Horizon Structures Presents Series: Innovative Nature in Horse Barn Design

Dramatic view of barn interior with skylights and special interior design.
Dramatic view of barn interior with skylights and special interior design. Viktor Kochetkov

Newsdate: Thursday, September 30, 2021 - 11:35 am
Location: ATGLEN, Pennsylvania

One of the most enjoyable parts of planning a new horse barn is figuring out the design. All horse owners love their horses and want the best possible housing to accommodate their beloved equines’ needs.

A colorful Horizon Structures shedrow barn with shady overhang.

A colorful Horizon Structures shedrow barn with shady overhang

The innovative nature in horse barn design is often a meeting of minds between the horse owner and the barn builder and what may seem practical to a neophyte may not work when it comes to application of the design.
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Add in their own desires and wants to make the build extra special and individual to suit their taste and the design process can quickly become complex.

When a family welcomes a new member to their brood, much thought goes into the nursery design: the color on the walls; the furniture and its arrangement; and the future needs of the occupant. Preparing a nursery is a fun part of the pregnancy that heralds the baby’s imminent arrival.

For horse owners their equines are very much part of the family too. And equal care and attention goes into ensuring that their four-legged compatriots needs are met. What serves as a practical and purposeful design for one horse owner’s barn building needs may fall far short of the requirements for the horse barn for another.

Customizing a horse barn is about more than choosing colors and copper cupolas, siding selection and stall size. The floor plan has to match the specific needs of the horse owner’s horse keeping style.

The innovative nature in horse barn design is often a meeting of the minds between the horse owner and the barn builder. What may seem practical to a neophyte construction team may not actually work when it comes to application of the design.

Similarly a horse owner may not realize the implications of their customization ideas on the ease of daily use of the structure.

For example: Adding sliding doors on the long side of a building in a region that suffers winter snowfall will be subject to piles of shedding snow off the roof during winter months. This will result in a major headache gaining egress and ingress to the building.

Horse owners on the other hand usually have significant experience in specific and preferred methods of horse care. Some equestrians prefer maximum hours of turnout for their horses with free access to shelter while others prefer their equine charges be stabled in stalls with turnout times carefully monitored.

When the meeting of the minds occurs between an experienced construction company and a savvy horse owner, the collaboration can yield some stellar results.

A construction company that can easily accommodate full customizations in house, with professional draftsman on site to facilitate the plans and drawings and provide experience in engineering and materials available, offers an opportunity for the horse owner to go beyond the standard barn full of boxes.

Of course the designated (hopefully) Project Manager, has to be keen to develop new ideas and to ‘think outside the box’ both figuratively and literally. It is essential for the horse owner to keep a keen eye on the costs for changes to standard plans and to fully understand the implications, both pros and cons of changes they may put forth.

This liaison between horse owners and barn builder often produces sincerely great barn design features. Sometimes the modifications are simple. For example, a run-in shed of ample size might be fitted with a sliding front door, so that it can easily be used for hay storage. The door may also be used to secure a horse inside during adverse weather.

If you are contemplating a new barn don’t be shy to bring your own ideas to the table. Carefully select the building partner you want to work with to ensure they are both willing and able to accommodate your concepts for design.

Choose a company that already offers a myriad of barn styles that evidences their ability to build various barn designs. Their website should be comprehensive and full of resources and photos to inspire and educate you in the project.

It is also smart to seek a firm that has a full complement of experienced craftsman to build the barn plus a strong customer service team with the expertise to offer advice along the way. None of us know what we don’t know, and while we may have competence in horse care we may not realize the pitfalls/benefits of certain features or customizations in barn construction.

Designing your new horse barn should be fun and productive. Go ahead! Make your dream of owning a barn a reality. Between financing options, to the penny pricing and the instant nature of prefab/modular construction there are great options that minimize the stress of building a barn and maximize the enjoyment of purchasing it.

About Horizon Structures:  One horse or twenty, there's one thing all horse owners have in common...the need to provide safe and secure shelter for their equine partners.  At Horizon Structures, we combine expert craftsmanship, top-of-the-line materials and smart "horse-friendly" design to create a full line of sheds and barns that any horse owner can feel confident is the right choice for their horses' stabling needs.

All wood. Amish Made. Most of our buildings are shipped 100% pre-built and ready for same-day use. Larger barns are a modular construction and can be ready for your horses in less than a week. All our barn packages include everything you need -

Horizon Structures also sells chicken coops, equine hay feeders, greenhouses, dog kennels, 1 and 2 car garages, storage sheds and outdoor living structures and playsets.

Headquartered in South-Central Pennsylvania, Horizon Structures, LLC is owned by Dave Zook.  Dave was raised in the Amish tradition and grew up working in the family-owned shed business.  He started Horizon Structures in 2001 in response to an ever-increasing customer demand for high quality, affordable horse barns.

For additional information about the company or their product line, please visit their website at https://www.horizonstructures.com

About Nikki Alvin-Smith

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About the Author

Nikki Alvin-Smith

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As a Brit who has called the America home for the past 34 years, Nikki brings a unique perspective to the equestrian world. Nikki is also an accomplished Grand Prix dressage trainer/competitor, competing at international Grand Prix level to scores over 72% and is a highly sought clinician offering clinics worldwide. She has been a horse breeder/importer of warmblood and Baroque breeds for more than 25 years. Together with her husband Paul who is also a Grand Prix trainer, they run a private dressage breeding operation and training yard in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York.

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