Horizon Structures Presents Series: Barn Design Tips That Make It Easy To Batten Down The Hatches 

by Nikki Alvin-Smith

 When the weather forecaster brings news of impending hurricanes or severe weather, the horse caregiver needs to take charge of how to best manage the safety of their beloved equines.

There are instances when horses may be purposely left outside to weather the storm. Particularly if their environment is securely fenced and is free of trees and likely sources of flying debris. The latter is the leading cause of injury to horses during high wind events. Being able to bring the horses into a well-built barn to ride out the storm is a boon.

Similarly, during wild and windy North-East snowstorms or deluges of precipitation from atmospheric rivers, the desire to bring the horses inside for shelter and ease of management for feeding and care is heightened.

Check out these structural building upgrades in the article, “Hurricanes May Hardly Ever Happen,” to be well-prepared in case they do.

During winter ice and snowstorms and high precipitation weather events, the duration of the storms can extend for days at a time. The idea of leaving horses out to care for themselves is not usually the choice for those horse owners caring for young or elderly horses or smaller Equus with less leg length that find snow hard to navigate. Equestrian competitors and horse breeders alike, do not generally regard keeping their performance horses or breeding stock out in the field where their risk of injury or illness is increased due to bad weather, a good idea either.

Horse barns can be designed to make it easy to ‘batten down the hatches’ and increasingly horse property owners are opting to include these features in their barn builds to mitigate the risks for flooding, roof collapses, wind damage and the like.

Here are a few barn design and site selection tips to consider when building or renovating a horse barn:

  • Use overhead doors for barn entryways where sliding doors pose a risk for freezing to the floor or are prone to high wind. Where sliding doors are used install interior bolts to each side that secure them to the wall when closed. Ensure there is a secure central footer at the base of doors where they meet together to keep the doors from lifting during high winds, with an interior bolt that connects both entry doors together when closed. Note: Overhead doors should have both an internal and external manual override system in case of power outages.
  • Install interior bolts for closing Dutch doors from the inside of the building versus outside. This not only makes it easier and more convenient to secure the building from the inside instead of walking around outside. It also offers better overall security for the building against theft and nefarious intruders.
  • The addition of a loft to the horse barn with full size stairway to access the storage space is a great location to store valuable tack and equipment and keep it protected from any risk of flooding.
  • Create an easy access interior storage area on the ground floor of the barn where motorized equipment such as UTVs, garden furniture, mounting blocks etc. can be quickly moved without the need to lug them to the house and downstairs to a basement or other area.
  • Install tempered glass in stall windows and/or provide functioning exterior shutters to protect the windows from damage and possible blow outs during extreme winds.
  • Avoid use of glass in entry doors if sliding doors are used. Instead opt for solid wood doors.
  • Install water sources inside the barn rather than outside, such as frost-free faucets, and have extra water troughs on hand for back up water supplies.
  • Pour a concrete pad or create a compacted gravel base to site a generator. Locate the generator where it is convenient to maintain and refill with fuel and add a quiet kit to mitigate the noise level if it is close to the building. Always have a generator professionally installed by a licensed electrician to avoid back feed issues and fire risk.
  • Site your horse barn on an elevated location away from water sources that may flood such as rivers or streams, the base of a hill etc. Learn best horse barn siting practices here. Install appropriate drainage to move any water away from the building that is shed from the roof or encroaches toward the building.

As with most things in life being prepared is the best way to make sure that when the worst happens you have the means to protect yourself and your horses from injury and property from disaster. Of course, even the best laid plans cannot always assuage the worst happening. And if that occurs, it’s also a good idea to have a Plan B. Here are some tips on How To Manage Barn Needs After Catastrophe Strikes which it is sincerely hoped, you will never need.

PLEASE NOTE: AHP members ~ Please share this content without edit. Kindly include URL links included in article, Horizon Structures URL and author’s URL and byline wherever published. Please advise use so we can reciprocate share your publication/posts.

Feel free to contact Nikki Alvin-Smith for further information and high-res photos.

 About Horizon Structures:  One horse or twenty, there’s one thing all horse owners have in common…the need to provide safe and secure shelter for their equine partners.  At Horizon Structures, we combine expert craftsmanship, top-of-the-line materials and smart “horse-friendly” design to create a full line of sheds and barns that any horse owner can feel confident is the right choice for their horses’ stabling needs.

All wood. Amish Made. Most of our buildings are shipped 100% pre-built and ready for same-day use. Larger barns are a modular construction and can be ready for your horses in less than a week. All our barn packages include everything you need –

Horizon Structures also sells chicken coops, equine hay feeders, greenhouses, dog kennels, 1 and 2 car garages, storage sheds and outdoor living structures and playsets.

Headquartered in South-Central Pennsylvania, Horizon Structures, LLC is owned by Dave Zook.  Dave was raised in the Amish tradition and grew up working in the family-owned shed business.  He started Horizon Structures in 2001 in response to an ever-increasing customer demand for high quality, affordable horse barns.

For additional information about the company or their product line, please visit their website at https://www.horizonstructures.com

Horizon Structures LLC, Atglen, PA
Media Contact: NAS@NikkiAlvinSmithStudio.com
Tel: 607 434 4470

Photos are available on request.

About Nikki Alvin-Smith:
Content Creator | PR Partner | Seasoned Writer | Brand Builder |
Major Marketer| Journalist|
Blogger| Ghostwriter|
PR Marketing Specialist/Strategist|
British American|
Grand Prix Dressage
Competitor/Coach/ Clinician|

Please visit https://nikkialvinsmithstudio.com/ and https://www.horseinakiltmedia.com/to learn more about her affordable services.