a Horse Barn with the Elements: Earth, Wind, Energy and Water
What do earth, wind, energy and water have to do
with barn building? Everything! From an ideal equestrian estate to
an ammonia problem in your run-in, balancing the elements is the
key. Creating a healthy environment for our beloved horses is an
You may get a funny look if you say “my earth element is out of
balance,” but builders and designers use these principles every day.
It’s important to talk about orienting your building where there
will be a minimum of cut and fill. Plan dry lots, pasture, arenas
and drives from the beginning, even if you are building in phases.
Take advantage of the prevailing wind to ventilate naturally. Place
windows and doors to aid in circulation. Full mesh stall doors help
with low-lying fumes. Four air exchanges per hour are recommended.
Barns require human energy! Efficient design will save you steps and
time. For heat, lights and everything else, research new ideas and
technologies to minimize your use of fossil fuels, from the clever
use of natural light and ventilation to solar, wind energy, earth
tube and geo thermal systems.
Water run-off has to be managed so it returns to the ground water
uncontaminated and does not erode your valuable topsoil. Water
retention, gray water retrieval, and irrigation are some solutions
Balancing earth, wind, energy and water is a challenging and
enlightening puzzle. It will save you time, money and headache and
your horses will thank you for it.
Now think: What is out of balance at that stinky quagmire by the
This tip was brought to you by Iris Moore (312-310-4747) and KAM
Animal Services, home of KAM’s “Equine Learning Circle” FREE
webinars, which will take place twice a month. Go to
to sign up for their next webinar. These webinars will conclude with
a question and answer session, so be ready with your nutrition