October 25, 2023

10 things to think about when building your own horse stable

Hey there, horse enthusiasts! Let’s spill the hay—living the equestrian dream can be a tad pricey. If you are looking into your options for building your own horse stable, you may be wondering how you can effectively and safely cut costs in order to comply with a smaller budget. No worries; many equestrians have been in your shoes. Here are 10 things to think about when you want to build your own horse stable … on a budget. 

Of course, a good stable comes with a cost. It needs to be sturdy, spacious, comfortable, and safe for both you and your horses. Make sure to plan ahead and calculate the costs before your dream taks over. If you are planning to build a stable for your horses, here are 10 key factors you need to consider:



🏰  Stable sizes 

One of the first things you should decide when designing and building a stable is the size. How many horses you own, or plan to own, will play a big part here. The more horses you have, the more space you need.
The boxes should be roomy and large enough for your horses. The stable dimensions should be adjusted depending on your horses’ size and how much room they will require to turn around, lie down, and get up comfortably. Generally, you can count 3.5m x 3.5m for 1 horse. It is also essential to consider the ceiling height; the average height should be around 2,75 meters or more. 

✏️  Drawings

It is a necessity to get your thoughts and horse stable design ideas down onto paper in the shape of a design drawing. Initially, you can do this yourself with paper & pen, but when you employ the services of a company to build your stable, then a more formal drawing can be required. If you choose a Mocha stable, you can already download the floor plans and start from there to make your drawing: a real time saver! 

📜  Planning Permission

Like any other building, you will need planning permission from your local planning authority to build a stable. Not doing so can result in quite costly enforcement actions and can even lead to your building’s demolition. Feel free to use one of the Mocha stable floor plans to obtain your building permission. 

🪵 Material

Wood or steel, that’s the question. From a maintenance and durability standpoint, steel-framed stables might be your preferred choice, especially when horses are your profession. They last longer and don’t need periodic painting or staining. The boarding is usually weather-resistant and materials such as recycled plastic are used to point out metal stables. 

However, wooden stables have become very popular with horse owners for many reasons: 

  • The equestrian lifestyle is all about the love of nature. Wood carries the lowest carbon footprint of any building material and is a natural resource, meaning it is economically feasible and easy to access. 
  • You can make them as beautiful as you like. If the stable is part of your garden or attached to your house, you want it to look nice and bring value to your property. If you care about design, a solid wooden structure is the way to go! 
  • Last, but not least: wooden stables are cheaper than metal-framed stables, especially when you start from a Mocha plug & build solution. 

🏗️  Foundations

Let’s start at the start. A nice level base makes a big difference as a starting point to a successful outcome to your stable build. Concrete is the most common base used for construction, a smooth flat concrete pad is our recommendation.

🪟 Windows

Windows are the best natural ventilation and are a great way to let the sunlight into your stable. Your stable will require windows that provide adequate airflow to your stable without causing a draught as found with basic hinged and sliding windows.

🚪 Stable Doors

When choosing a door for your stable, you need to make sure that they are safe and easy to use. There are various stable doors available on the market, with swinging and sliding doors being the most common. In either case, there should be secure latches that are not easy for the horse to undo, which may cause a possible safety and health hazard for the horses and the stable itself. They do need to open easily and smoothly though, as sticky doors can waste precious moments in an emergency. Swinging doors should always open out into the walkway and be kept shut at all other times. Sliding doors should slide smoothly. We recommend that where possible doors should be at least 1.2m wide. 

🐎 Flooring

A horse’s leg and foot conditions are vastly affected by the type of flooring you choose for your stable. When choosing the right flooring, you will want to think about materials, maintenance work required, subfloor construction, drainage features, what is comfortable and safe for your horses, and of course your budget. The most commonly used flooring in stables is concrete, as it is very durable and easy to clean. It can be slippery though and over time it will be of more benefit to your horses if you use rubber stable mats on top of the concrete.

💡 Lighting 

Lighting is once again crucial to everyone’s safety, especially in winter A dark stable is not only unsafe for both you and your horses, but it also creates an unpleasant environment, especially in winter. The lighting you choose should be cool burning, meaning it shouldn’t generate a lot of heat as this can be hazardous. All lighting and wiring should be installed with safety in mind. Check what type of lighting is recommended for outdoor use in your area. Ideally, there should be safety cages around your light bulbs, and they should be placed where inquisitive horses can’t reach them. Similarly, all light switches should be well out of reach of curious horses. Try to arrange your light fixtures so there is a minimum of dark or shadowed areas. Work areas, tack, and feed rooms should be well-lit for safety.

🐴 Watering and Feeding 

Obviously, your horse will need access to water, even when you are not there. Buckets are fine, but these can tip over
potentially leaving your animal with no water source. Automatic water drinkers might offer a great solution. Hay nets can be used in stalls to ensure that your horse has a fresh supply of food to graze on when you are not there. For safety reasons, your hay store should be kept in a separate building from where your horses are housed. 

Good luck with the planning and construction of your horse stable. Take the 10 key factors above into account during the process and, if you choose a Mocha design, we look forward to seeing the result! 


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