Barn Safety | By: American Stalls | Date on: 09/14/2022

Guest Post by our friends at GH2 Equine Architects.

Biosecurity, while obviously very important for veterinary facilities, should be a consideration in the design of every type of equine facility – from private barns to large event venues. While the design elements can change depending on the size of the facility and how often different horses are moving in an out, the basic principles remain the same:

Principle #1: Ventilation:

You didn’t think we could go more than a few posts without mentioning ventilation! Adequate ventilation, in addition to being beneficial for a horse’s respiratory system, also reduces ammonia levels and can help reduce the transmission of airborne illnesses.

There are so many ways to promote ventilation. Whether it is through mesh bottoms on stall fronts, ample exterior barn doors and windows, or the simple addition of horse stall fans. Pictured here is a barn that is the gold standard in ventilation – featuring all mesh stall fronts, Dutch doors, window shutters, large barn entry doors, and stall fans.

Principle #2: Quarantine Stalls

Dedicated Quarantine Stalls (or the option to isolate specific stalls, if needed) is key. Dedicated quarantine stalls are seen in veterinary facilities, large event facilities, and facilities that are often bringing in new horses (think sales or boarding facilities).

This allows new horses or horses that have been exposed or are ill to be isolated from the rest of the stall areas. At smaller, more private facilities, being able to separate and isolate a stall when needed is usually adequate. Quarantine stalls, at a minimum, should prevent any nose-to-nose contact between horses, which is why you often see photos of full-height walls in our veterinary facilities.

2 examples of full wood Horse Stall Partitions that can be used to create quarantine horse stalls. Left photo shows a full welded partition while the right photo shows a kit partition.

Principle #3: Easy-to-Clean and Non-Porous Surfaces:

Easy to Clean and Non-Porous Surfaces are key to success in any equine facility – big or small. The easier the surfaces are to clean, the less time it takes to disinfect stalls in between inhabitants. Surfaces should be durable and non-porous, such as the epoxy painted masonry, powder-coated stall fronts and windows, and poured-in-place rubber flooring (no seams!), to name a few.

Principle #4: Contained Manure Management:

Managing waste should be done in a manner that prevents manure and stall waste from spreading around a highly trafficked facility. Containing waste to a specific area, away from horse areas, and removing often reduces increased biohazard risk.

GH2 Equine Architects are the “Authority on Equine Design.” Their architects are active equestrians and facility users, providing further interaction and feedback from fellow users and industry leaders. They in turn, pass those benefits and knowledge to their clients. Please visit their website to learn more about their capabilities or view their project list here. Connect with GH2 Equine Architects on Facebook and Instagram as well.

  • Sign up
Lost your password? Please enter your username or email address. You will receive a link to create a new password via email.