How to Turn Your Garden into Stables Fit for a Racehorse

Surely it's every horse lover’s dream to have their steeds stabled so close to where they live that they can roll from bed each morning to muck them out or give them a quick trot around the paddock before work.

Of course, this just isn't a possibility for most people, with issues ranging from space to cost getting in the way of folk being able to construct the stable of their dreams. However, for those who do have the money in the bank and the free land to spare, there is nothing holding them back from creating a facility that their family, friends and neighbours can all benefit from for generations to come.

Here are our top tips on how to build your very own stable. Who knows? One day you may find yourself training up the next Red Rum or Sea Biscuit.


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Whether you want to show jump, flat race or just keep ponies, there are many aspects to take into account when planning a stable

Make Sure You Are Committed to the Project

Turning a large plot of land into a stable and exercise paddock is no small undertaking, so it goes without saying that anyone looking to take on such a project needs to make sure that everyone involved is fully onboard with the idea.

 If the extent of your thinking has been to take your partner to the races to pick some Oddschecker tips at Ascot or Cheltenham, only to then decide you want to house horses, then it is wise idea to take a deep breath and consider the move thoroughly. After all, if a dog is for life and not just for Christmas, what does that make a horse, which requires infinitely more time and resources to care for?



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If you have the training and the equine knowledge, then you could even take the leap of hosting other people’s animals at your new stables 


Do not Neglect Seeking Planning Permission

It is amazing that so many people go about building projects on private land without first inquiring about whether or not they will be given planning permission to do so. Often this can lead to a brand-new structure being torn down by a local authority annoyed that they were not consulted.

Make sure you jump all the bureaucratic hurdles (pardon the pun), before you even think about breaking ground or you may find your hard work was all for nothing.

Your Trusty Steed Will Appreciate a Roomy Stall

If you have plans to house more than one horse in your stable the temptation can sometimes be to save space by making your stalls smaller, but most horses will appreciate being given the extra leg room to move around when you are not on hand to give them a leg stretch. The minimum recommendation for stall size is 3m X 3m, although it should be noted that this is a bare minimum, meaning your horse will forever be grateful, and no doubt better behaved, if you provide them with a roomier place to rest.

Another good way to make the most of the space you have is to create a stall that is designed to hold not just one horse but two. Just make sure that the horses in question are well suited and be aware that having a foal on your hands may require yet another stall.

A Floor Under Their Hooves and a Roof Over their Long Noses

Despite being thunderously powerful, horses are also notoriously fragile if not kept in the correct conditions, and with that in mind it is important to make sure the ground they are standing on is correctly laid and managed.

Concrete stalls with drains installed are usually the way to go so that you can easily brush and swill out the stall whenever you need to. You may also wish to put down rubber mats, which will protect your animal’s joints and hooves from being harmed by a rock-solid floor. Add a bit of hay and voila: a perfect horse hideaway awaits your beloved steed.

Roofing is a slightly easier aspect to control, with the main necessity being that the ceiling is not too low if you own a particularly tall horse. Also, if you happen to live in warmer climes you will want to select a roof that keeps the heat off in the summer or the cold out in the winter.

Allied to all this, it is vital to ensure there is good ventilation so your horse can breathe fresh air and that the animal is also bathed in a certain amount of natural light. Artificial lights should be kept well out of the way of inquisitive mouths and nibbling teeth!

Will You Turn the Stable into a Business?

If you have built a stable that has multiple spare stalls the temptation may be to try and profit from them by letting other local horse owners store their animals on your premises. Again, though, this should only be done with adequate planning. If you want to offer a full stable service you will require someone to be on site in a full-time capacity and this may even be the case if you are able to give other horse owners free access to the stables. After all, who will look after said horse if their owner’s car breaks down or they are away on holiday? Of course, if you do take the leap it is important not to under sell yourself. Your time and resources are valuable and so be sure to check what other local stables are charging and adjust your prices accordingly.

And Now for the Fun Stuff

Unless you plan to exercise your horse on country lanes and bridal paths all the time, it is obviously ideal to have a grass or dirt area to train and exercise the animal. So, once you have your horse all saddled up and ready to go, why not treat yourself to obstacles for the beast to clear and even a racing cap so you can pretend to be Frankie Dettori? For all other horse related gadgets and equipment, Horse & Hound have put together a very handy list of what you may and may not need.