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  • Writer's pictureHorseStallsUSA

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The design of any equestrian facility requires more than just great looks.

A critical element of Equestrian Design is the thoughtful planning for the various traffic types and circulation patterns throughout a facility. How it accommodates the variety of traffic types can have a tremendous impact on overall safety, maintenance, and operational costs.

Horse barn and stable design

There are three primary traffic types to consider: pedestrian, vehicular, and equine traffic. Each of these have different considerations in terms of surface material selection, sizing, and of course intersections where the different traffic types may interact!

Surfaces that work well for equine traffic, may not hold up well to large truck traffic and can be hazards where vehicles can get stuck and can become an excessive maintenance issue. Entry roads that allow facility guests access (guests that may or may not understand horse behavior) are most likely not appropriate corridors for equine traffic. Safety. A surface that meets the requirements to handle the heavy loads of truck or tractor-trailer traffic, may not be a safe surface for horses.

Proper sizing of various circulation corridors

What works for a pedestrian path is probably not going to be sized for horses or vehicles to operate safely. It’s important to consider traffic that may not be typical traffic on your facility.

Turning dimensions on corners should not only accommodate vehicles as part of everyday routine but must also be designed to accommodate emergency vehicles as well.

The bottom line.

Properly designed circulation corridors that accommodate the variety of traffic patterns throughout an equestrian facility are important. They enhance functionality and can reduce operational and maintenance costs as well as providing an aesthetically pleasing and safe equine sport environment.

Surprise appreciation.

I recently received a note from a client who had just had delivery of a new horse to her facility. As the truck driver delivering the horse was getting ready to depart, he explained: “I don’t know who your architect was, but he did a hell of a job designing this place. Best thought out driveway I’ve ever delivered on."

It may seem like a small thing, but I’m extremely proud when my designs function well for their users (and I believe there’s a certain amount of pride for the owners as well).

Rod Kazenske - Architect

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Our team was proud to provide stalls for the dressage and jumping horses at Willinga Park in Bawley Point, Australia! Visit their website to learn more:

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