Storage Considerations for an Equestrian Property
Equestrian properties, like other smallholdings, are popular in rural areas. Whether you keep horses for your own enjoyment or you run a livery yard or horse riding school, storage is an important consideration. Horses require a lot of equipment and food, from tack and rugs to grain and hay. Since you can’t leave it all out in the open, you will need plenty of purpose-designed storage.
Horse tack is expensive. A handmade leather saddle can easily cost several thousand dollars and some people own more than one! You may also have a collection of bridles and other expensive equestrian accessories. The cost of this equipment will soon add up, so it needs to be protected from the weather, vermin, and thieves.
Tack rooms should be dry and secure. Leaving your expensive English dressage saddle on the floor in an old wooden shed is a recipe for disaster. For starters, rodents might decide to have a good chew, and even if they don’t, thieves would soon steal it away to sell online.
Security is a big issue. Tack rooms need to be robust enough to withstand opportunistic thieves. A heavy-duty shed made from solid timber is the absolute minimum level of construction you should be looking at. Even better, try a brick-built building or this range of Armstrong steel buildings for equestrian use.
Doors and windows need to be secure. Metal grilles will protect windows from breakage and intruders and a heavy-duty look will deter all but the most determined thief. You may also want to consider installing an alarm system for out of hours, although this won’t be as effective in remote areas.
Storing Rugs and Miscellaneous Items
Horse rugs tend to get wet and muddy, so they need time to dry in a well aerated place. It is customary for many horse owners to hang their horse’s used rug over the stable door, but if your horse is staying in, he might decide to pull the rug off or chew it.
A rug storage room with plenty of ventilation is useful. This will allow rugs to hang and dry until they are needed again, without creating high humidity, which could prove dangerous in a feed or tack store. Fix metal racks to the wall so wet rungs can hang until dry. A brick or block built structure with a metal roof is perfect.
You can also use this room to store buckets and other inexpensive items.
Some horses have very select diets. Whilst grass is their main diet, they will need extra feed in winter to help them maintain condition. Horse grains are very attractive to rodents, so all feed needs to be stored in sealed containers. Keep your feed bins in a dry store room so it isn’t contaminated by vermin and damp weather. Hay and straw can be kept in a covered barn; a steel barn is a great alternative to an old-fashioned timber barn.
Pay close attention to your storage buildings when designing your equestrian facilities. Any mistakes you make at this stage could cost you money further down the line.