How to build a horse stable

Apr 12, 2022

Doing some research and planning before building your new stables is a very good idea. It is a big investment to build horse stables and there are a wide range of options to choose from so let’s go over some options to help you end up with the stable that meets your requirements

What size horse stable do you need?

As a rule of thumb, experts advise a horse stall should be at least 3m x 3.5m for a standard horse 15-17hh. A roof of at least 2.5m will leave space for them to move their head around. If you have larger horses, then you should choose a larger stall size so that you can more easily work in the stalls with your horses. Your stall should have enough room for the horse to comfortably lie down, stand up, and move about.

When building a stable for your horse, it is recommended that you plan a stable bigger than you currently need. Sure, you may be planning to keep only one or two horses now, but what will happen if you decide to add a few more in the future? You won’t have any room for them!

People with horses almost always end up buying more horses. That is why it is important to build an extra stall or 2 than the number of horses you currently have. The extra stalls can always be used as storage space.

The stable pictured above has 3 stalls, a covered wash bay a tack room and a covered walkway. This stable design is called the “Settler” and it is modular so you can choose whatever combination of stalls, tack room and wash bays that suits you best.

Do you want a wash down area for your stable?

Horses need to be cleaned regularly to lower the risk of irritation and get them looking great for events. Instead of tying the animal to a tree, experts recommend having a well-designed wash area inside or near your stable. With an undercover wash bay, you can bathe your animals any time without worrying about the weather.

That said, the first factor you need to consider when planning the wash area is the location. Because water is involved, you will want your wash bay located away from feeding and sleeping areas and from riding arenas.

If possible, try setting it up near an existing water supply. It will save you plenty of money if water lines are already installed.

Another important thing to pay attention to is the flooring. Use a concrete slab and score the top with a rake or broom to prevent slipping. Rubber mats are also a great option for wash bays, they are easy to clean and non-slip.

Concrete can be expensive, but it will provide a long-lasting, low maintenance surface for cleaning your horses. Gravel could be a more affordable option because it drains well, but it will likely need regular maintenance.

Make sure you have a good drainage system for wastewater and keep it free of hair and droppings to avoid clogs. Your wash bay should be situated at a high point where water can freely run away from your stable and into a drain or have a slope in the ground that lets the water run-off into a drain..

Lastly, consider the wash area’s size. A small wash bay will not only be inconvenient for you but also dangerous. Remember, not all horses like being washed; you really don’t want to be in a constrained space with a disorderly animal.

Consider having your wash bay 3.5m x 3.5m or bigger with built-in rails for tying your horses to. Space this size will be enough not only for the horse to move around but also for you to easily and safely clean parts that are hard to reach.

Pictured above is a Custom Hunter Stable designed by Outpost Buildings. It has 2 horse stalls with a tack shed in-between and a washdown area on the side. For more information on this design click here >


Stable storage for your tack equipment

A great stable has lots of room to store horse blankets, saddles, bridles, cleaning equipment, and other tack equipment. Make sure your tack room has lockable doors, shelves and racks to help keep your equipment tidy and it has enough space to accommodate everything you need to store in it.

Hooks for hanging bridles and ropes can easily be attached to tack room walls if they are made from timber. There is a huge range of tack storage options available from your local tack supplies store such as saddle racks, blanket holders and hooks.

Covered walkway for your stable

A covered walkway or veranda on your horse stable will keep you dry on rainy days and also give your horses extra protection from the weather and prevent you ending up with a muddy entrance to your stable. Large stables often have a covered walkway through the middle of a stable building with stalls on either side. Smaller stables can have stalls with a covered walkway like a veranda that comes off the front of the stalls. The picture above is an Outpost Stable with veranda. This stable has steel framed front walls and doors with anti-weave gates.

Pictured above is a Custom Stable that Outpost designed for a customer. It has two large stalls, a tack shed and a wash down area at the far end. The covered walkway gives horse and rider extra shelter for more comfort on rainy days.

Airflow & lighting for your stable

Your horse stable should have good ventilation to let stale air out and allow fresh air in. Otherwise, the moisture produced by the manure and urine will make stalls damp and smelly. Most stable designs have partially open front walls to allow air and light into the stalls. Other designs have wooden barn-style windows that can be opened up for ventilation when required.

For lighting in your stable you may want to get an electrician to install lights. If you’re only planning to use your stable in the day light hours then you could get a couple of clear panels put in your roofing to let the light in.

DIY Kitset horse stables

Outpost Horse Stable kitsets come with step-by-step assembly instructions so that most of our small stables can be assembled by anyone that has basic building skills – no need to pay for a builder! Outpost Horse Stables are made with heavy duty timber framing so it’s important to make sure you have a couple of strong helpers on hand as some of the parts are heavy.

If you’re after a large stable with more than 2 stalls then we recommend you get a builder to assemble the kitset. Outpost Kitsets are quick and easy for an experienced builder to install.

The Horse Stable pictured above is an example of an Outpost Kitset Stable with one stall, a tack shed and a post and rail holding yard that the customer added on themselves (not part of the kitset). The metal framed front wall and gate pictured on this stable is an optional upgrade available with most Outpost Stable designs.

Kitset Horse Stable Assembly Video

Sometimes our customers send us photos of their whole experience building their Outpost Kitset, here is an example of one of our favourites from a few years ago. It gives you a look at what it’ll be like to assemble one of our Horse Stable kitsets.


Take a look at our wide range of Horse Shelters and Stables. Outpost Horse Stalls, Paddock Shelters and Stables are strong and designed with the comfort and safety of you and your horses in mind.

Click here to see our Horse Stables



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