by American Stalls August 30, 2021
As horse owners, we always work hard to create the best environments for our horses. That means we think long and hard about every decision that impacts our horses' health and safety. When it comes to the safety, one of the best places to start planning is your barn aisle.
The barn aisle is a great place to start when you want to optimize safety and efficiency in your barn. After all, your barn aisle is the main area for traffic for both horses and humans. In this article, we would like to share 4 simple tips to consider when thinking about your barn's aisle way.
Invest in a Wide Aisle
This first tip is particularly those who are building a new barn or planning construction in the future. A wider aisle will likely increase the cost of the barn building due to materials, but it is invaluable for efficiency, safety, and aesthetics.
It is common to see narrow aisles in older structures, but we always recommend a minimum aisle width of 10'-12' for private equine facilities. This recommendation though is driven by a number of factors. This includes your barn's overall size, the barn's purpose, the types of horses, and other factors. For example, it may make sense to consider a 14' to 16' wide barn if you are operating a commercial facility (i.e. training, boarding, or show venue).
Organize & Minimize
It's easy to add clutter to any barn – whether it's a personal hobby barn or a large training facility. Clutter exists in many forms such as cleaning tools, tack lockers, unhung horse blankets. If you are building a new barn, it pays dividends to invest in a well-planned tack room, laundry room, grooming stall, and appropriate wash bays. This ensures that each barn function has a place.
In addition, we recommend to invest into storage options for your cleaning tools and horse tack. This recommendation applies to existing barns and new barns alike. For example, well-placed blanket bars and bridle hooks are an easy and elegant way to organize tack upon horse stall fronts. Additionally, you may invest in well-made horse tack lockers or potentially even dedicate an extra stall for additional storage.
Invest in Quality Flooring & Drainage
As horse owners, we have all been in barns with slick, slippery floors. The common denominator is often poorly laid concrete or old rubber mats that have lost their grip. Similar to your arena's footing, your horse barn's flooring is crucial to a safe environment for both horses and human handlers.
Your barn's aisle should include flooring that is durable – while offering plenty of grip. Our strong recommendation for barn aisles is either rubber pavers or interlocking rubber mats. We recommend against straight-edge rubber mats as they shift and move. Our rubber pavers and interlocking mats will maintain their shape while offering your barn plenty of traction during wet and dry conditions.
Lastly, drainage is essential to any barn aisle – whether you have concrete floors or additional product such as rubber pavers. Regardless of the flooring, we always recommend clients to place multiple drains along the aisle and any cross aisles. This will ensure that aisle healthy, but also dry and safe.
Add Visibility Through Lighting
Visibility is key in the barn - both during the day and night time. For this reason, we always recommend agriculturally-rated LED lights along your barn's aisle way. Additionally, windows or Dutch Doors are a great way to bring in more light into the horse stalls and aisle from the exterior. Lastly, we always recommend clients to work with a general contractor, builder, or architect who can add skylights to their roofing.
This added sunlight not only improved visibility, but also promotes a healthy and clean environment.
Do you have additional questions on how you potentially optimize your barn? Our team of experts is here to help guide you every step of the way. Please kindly feel free to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or a call at (855) 957-8255. Alternatively, you can also complete a Contact Us Form.