As a loving horse owner, you may want a DIY horse stall to protect your animal from extreme weather elements like heat, cold, hail, rain, and snow.
You may, however, not be in a position to put up one due to a lack of knowledge and the know-how on where to start.
Whenever you think of constructing one, you’re left at crossroads, wondering what material you’ll need and the procedure.
In this article, I’ll discuss some great homemade horse stall ideas and the procedure to build one that I did myself.
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4 Homemade Horse Stall Ideas
You don’t have to use a lot of cash to make a decent dwelling place for your horse.
By following these cheap horse stall ideas, you’ll have saved enough to add other features to the stable.
#1 Stall Door Ideas
It’s essential to spend time making your horse stall door because they’re crucial. During your stall’s lifespan, you’ll open and close these doors thousands of times.
There are two basic types of stall doors:
- Sliding doors
- Hinged doors
Sliding Stall Doors
These doors are excellent if you want to save on space or minimize noise. The advantage of this feature is that it eliminates the possibility of spooking your horse, and they are usually more durable.
Since a dutch horse stall door swings, it can blow and close, accidentally banging into your horse, which can give it a fright.
Sliding doors come as either one piece that slides in one direction or two pieces that split in the middle and slide either way. Thus, they use minimal space than hinged stall doors that swing outside or inside.
Finally, sliding doors provide more safety as you can slide them easily and get your horse out. A Dutch horse stall door is more likely to get sticky. I’ve experienced this myself when the wood expands and contracts with temperature changes.
It often means that the hinged door has to be rehung at least once per year to fix this problem. A sliding door also ensures the door can be fully opened, making it less likely for your horse to catch itself on the outer edge going in and out.
However, a sliding door is likely to cost more and is more difficult to construct than a hinged door. And even though they make for fancier-looking horse stalls, many sliding doors prevent your horse from sticking its head out, which they love to do.
If your level of building expertise is limited, then it will probably be easier for you to start with hinged stall doors.
Hinged Stall Doors
Most horse owners use hinged stall doors when building a beautiful barn. These are attractive option for a horse property. Another name for these is a Dutch door.
They are easier to make and install and are also cheaper. This makes them a great idea for those looking to build horse stables themselves and for those with a smaller budget.
These doors are in two halves. The lower half comes to about the top of the horse’s chest and is where you place the latch. The top half is often left open and only closed in extreme weather.
Many people like to add cross boards on the outside of the stall. While they do provide some reinforcement of the door’s strength, it is more because of the look prettier.
You can paint the door all one color or paint the diagonal piece a different color.
Horses enjoy these types of doors because they can stick their heads out and watch what is going on.
Although common, hinged stall doors are less practical because they swing into the stall aisle. Therefore, you must have a big aisle for the 48-degree angle door (1).
Apart from accommodating the door, your horse must also fit in the aisle. As a result, this door is not ideal if your barn space is tight.
Based on this comparison, a sliding stall door is the most preferred option. But as I said, this door costs less, and it helps alleviate horse stall boredom.
It is also the DIY horse stall option that is better for those not used to doing a building project themselves.
You can check out this video for more ideas.
#2 Stall Size Ideas
The stall size is an essential consideration as it determines your horse’s comfort.
The number and type of your horses should help you determine the right size of the stall. You’ll need a bigger DIY horse stall if you have larger horses.
On the contrary, a smaller stall will work well if you have one average horse. It’s also necessary to consider whether you have foals or adult horses.
It’s worth noting that bigger is always better unless building the stall for miniature breeds. A standard stall to ensure the horse is comfortable should be 12′ x 12′ (2).
Mares and foals will need at least double the standard size. Also, big horses and large draft breeds will need a bigger stall.
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#3 Stall Floor Ideas
You can use granular base material, rubber mats, concrete and brick pavers, or a stable comfort system for the floor. However, a key factor to remember for your stall flooring is how comfortable the horse can walk on it.
You don’t want a floor where your horse can slide and get injured. With this in mind, you can cover concrete floors with rubber mats to increase friction. Also, the floor must be level.
Drainage is always difficult to work into stall floors. However, if you don’t have the building skills to put in drainage, don’t worry. Most barn stalls don’t have drainage.
You will just have to carry out the traditional methods of daily mucking out and keeping enough bedding in the stall. Rubber mats become slippery from water or urine, so make sure they are clean and covered in bedding.
It is fine not to add mats on top of concrete, but you will need to add extra bedding, as standing on concrete all day is not good for your horse. The bedding also provides grip for the horse when it is getting up from a nap.
Here is a look at stall floors being put in during the build of this new barn.
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#4 Ideas for Building Materials
The type of material you’ll use for your DIY stall projects will be determined by the design of your building plans, the budget, and the style you’ve chosen.
