How to make the most of a small stable

Sunday 5th April, 2015

Owning your own horse is a dream come true for many and if you are in the fortunate position of planning your first purchase, you will need to get prepared. First and foremost, you need to consider where you will be keeping your horse. Many horse owners opt to use livery yards that have varying degrees of management that can benefit busy riders, however this can be a costly option long term. The ideal situation would of course be to keep your horse on your own land and although this has its own financial implications it is a worthwhile investment, particularly if you plan to add to your herd in the coming years or perhaps develop a livery yard of your own.

Location and layout

The general guidelines for keeping horses is one acre per horse and if you have limited land then you are going to need to make the most of the available space. The one thing that any yard owner will tell you is it is vital to think ahead and build an efficient stable block that you can grow into and develop further should you need to expand, but in the meantime be a practical, accessible area that is well organised.

When building a bespoke stabling area you need to consider not only the stable itself, but also a suitable area to store feed, hay, bedding, equipment and tack. A typical rectangular layout with a hardstanding and open access on all sides is common for small stable blocks, but a south facing L-shaped layout can be far more beneficial, not to mention space saving, as it offers protection from the elements whilst allowing stable mates to see each other across the yard. A covered area to the side is also useful for storing tools and wheelbarrows to keep the tack room uncluttered.

Size isn’t everything

The smallest stable size advised for the average horse is 3.6m x 3.6m, and if space restrictions force you to keep to the minimum there are many ways you can maximise the space within your stable. Firstly, consider using iron bars between the stables or half walls as this really opens up the area whilst allowing for good ventilation and social interaction between the horses. Plumbed mounted water troughs and mangers located in opposite corners of the stable will also increase floor space for your horse.


Horses are intelligent creatures that can easily get bored when stabled so a good way to keep boredom at bay is by using hanging mineral licks or horse balls, as these will provide excellent entertainment whilst not taking up valuable floor space in a compact stall.

With these top tips you are sure to be able to find the perfect stable layout to suit both your needs and your budget. For more information, please contact us to discuss your stabling requirements today!

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