Like humans, horses require clean, fresh air to breathe. However, inadequate ventilation is one of the most common mistakes we see in construction and management of present-day horse stables. Remember, most horses are standing around 15 hours per day in a stall. If your barn does not provide enough fresh air, and adjustment for changes in climate for both winter and summer, your horses will be much more prone to health issues.
Consider These Ventilation Factors:
Before anything else, hire a designer or builder who knows about barn ventilation basics. The needs for barns are different than the needs of residential or commercial structures. If properly done, ventilation should:
- Bring fresh air into the barn through planned vents
- Completely mix both outside and inside air; this:
- Removes contaminating pathogens,
- Regulates heat and humidity
- Eliminates odors
Other things you should consider include the building site and landscaping (such as drainage), design and size of the building, number of horses, and weather. In our experience, with the proper design, it’s possible to vent naturally instead of mechanically.
Barn Roofs & Vents
Barns and arenas can be as effective in ventilating as fabric-covered structures. The roof is the key element in proper ventilation dynamics. The moist air found in these buildings needs an effective way to escape. This can be accomplished in many ways, such as ridge caps or evenly spaced vents. Large cupolas are also effective, though they have to be large enough for the building and well-vented to perform well. A row of operable windows near the roof peak, also known as a clerestory, can move a large amount of air. The ability to open the windows and increase airflow, or shut them to shelter from bad weather makes this design very popular.
Miscellaneous Dos and Don’ts
- Don’t use screens to keep out insects because the moisture in the barn environment will quickly clog screens and severely restrict airflow.
- Barns can be dusty from hay, grooming, feed, etc. Tasks such as wetting the floors and regularly mucking the stalls can greatly improve air quality. Also, don’t store the hay and feed above the horses, because this restricts air circulation.
Ventilating your barn is essential to maintaining your horses’ health and well-being. Aim for a comfortably dry stable with no condensation. Take advantage of natural ventilation with a new pole building or steel barn from C & S Construction. View our Gallery to see examples of our past projects. C&S Construction can work with you through each step of the process, from design to completion, ensuring a streamlined customer experience. Don’t wait to have your ideal temporary or permanent fabric structure, call or email us today!
Edited by Justin Vorhees
Best Tips for Horse Barn Ventilation
Serving customers from Pullman to Bonners Ferry and Wenatchee to Western Montana, including Spokane, Coeur D’Alene, Cheney, Pullman, Sandpoint, Wallace and the surrounding area since 1998