What makes a good stable building?

Horses are social beings and are happiest out in the open where they can run around, spend time with their herd, and graze and forage in the field. However, there are times when a horse needs to be kept indoors for the good of their health, or to protect them from the elements. It is important to make their time inside enjoyable and comfortable to keep them happy and healthy, both physically and mentally. A good stable needs to be strong, secure, spacious, safe, and well designed to make caring for horses easier.

Planning the ideal stable design that complements both you and your horse’s daily routine requires a well thought out approach. Luckily, our 40+ years in the business means we know a thing two about what makes a stable function well.

If you are planning to upgrade or build a brand-new stable for your horses, here are the top factors you need to ponder:

Planning permission

Before building or upgrading anything, it is wise to check that you are allowed to do so. If you are thinking of building a permanent equestrian building, it is highly likely that you will need to seek permission from the planning officer. Your first port of call is to contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA) because they are responsible for deciding which projects can and cannot go ahead. Be prepared though, you may be in for a bit of a wait before you find out whether your application has been approved and you can go ahead and start works.

The planning permission process for stables can be complex, so always try and speak to a professional in the field.  At National Timber Buildings, we have a wealth of experience and knowledge in the planning arena and have lots of advice to share with you. Plus, we offer full drawings and elevations for your proposed building, free of charge.

We will, however, ask for a deposit, of 10% of the gross value of your proposed building which is fully refundable should you be refused planning permission. We can have drawings available to you within three working days.

Choosing quality materials will pay off in the long term

As members of Made in Britain, we are committed to guaranteeing you quality bespoke products and services. All our timber is fully Tanalised® to make sure it lasts you and your horse a lifetime. We make everything in-house and, therefore, we are able to quality check every single component. All our wood is sustainably sourced and is fifth graded or better, meaning it is of the very highest quality.

Stable doors designed for precision

Safety and security are never something you want to compromise on when it comes to loved ones. All our horse stable doors can be made to measure or standard size. Plus, our approach prioritises durability, using heavy duty materials such as galvanised metal fittings and pressure treated timber that helps extend the lifespan of your stable door and guarantees that it can withstand the impacts of daily use. If preferred, adjustable stable door hinges are not a problem if you are looking to reduce ongoing maintenance requirements and ensure practicality. We have a range of stable door styles to suit.

Get the flooring right

When choosing flooring, safety should be the number one priority, followed by its impact on the health of your horse, durability, and maintenance required. The floor material you choose will impact horses’ hooves, legs, and joints, so it’s important to get it right. Suitable stable flooring should be:

  • Easy to stand on and comfortable

Floors need to be comfortable for your horses to stand, walk, and rest on. A hard, cold, and damp surface can wreak havoc on a horse’s legs and overall health.

  • Dry and slip resistant

A slippery floor can be hazardous to both you and your horse. Plus, a damp surface is not only uncomfortable, but it can also attract flies, insects, and bacteria too. Overall, damp is a very unhygienic environment for all concerned.

  • Durable

Your chosen floor material needs to withstand pawing, as well as the wear and tear of daily life with horses.

  • Simple to maintain and clean

Easy cleaning good drainage will ensure a pleasant and healthy living space for your horse.

  • Good at dispelling odours

Nobody likes a whiffy living space, particularly with the amount of manure and urine that the stable will witness each day. Regular cleaning, good drainage, and a floor that doesn’t retain odours should solve the problem.

Concrete is the most common flooring we come across. It is very durable, easy to clean and very hard to damage.  It can be slippery, so textured concrete is a better option for stalls and aisles. If horses are kept in for extended periods, it is better for their legs if rubber mats are laid over the concrete. This makes it much more inviting for the horse to lay down and relax.

Able to let ample light and air in

Just like us, horses will reap tons of health benefits from having natural light flooding into the barn. Plus, indoor lighting is important from a safety perspective too, especially in the winter when it is darker for longer in the mornings and gets darker earlier in the evenings. Don’t forget, any lighting you have should be cool burning, caged, shatterproof, and bright enough that you can see clearly when working and socialising at the stables.

We can also ensure windows appearin the design of your stable where possible to ensure plentiful natural light finds its way in too. Ample ventilation will help with any lingering odours and, more importantly, will help prevent horses from developing any lung and breathing problems. Again, we will include adequate stable vents into your design for optimum airflow.

Let a professional take care of the design process for you…

We know how daunting getting the design and layout of your longed-for stable can be. Why not letour team of in-house designers take care of everything for you? Just tell us how many horses you need shelter for, any requirements or preferences you would like, and we will do the rest. If you already know what you wantit is not a problem, tell us and we’ll make it a reality. Find out more about our design process and how we might be able to help you.

National Timber Buildings Brochure