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.