about the personal tack room...I've fit it into my barn design and they will be air conditioned (climate controlled) so that everyone's expensive leather saddles don't get moldy/ruined, or their ointments all gooey in the heat!

Also what does everyone think about the indoor arena with this a must or a future addition? At first I was planning to have two indoor arenas, but I'm not sure if that's just going to raise my expenses with heating and cooling, and honestly the weather isn't that bad here in Texas with exception to the heat which I'm thinking might be alieviated by misters or just a very "airy" design. I'm also looking at the different riding surfaces so that there will be no dust.

Keep the great ideas/suggestions coming biggrin.gif
I would say that hot walkers are NOT a necessity for boarders, I *always* hand walk my horses when cooling them out, same for when they get a bath, though I *did* use hot walkers when I was younger. Trainers will often use them if they cannot cool out each horse on their own (time consuming).....overall, I'd say it really depends on who might need them. If you'd like to cut costs a little, don't worry about the hot walker, it's really not something you need.

laugh.gif I've never in my life seen an arena with mirrors, so, I of course would say "Save the cost as an upgrade later on if there is enough demand for it." The only people *i've* heard use the mirrored arenas are dressage riders? Could be very wrong about this though.... I really don't see them as a necessity and surely, not having them won't send many boarders packing.... tongue.gif biggrin.gif
Hey Marsina,

If you are planning to have serious dressage riders in your barn you need mirrors. Not sure about how dressage is done in America
but here in Europe/Germany that would be an absolute "must have"!

Hope that helps.
Your plan sounds great - keep us updated on this, it is very interesting to hear people's different opinions and suggestions.

Both my wash areas and vetting areas have pull down electrical outlets similar to what you see in an auto mechanics shop---this keeps them out of the way of missprayed water and they are on tracks so the vet can just plug in her equipment where she needs it.

An exhaust system for the stable----they are placed high on the wall and come on periodically to pull amonia etc out.

12 feet of head clearance is great--it's hard to find a rearing horse that cn pop his poll on a roof that high. The builder will grumble, but who cares.

Thrill your vet----call them in and ask wht they would like to see in 'their ' area and how they would wish one were laid out. One note: avoid veterinary colleges---I tried asking the academics and their requests were impractical. Ask the vets who work 'in the trenches'.

Feed room with under-counter pull out feed storage bins. More than one set of diital scales for weighing--speeds things up. Add a small cooler in there---some supplements need to be kept chilled.

If you can't have a small isolation building for sick horses, have an enclosed stall built, with a sleeping closet next door, so you will not have to camp in the stall unless necessary. My isolation stall is stark because the walls are cement block, but this makes decontamination easy ----just scrub the walls down with antimicrobials and you are ready for the next guy.

Aisles can never be too wide--get them as wide as you can afford without sacrificing stall size.

There can never be too much natural light (imho). Windows placed near the roof in the center aisle helps bring in light,and if you could get the kind that opens with a pole attachment, it will help circulate air and keep heat form building near the cealing. Some windows used for green houses are ideal for this---they are on a thermostat and open automatically when the air reaches a set temp.

Arenas, cross country runs, etc: there are a number of professional designers out there who do a beautiful job while making sure the footing is prepared in a way that will delay erosion. Arena construction seems to be a science in and of itself---some arena footing begins eighteen inches below the ground--using gravel, clay, sand, then ground rubber.

All for now,

PS the neatest new stalls I've seen have a movable wall between two stalls. You can have two 12X12 stalls, or fold the inner wall to the back and have one 12X24--nice for foaling or a visiting stallion.
Thank you so much Becca!

Bea I found a covered arena with mirrors on the sides so I am looking into that. I just didn't want to have to do an indoor arena and heat/cool it if I could have mirrors in a covered arena and I think I found my solution...I also kinda agree with you that they are a necessity for dressage...people need to be able to see what they look like on the horse, and what the horse looks like on the ground imho.

Becca you gave me lots of suggestions...great stuff!! I am asking my vet's suggestion on the vet area since as you stated, they are the ones who are going to use it!

Also aisleways will be 16 feet wide...I think that's a good size and air circulation is a must!

Keep the ideas coming...I'm getting close to my final plan smile.gif
I would vote hands down for mirrors instead of hot walkers if I had to make the choice. I don't know of too many dressage barns that are equipped with hot walkers; and if they are, if they're not used much. Mirrors would be very high on my list of amenities...but you must consider that horses should not be turned out in an arena with glass mirrors--unless you have some way of covering them (sliding doors or something similar). You will want to use real glass...not the stuff that starts to distort when you're two feet away from it.

A "fire escape" arrangement is also a good idea...doors on both the front and back of the stall with those in back opening out into a paddock.
Dear Marsina,

Way to go, girl! If you can dream it, you can make it happen.

I echo Bob and Edna's advice regarding fire safety.

