Perform a Barn Safety Check

If you keep your horses at home, here's a handy double-check of safety features and precautions around the barn.
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If you keep your horses at home, here's a handy double-check of safety features and precautions around the barn.
Make sure your barn is safe for you and your horse from the moment you step through the door. | Photo by David Stoecklein

Make sure your barn is safe for you and your horse from the moment you step through the door. | Photo by David Stoecklein

Use this quick checklist to keep your barn safe for you and your horse.

  • Aisles should be at least eight feet wide to allow a horse and handler to turn around easily, or two horses to pass without crowding.
  • Ceilings should be high enough to avoid contact with a rearing horse's head; nine feet or more is generally sufficient.
  • Floors must provide non-slip footing. Texturized concrete is a safe, inexpensive option for a barn aisle
  • Light fixtures must be mounted where curious muzzles cannot reach them, or else encased in sturdy wire cages.
  • Stall doors should never swing inward--a hazard for someone trying to exit when a horse is also eager to get out. Side-sliding doors mounted on rollers are safest.
  • Repairs to barns and fencing are best made immediately, before a loose board, protruding nail, or damaged gate can cause injury to horse or human.
  • Clutter in and around the barn is always a safety hazard; make sure aisles and commonly traveled pathways are clear of feed cans, push brooms, saddle racks, wheelbarrows and the like.