Convenience is the key to running an efficient and organized horse stable. Any process or tool that simplifies chores saves time and reduces strain.
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Colorado-based architect Heather E. Lewis, AIA, NCARB, consults with stable owners and other equine facility owners to design barns that are easy to work in. In this article, ere she shares four low-budget ideas that can be incorporated into existing stables or included in new buildings.
Use Exterior Dutch Doors
A lot of barns have exterior doors on each stall. Splitting a solid door into two-sections is a simple retrofit, Lewis said.
“Opening just the top gives horses the opportunity to have fresh air and sunlight without necessarily being out,” she said
Install Hand Sanitizers
Many stables don’t have bathrooms with plumbing. Wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers are available at big box stores and from a variety of janitorial supply companies.
“A Purell station is a nice convenience to have, and it’s possible to purchase the auto-dispensing models used at museums and hospitals,” she said.
Organize Hand Tools
Manure forks, shovels and brooms are often stored leaning against a wall. This can create a cluttered appearance and make it difficult to find tools if they are not returned to their proper place.
“Mop racks are available at any janitorial supply company or even on Amazon,” Lewis said. “Installing the racks close to the places the tools will be used keeps things organized.”
For barns that regularly have new horses coming in and/or has a sick horse, storage racks make it clear that certain tools are only to be used on certain stalls. This helps limit the spread of contagious diseases.
Simplify Blanket Storage
Blanket storage is a common problem at barns Lewis visits. People tend to wad blankets up and stuff them over a rack.
“Blanket racks that swing out make it easier to store bulky blankets,” she said. “If using this style of rack, it’s important to establish a protocol that they are always stored in the closed position for safety.”