Equine Facilities: Barn Alleyways and Access Doors

Horses October 17, 2014 Print Friendly and PDF

Ashley Griffin, University of Kentucky

Tack-up Areas

Barn front

Although horses may be groomed and tacked up in stalls, it is better to have a designated area for these tasks. Horses may be tacked up in the barn aisle, but this practice may also present some hazards.

The ideal situation is to have a designated tack-up area located near the tack room. This practice would allow others to observe and assist in preventing potential problems, such as the horse pinning a person against the stall wall, trying to leave the stall when someone enters with tack, playing in the water or feed bucket, pawing or kicking, etc.

Additionally, the use of tack lockers may help prevent accidents caused by equipment left in the aisles. Two principles for designing tack-up areas include providing adequate space to work safely around the horse and providing an escape path in case of emergency.

Exterior barn doors

Alleyways separating two rows of stalls in box stall barns are used for handling and resting horses and for limited exercise and training. The alley may be as narrow as 10 feet in barns 32 feet wide and as wide as 28 feet in barns 50 feet wide.

However, for convenience, safety, and horse traffic, always provide a minimum of 10 feet. This allows room for moving horses, a small truck or a tractor pulling a wagon, or a manure spreader.

Provide at least 6 feet for an alley when it faces the back of a single row of stalls. More hand labor is required to clean narrow alleys; also, moving horses through them is more difficult. The paving of an alley is optional.

Doors at the ends of alleys are either sliding or overhead. They should be sized for the kind of traffic using them.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.