Choosing a Horse Stable Design for Your Backyard

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If you have decided to keep your horse on your property and will need to build a horse stable, you will need to first choose a horse stable design. There are a number of factors you will need to consider if you are a horse owner planning to build a horse stable. Here are several factors to keep in mind.

Standard Stall Size

An average size riding horse's (14 to 16 hands, or 56 to 64 inches) stall should be a minimum of 12 feet by 12 feet. If your horse is a mare or a foal, the stall size can be about the same, but some horse owners prefer to give more room to a mare or foal. Consider choosing a design with a double stall for your mare or foal, particularly if you plan to keep both mare and foal in the same stall. If you don't have a foal but plan to have one, consider a design that will give you the double stall right away, rather than later removing a partition between two standard stalls.

Tie Stalls

When building a tie stall for an average size horse, be sure to choose a design that will give your horse room to lie down. A stall of this design will be about 8 feet long and 5 feet wide. Keep in mind a hay manger for feeding your horse. In addition, you will need to install a tie beam strong enough to keep from breaking when your horse is tied to it. The beam should be high enough to keep the horse from getting his legs tangled in the tie rope.

Stall Doors

In choosing the doors in your prospective designs, you will have a choice between a door that swings and one that slides. If you choose the swinging door, be sure you choose a design that allows the door to swing outward to the alley. The typical door should be 4 ft wide or larger, depending on the size of your horse.

Stall Floors

Concrete floors are the most common and should be considered on the basis of their advantages and disadvantages.

By roughing the concrete when it is laid, the floor can be made to be less slippery for the horse to stand on. It will not be as easy to make non-slip floors of wood. Concrete floors are easier to clean and disinfect, especially if you plan to use a hose to flush the floor. Concrete floors can be harder on your horse's legs, but can be made softer by adding rubber or plastic mats for the horse to stand on.


You will no doubt want artificial lighting as well as natural lighting that comes from windows and open doors. If you live in a colder climate, and if your stable will not have a heating system, keep in mind that fluorescent lights do not work as well in colder temperatures as incandescent lights. Always choose the lighting system that keeps light fixtures out of the reach of your horse. Or, at least protect it by choosing the system that includes safety cages around lighting fixtures.