Important factors when considering siting are:
- The Sun. Familiarize yourself with the path of the sun and how
it changes with the seasons - the area you find shaded
at the time of planning may be exposed at another time of year.
Hint: for row stables, avoid facing them directly into the
afternoon sun. Paddock shelters should where possible face east
as a first preference, north as a second.
- Prevailing winds. Again, familiarize yourself with where your main
winds come from during different times of the year and plan
the siting to provide the least impact from winds and rain. Hint:
site to prevent prevailing winds and rain to the front of your row
complex or end breezeway doors.
• Terrain - slope of the land and excavation. Significant cutting and
filling has a cost factor - additional costs for excavation,
footings, retainer walls, the input of drainage, etc.
• Drainage - carefully site the complex to reduce drainage requirements
• Access - the siting of your stable complex must provide the maximum
efficiency for the movement of horses, personnel and
- access for vehicles, parking, floating and the layout of adjoining roadways
- location of the stable complex in relation to the main house, office, other
horse facilities (arenas, round yards), paddocks,
day yards, manure pits, etc
- deliveries of feed, bedding, etc and the removal bedding, manure, etc to
Good planning, allowing ease of movement, reduces time and labour
A wide range of building materials is available for the construction of horse
• Concrete wall panels are now the most popular choice
for both large and small complexes, wash bays, round yards, manure pits,
etc. The external wall panels and the breezeway fronts of stables are painted
in colours to suit your colour scheme. The internal stable walls
are usually left unpainted. The concrete wall panels provide the least maintenance
and provide a healthier all-round choice. The cost
of using our concrete wall panels for your stable complex is only marginally
more than a standard colorbond exterior with internal
• Colorbond external walls with timber lined stables
in a range of timbers.
• All timber external walls (treated pine/cedar) with
timber lined stables, again in a range of timbers. This choice is more costly
than using concrete walls or colorbond/timber lined.
• Weathertex (a man made weatherboard, long lasting
and more durable than timber). A low maintenance but a more
• A combination of any of the above.
The industry standard for a horse stable is 3.65m x 3.65m (or 12ft x 12ft)
but, with larger horses, clients may prefer a larger box, say 3.65m x 4.2m,
4.2 x 4.2m, or any other variation of sizes. Larger stalls are required for
foaling or stallion bays. Wash bays are generally 3.65m x 3.65m. Feed and
tack rooms can be sized to suit, but are generally 3.65 x 3.65m for each bay.
Decide whether you require a combined feed/tack or for them to be separate.
Some people do not like the possible dust from the feed getting into their
tack and so they have a separate, lockable tack room. Breezeways are generally
3.6m wide (12ft). Verandahs to breezeway style barns for aesthetics can either
be a roof extension or a verandah with posts of about 2.4m. Both these give
added protection if using windows or rear swing access doors. A verandah to
the front of a row form is also generally 3.6m as a narrow verandahs to row
complexes do not provide adequate space to groom and saddle up without part
of the horse being exposed to the weather.
A round yard is generally 15m wide in diameter.
4 Floor Plan
Firstly, establish your requirements for your stable complex:
• How many stables are needed?
• Do you require any foaling bays or stallion boxes?
• What other facilities do you require: wash bay, lock-up tack room,
feed room, separate tie-up areas, hay storage, other
storage areas, float storage, vet room or crush area, workshop,
staff room, kitchenette, laundry, toilet, office, accommodation, etc.
Once determined, this will give you an indication of what best
floor plan will suit. For smaller complexes, row form are less costly,
but with 6 bays and beyond, an L-shape or breezeway complex may be preferable
and more functional.
Some stable complex options:
• Row form (no verandah or roof overhang)
• Row form with roof overhang to front
• Row form with large verandah to front (enables undercover protection
when saddling up, grooming, shoeing).
Row form complexes with a verandah: decide if you require the
verandah ends to be built in for additional protection from the weather
or to use part of the verandah as a wash bay or tie-up.
• Breezeway complex (with bays either side of a centre walk-through)
in which the centre breezeway is used for saddling,
grooming, tie-up, etc.
• L-shape complex.
• U-shape complex.
• T-shape complex.
• Back to back stables.
5 Roof Types
A zincalume roof (the plain silver colour) reduces the heat factor moreso
than a colorbond roof, however some Councils will only allow the use of colorbond
roofs. Check with your local Council as to their requirements. There are many
colorbond colours now available.
• Low loft
• High loft (with or without upstairs floor)
• Vented ridge roofline
• Standard gable
• Adjoining skillion roof sections to storage areas
• Standard gable
• A-line gable with skillion verandah
• Extended roofline
• Hip type
Clearlites - these provide
good light, but have a heat factor. For breezeway complexes, we recommend
that clearlites be installed over the breezeway section only of the complex
and not over the stables. Should clearlites be required to the stables, feed,
tack wash, etc, we suggest that one clearlite be placed in the roof at the
intersection of two bays - instead of one panel to each bay – this will
reduce the heat factor whilst still providing adequate light.
Consider what flooring you require for your stables and breezeway/verandah:
• Concrete slab
• Combination, etc.
• Wash bays to have drainage
7 Doors &
Windows – but not limited to:
Various options, for example:
• Swing, stable doors (internal): choice of a bottom solid door only
or twin swing doors (solid top or a grill or mesh upper door - with
or without yoke).
• Sliding, stable doors (internal): generally a solid lower section
with the top section in grill or mesh. The top section can be
with or without a yoke, or a swing section within the upper section
• Back access swing doors from the stable to day yards or laneways.
• Window opening for ventilation or to reduce boredom in the stabled
horses - with shutters and with or without grill or mesh panels.
• Criss-cross effect on external doors and shutters.
• Glass swing window with grill protector.
• Doors to breezeway ends can be either twin, sliding doors (colorbond
or timber) or a roller door. Swing doors are generally
not preferred, as these are hard to handle if the wind catches
• Roller doors to external of feed rooms or storage areas to allow external
Extras – but not limited to:
• Pull-out feeder doors to stable fronts – hay or grain doors
• Hay racks.
• Feeder bins.
• Auto waterers.
• Rug racks.
• Electricals - lights, double power points.
• Plumbing for hot and cold horse wash, taps, automatic waterers.