We're turning the corner and putting winter behind us...time to start thinking about bringing those barn dreams to life.
We’re turning the corner and putting winter behind us…time to start thinking about bringing those barn dreams to life.


I’m going to go ahead and put it out there…IT’S SPRING! And while it has surely felt like a long-time coming in the Northeast (and other winter-bound areas, we’re certain), what else could make us this eager to get out the shedding blades and clean out the barn?

Speaking of barns: Perhaps this year will finally see the creation of that additional run-in, extra stall, or renovated tack room you’ve been dreaming about. Planning for and building new and/or renovated structures don’t have to inspire fear, sweats, and shakes (we’ve all heard horror stories about contractors gone rogue and projects unfinished or over-budget). With a little know-how, you can make informed decisions about the structure you want, where you want it, and what it will take to take it from sketch-to-plan-to-finished.


Richard Klimesh, husband of trainer, judge, and author Cherry Hill, studied architectural design at Iowa State University and was an accomplished carpenter and cabinetmaker for ten years before becoming a Certified Journeyman Farrier and artist/blacksmith. His abilities and interests led him to build and remodel horse facilities throughout the United States and Canada, and these construction experiences then led him to author the now bestselling book HORSE HOUSING alongside his wife.

From finding the best building site to choosing stall latches, HORSE HOUSING is brimming with how–to tips for every part of the process. It explains in detail which materials are good to use around horses, and how good lighting, flooring, and ventilation make a big difference to both horses and people. And it goes beyond theory—offering information, like how to estimate concrete and shingle a new roof or replace an old one. The book contains 17 plans, an extensive directory for locating services needed for barn construction, and a glossary of more than 300 terms to help demystify the building process. Recently released in paperback with updated resources, HORSE HOUSING continues to be THE go-to guide for equine-related construction.

HORSE HOUSING is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is FREE.



Here’s a FREE SAMPLE PLAN from HORSE HOUSING by Richard Klimesh and Cherry Hill:


This compact design is well suited for the horse owner with one or two horses. The main structure is relatively inexpensive and easy to build, consisting of only twelve 6-inch posts, six walls, and a roof.




• 12 feet by 28 feet
• The steel roof overhangs the main structure by 4 feet on both sides for protection from rain and snow.
• 3/12 roof slope
• 7 feet high at eaves, 9 feet 6 inches high at peak

• The 12-foot by 12-foot covered pen has a pea gravel floor and two solid walls. The walls are covered on both sides with 5⁄8-inch thick T-111 wood siding, with a double layer on the lower half of the inside of the stall. The walls protect the horse from wind and protect items stored at the back of the barn from the horse.
• Metal panels are attached to the building to make a pen or run.
• The floor of the 10-foot by 12-foot breezeway is covered with five standard-size 4-foot by 6-foot rubber mats to make a tidy grooming area.
• Rafter framing allows more headroom inside the building than trusses would.
• The floor slopes toward the rear of the building for drainage when washing a horse.
• Location of the cross-ties results in the horse’s near side being toward the tack room to make grooming and tacking of the horse more efficient.
• Usher ropes or chains connect across the openings at both ends of the aisle to discourage a horse from moving too far forward or backward in the cross-ties.
• The water hydrant is located safely away from the grooming area.
• A hose for filling the water tub in the pen and for washing a horse in the grooming area hangs next to the hydrant on the tack room wall.
• The 6-foot by 12-foot enclosed tack/feed room is covered on the outside with T-111 siding and has a wooden floor for cleanliness and to prevent rodent invasion.
• A sliding door is used for convenience and to conserve space.
• The door is fitted with a hasp so a padlock can be used to discourage unauthorized persons and loose horses from entering.
• In a dry climate the covered space at the rear of the barn can be used for storing hay, tack trunks, and feed barrels.



• 7-foot eaves are too low for safety.
• The 4-foot overhang provides limited hay storage so hay must be hauled in frequently or stored nearby in a larger quantity.

• Make the walls at least one foot higher for safer clearance.
• Close in and/or extend the overhang at the rear of the barn to provide more protection from the elements.
• Add another metal panel and gate between the covered pen and the run so the horse can be locked in or out of the covered pen.
• Extend the barn on one or both ends for more stalls or rooms.



“If horses could review books, they’d give this one ‘two hooves up’…if you buy only one book about barns and barn construction, make it this one.” —Horse & Rider Magazine