For instance, if you want a traditional wooden stall, you’ll need materials like lumber, plywood, and Oriented Strand Board (OSB).
You can also use other materials like metal, concrete, or brick. These are more durable and require less maintenance than wood.
However, they’re more expensive to install. If you want to save money, you should go with a metal or wooden stall.
If you go with wood, ensure it’s treated to prevent chewing, a common behavior for horses.
Don’t forget to check these hay storage solutions.
DIY Wooden Horse Stall Building Tips & Instructions
According to Tim Noble, an experienced horse stall builder from Kentucky, building homemade DIY horse stalls is a challenging task (3).
He says, “A lot of people don’t understand what goes into a horse barn unless they’re true horse people.”
The following is a simplified step-by-step guide on building a wooden DIY horse stall.
For this project, you’ll need:
- Fence poles
- 4×4 wooden boards
- Post-hole digger
- Tape measure
- Leveling device
- First, mark the area where you’ll build the stall. You can use spray paint or stakes and string to do this.
- Once you’ve marked the area, remove any obstacles like rocks or roots.
- Use the leveling device to level the ground before the construction work.
- The construction work begins by digging the fence post holes.
- Next is to create the perimeter of the stall by inserting the fence posts into the hole. You can use either budget-friendly horse wood or metal posts. If you’re using wood, treat it to avoid rot and insect damage.
- After inserting the fence posts in the hole for the perimeter, add concrete to anchor them into the ground.
- Once you’ve put up the fence posts, attach the wooden boards to create the walls of the stall. Ensure the boards are level before nailing or screwing them into place.
- Predrill the wooden boards if you want to join them with screws. This will prevent damage.
- After attaching all the boards, go an extra step and check if the stall is level and plumb using a level.
- Add bedding to the stall. You can use straw or sawdust as bedding. These will reduce hair loss on your horse in case of scratching which is a natural behavior in horses.
- The final addition is a beautiful horse stall door.
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You can watch the video below if you want more guidance on your DIY horse stall projects.
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Can you build horse on concrete?
Yes, you can build a horse stall floor on concrete and cover it with bedding materials like sawdust and shavings. It is also a good idea to use a horse stall mat.
Should I put drains in my horse stalls?
Yes, you can put drains in your horse stalls, especially if they have dirty floors to aid in draining. Drains are great for draining urine in homemade DIY horse stalls. However, it requires more skills and money.
How much does it cost to build a stall for a horse?
Building a stall for a horse starts at a minimal cost of $5,000 to $10,000 for a small, simple pole barn (4).
The larger the stall, the more the price. Each individual stall will cost anywhere from $200 to $1,000.
What can I use for horse stall walls?
You can use hardwood board for horses or concrete blocks for horse stall walls.
What can I use for a horse stall floor?
You can use cement, clay, or soil for the horse stall floor. The key is to ensure it is level, big enough, and includes bedding.
Building a DIY horse stall is not as difficult as it may seem. You can build one with suitable materials and procedures. But it does take knowledge of what horses need for their health and comfort.
You will also need some building skills or the help of someone who has this knowledge to do everything correctly.
Apart from materials and the procedure, you should consider the size and number of your horses when building the stall. And if you are like most equestrians, you can never have too many horses.
This means, it is possible that you will end up with another horse in the future, so always build extra stalls if you can afford too. It will be cheaper in the long term.
Have you built a DIY horse stall? I’d love to see your ideas and how your project came out. Please don’t hesitate to share your stalls with us!
- 1. https://americanstalls.com/hinged-stall-doors-vs-sliding-stall-doors-choosing-the-right-stall-doors-for-your-horse-barn/
- 2. https://www.jd-metals.com/2019/08/special-touches-for-horse-barns-ideas-to-spur-your-interest/
- 3. https://www.wickbuildings.com/blog/a-dozen-tips-for-building-horse-stalls-and-barn-storage-space/
- 4. https://home.costhelper.com/horsebarn.html
Bryanna is a 23-year-old Florida-based Grade 1 Para-dressage rider based in Florida and she has been riding for 5 years. Horses are her passion and her ultimate goal is to be selected for the US Para-Equestrian Team and represent the US at the Paralympics. She rides at Quantum Leap Farm and Emerald M Therapeutic Riding Center and her equine partners are Shane, an American Paint Horse, and Cappy a Welsh x Thoroughbred. When she is not helping at the barn, riding, or training, she is learning about horses, writing articles about them, and using her social media platforms to raise awareness for therapeutic riding and para-equestrianism, shares her journey, and advocates for greater inclusion of para-equestrian in the media and equestrian sport at large.
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