When considering the size of any stabling the main criteria to consider is that the horse should be able to stand up and turn around without any difficulty, and lie down and roll easily and without risk of injury.
With that in mind it is equally important that adequate consideration is given to the type of horse to be stabled. That is the height of him, the length and the build.
Other factors such as the individual’s temperament and disposition, the duration of confinement, and other internal environmental factors such as the air flow, drainage and frequency of waste clearance.
The British Horse Society recommends a minimum stable size of 3.6m x 3.6m for horses, and preferably 4.2m x 3.6m for larger breeds.
For ponies the recommended minimum dimensions should be 3.0m x 3.0m and 3.0m x 3.6m for larger ponies. When considering the height of your stables, ideally you should be looking at a height between 2.7m and 3.3m.
Always ensure that the timber treatments used are animal friendly and no tanalised timber is used in the construction.
All horses and ponies kept at grass require an adequate and effective field shelter. They not only require protection from the cold, wet and windy winter weather, but they also require shelter during the summer to provide shade and protection from flies.
When considering what size field shelter you will need for your horse, size and temperament are important considerations here also.
A small pony will only require a 3.0x 3.6m shelter. Whereas larger horse would ideally require a 4.5m x 3.6m shelter as a minimum size to ensure a comfortable safe environment.
When two or more horses are sharing a field and shelter, I always feel it pays to have at least a 7.2m x 3.6m shelter that has two openings built into the front elevation with both openings being 2.1m wide.
By having a shelter with two openings with horses sharing that shelter and a more dominant horse is amongst that group, you may find, firstly a more timid horse will not be trapped inside the shelter as he can escape with ease and by the same token the more timid horse will not be kept from entering the shelter by that more dominant horse.
Consider having an overhang on the front of your shelter as not only is it more attractive but it will give that extra bit of weather protection. I have seen rain blowing across many a field almost horizontally on occasions, as I am sure you have too. So, as you can imagine that bit of overhang to the front elevation of your shelter will make all the difference to your horses.
It’s a common sense approach as to all things that is important, ensure your horse is comfortable and happy and I can guarantee you will be also.
The Stable Doctor
Advice is given without legal responsibility