You've received lots of helpful info. May I strongly suggest that your feed, i.e. hay, grain, bedding, etc., be stored SAFELY in a SEPARATE building--a good distance from wherever you may have horses stabled. Fire is the most dreaded event for any horse person, and no matter how diligently one prepares for such an unthinkable event, when it happens, it tests your sensibilities and reactions to the limit.

Safeguarding horses from fire should be your highest "safety" priority. I just recently read a heart-breaking article about a couple who lost 25 horses in a hellish barn fire in February in Florida. I've known people who've lost their beloved horses in fires and they still periodcally deal with usettling thoughts.

Your facilitity sounds like it could be state-of-the-art. Be prepared to have a BIG (as in large, gigantic, humongous) budget.

Just do your homework with regard to research on architecture, type of soil, climate, weather, insects, etc., etc. Get bids from reputable companies for all construction and preferably, get endorsements by previous clients. Contact some of the large Thoroughbred breeding farms in Kentucky. Contact the successful Arabian breeding farms throughout the Middle East.

Here in the states, one of the larger, more palacial facilities is Ventura Farms in California. I understand it is beautiful and quite functional there. Never be too quick to act. Take your time and educate yourself. Nothing takes the place of knowledge. Give thought to ways the farm could be self-sustaining. Grow your own hay. If it's really well laid out, you could hold horse shows, demonstrations, etc. and. Make it pay for itself somehow.

Good luck, Marsina!

Yeah! I echo another member's comment...I'd be delighted to come aboard and be your bloodstock agent and marketing director. I'm reasonable, too!


wink.gif wink.gif
Beccaguest...that is a wonderful idea that your barn has with the retractable outlets.
Well Marsina, you got so many good advices.

Mine is, NEVER EVER get a builder, who is not EQUINE BUILDING oriented, unless you yourself can give adequate instructions and supervise from the bottom to the top, like you would judge a horse.
When you are done, please invite me to see it all. I would like that.

Good luck
Hansi biggrin.gif
Thank you everyone for the continued knowledge that you are sharing with me...completely priceless information smile.gif

I acknowledge the seperate feed room idea Susan...I am not having any rascally horses get loose or even have the chance to be overfed--not in my barn! Your idea about stall openings on the outside is a good reminder for me as well...I want lots of exits.

Thank you Hansi for your input as well, I am hoping and praying that you and your farm were safe through the storm.

I am very close to a final idea of what I want and I will keep you all updated. My dream will be manifesting itself on the ground soon and I will of course invite all of you smile.gif
"putting the barn at a higher level then the rest of the land may also help with poor weather, incase it ever floods, etc."

I read that the house (and water supply) should be at the highest point. If not, the manure, urine, etc. can drain toward the drinking water supply.
Need additional information--original barn will be written up for 50 horses---who out there has 50 horses in their barn and would you mind letting me know (either on forum or via e-mail) how many bags of feed/cost, bales of hay/cost, shavings/cost you go through per month? I need these figures for my proposal!! I've thought out a few figures already, but there's nothing like asking the experts!!

My e-mail is if you prefer to send the info via e-mail

Thank You smile.gif
Still working on the research for this facility...plans are coming along well.

If anyone would be able to share with me the monthly expenses I need to take into consideration for the 50 horses that will be boarded at this center I would appreciate your information. I'm looking for expense amounts regarding feed, hay, electricity, staff, office expenses, anything I haven't thought of, etc. on a monthly basis.

The facility has 50-stalls, 50 personal tack lockers (climate controlled), lounge, two covered arenas with mirrors and viewing areas, two covered round pens, outside turnouts/paddocks on 100-200 acres so far.

Also, if anyone has thought of anything else they would add to their "Wish List" for a barn/boarding facility please let me know.

Thank You smile.gif
Any other suggestions or help?
Here are very rough estimates of what I have so far...please let me know what expenses I am missing (this will be a boarding facility) or what amounts are incorrect. I'm also trying to find a good insurance company so I can get a quote on how much that will be...I know I'm still missing some obvious things...what are they?

I think that instead of personal tack rooms, a large, environmentally controlled room, with saddle lockers would be great. Each boarder could have a large padlocked locker that could hold 2 to 3 saddles, bridles and anything else. They could go floor to ceiling and about 3 feet wide. If they could be locked, then it secures each boarder's tack.

The facility sounds great and I hope you keep all of us posted on its progress....

As far as the tack room go, it would depend on if you plan on having trainers and their horses or all individual. I'm not sure about how many, but I'd have at least 2 good size rooms. Trainers will want somewhere to keep their tack and you will probably want a room of your own. You could offer tack trunks to the individual boarders as part of the board.

You may also want specific housing for studs. And if you think breeding might be going on, breeding equipment as well (dumby mare, lab, etc to allow shipping.

An area designated for hoof trimming and shoeing.

Some stalls set up to handle sick or injured horses.

Just some thought...can't wait to hear how it comes along.

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