Having a proper horse stall is a basic element to owning a horse. A stall must hold the animal securely, while giving ample room for movement and even space to lay down. Air ventilation and floor material are also important considerations that can have a direct impact on the physical condition of your horse. For this reason, many horse owners prefer to use professional building plans that already have these concerns figured out. Building a horse stall is not as difficult as it sounds, once you have been pointed in the right direction.
Start With a Barn
Horse stalls are traditionally built inside barns. In some cases, the barn is constructed specifically to house a number of horse stalls. In other cases, the barn may have been designed with another purpose in mind, but also includes a horse stall. In either event, it is important for the horse stall to be built in an indoor environment where the area will remain warm and dry. If you do not already have a barn, it is important to find plans for building the entire structure, not just the stalls.
Size of the Stall
The size of the stall is a delicate balance between having enough room for the horse to be comfortable and not using up so much space that the rest of the barn seems crowded. Many old-style horse stalls, such as what can be found on a farm, measure 5 feet by 6 feet. Although a horse stall that size can technically hold a horse, it is not recommended for use, particularly as a long-term holding area.
Professional horse barns typically have stalls no less than 12 feet by 12 feet, with larger sizes being preferred if there is room for them. The stalls can be made of either metal or wood, although most use wood because it is easier to work with. Building the walls as slats (large spaces between each board) will detain the horse while also allowing for ample air flow in the horse stall.
Bedding and Padding
Determine if you would like to use a mat to pad the bottom of your horse stall. This is particularly important if your barn has concrete floors. Standing on hard surfaces can damage the horse's joints, particularly the knees and ankles. Using a thick rubber pad on the floor of the stall will absorb the shocks that are generated when the horse moves.
Bedding is also important because it absorbs urine and keeps the horse dry. Hay, saw dust and bedding pellets are all options that can be used. Whichever option you decide on, the bedding should be at least 8 inches thick throughout the stall. Soiled bedding should be replaced each day.
Jerry Garner has been writing semi-professionally for more than 15 years. The body of Garner's work includes informative articles, news and current events and historical essays. He is an avid sports fan and frequently writes about outdoor activities online.