What Design Features Does Your Livery Yard Need?
The design of equestrian facilities is an important but often overlooked aspect of start-up planning for stables designed for paying customers.
Professionals who work with horses agree about the importance of stables for animal welfare but will often disagree over the benefits of different designs and features.
American-style barns are great if you want to maximise your space and dedicate more land for fields, while U-shaped stables have an elegant aesthetic and provide horses prone to boredom access to their friends.
The British Horse Society recommends that for horses to be most comfortable, your stables need to be 12ftx12ft, and for large horses, they need to be 12ftx14ft, whereas ponies and large ponies need 10ftx10ft and 10ftx12ft. These sizes will allow horses and ponies enough room to move, lie down and roll comfortably while reducing the risk of getting cast. Consider if your livery yard will cater to all sizes or if you are only equipped to handle particular types of horses before you settle on stable designs.
An active yard will require plenty of farm building for storage. Consider whether you will be supply hay, haylage and bedding all year round; if so, you'll need an adequate building that can store large quantities in order to protect them from the elements. However, if your yard will be on the smaller side, you may only need space to store a week or two worth of hay, haylage, and bedding if you will be having it delivered on a regular basis. Hay barns, bedding storage sheds, and somewhere to store equipment are essential for a livery yard to run effectively. If you're looking for a suitable building for your livery yard, check out Kit Buildings Direct for their fantastic range of farm buildings.
The size of your arena will make a significant impact on the types of liveries you attract to your yard. The most popular size for an arena is 40x20m and is perfect for all-round riders. However, if you would like to attract dressage riders, you may need to opt for a 60x20m arena, or if your liveries need a jumping arena, extra width is recommended, and 40x25m would be better suited.
Having a clear idea of how your riding arena will be used is essential in order to build one that is the correct size. You may even like to have a separate lunging arena in order to protect the surface of your riding arena.