Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Future Barn: Part 3


Doesn't this look like such an idyllic turnout situation?

Of course it's a little overkill in my situation becaue I'm not planning on having that many horses. But I would like to have a couple individual grass paddocks, a group pasture, and one or two dry paddocks.

There are so, so many options for horse fencing and each have their benefits and drawbacks. The two options that I like the best are:

The left is a high tensile, no climb wire with metal t-posts. These t-posts are all capped for safety and have a vinyl rail along the top for visibility. The design on the right is High Tensile Polymer by Centaur. I really like this because it won't break or splinter and will absorb any impact. It's highly visible. I have seen it at several nice barns and really like it. I don't know if I would just use the HTP for the outside perimeter and then use the wire to divide it into smaller paddocks. But I do like the aesthetics of the white fence, though I've also seen it in black and it looks very nice. At least black wouldn't show dirt as much...


For footing in high traffic areas, such as entrances to the barn and pastures, as well as in the turnouts, I like the idea of the grid design, like this EcoGrid,  that helps improve drainage.

I'm not sure how well it works, but in theory it sounds good. I would use a fine, packed gravel for turnouts as well or instead of because that will last quite a while and help with drainage as well. Having good gutters and runoff water use will help prevent muddy situations and perhaps I can recycle the rain water in my own horse watering systems.

For the indoor and outdoor arena there are a couple options. The first is a crumb rubber mixed with sand. I really like this footing and have had good experiences with it. I rode in an outdoor with this footing and even though it was super wet out I loved this footing. It has very minimal dust and is nice and springy. ProStride is one of many companies that makes this rubber footing. It's also good for the environment because most often it is made using recycled tires!

Then there's this combination footing. It is used at a lot of the top horse show facilities and uses fiber, rubber, sand and wax to make the "perfect" footing. I've never ridden on it, but I know a similar footing was used for the World Equestrian Games and it seems to be pretty nice stuff. Below is just one example, made by TravelRight.

TravelRight indoor arena footing at the National Horse Show in NY
For the stall aisles I like the rubber pavers, like these Pavesafe pavers, because they look really nice and are easier on the legs than just concrete. I will probably concrete the whole barn floor because it's easiest and will last long without getting any dips or holes. The stall will be matted with rubber mats.

The only downside to pavers is that they're harder to clean, so a yard vacuum might be necessary.

As for stall walls, it seems that white or red oak is popular because it's a harder wood that will last longer than pine. Red oak is poisonous to horses, but they won't eat it because of its bitter taste. Cottonwood also seems to be good because it is super strong.


  1. You are obviously planning on being quite rich :)

    I know of someone here in NY who spent $15K on those vinyl fences only to have them sag under the snow after one winter. After they were all stretched out there was no way to fix them. There went a ton of money down the tubes.

  2. Yes, if I could I would most definitely have a lot of money and then spend it all on my horsies :) If only it grew on trees...

  3. Vinyl fencing has quickly become one of the preferred fencing choices amongst builders and homeowners for its durability and clean look. It has the ability to look great for extended periods of time with little maintenance.

    Toronto Fences