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Equestrian Facilities

As the only inspector in Greenville, SC or Charleston, SC with a background and training to address your particular equestrian needs, Pro-Tech Inspections can provide detailed and thorough inspections of the Equestrian Facilities associated wiht your dream property! Equine enthusiast often spend a great deal of time and resources, financial and otherwise, to care for their horses. Allow us to ensure the property will provide a safe, healthy, and well designed home for your horses.

Buying an equestrian property is not your typical home purchase, especially for first time buyers or those buying their first equestrian property. There is much to learn on the road to finding the best property for your needs. Working with an inspector experienced with Equestrian facilities will help ensure your purchase considers all aspects of the property and determines its suitability for your horses.

As with any real estate purchase, finding the perfect equestrian property requires a lot of research. When searching for the perfect equestrian estate, horse owners should always begin with location. Many of these properties are located in areas known as “horse country,” exclusive areas where dozens of facilities have been constructed specifically to raise and train horses of all types. Ideally, there should be equine dentists, veterinarians, tack and feed supply stores, and riding trails nearby.

Equally important as location is ensuring the property has ample space and the existing structures in place needed for your horses to thrive. A well-built and properly insulated barn along with a tack room and sufficient storage space are all essential features to look out for.

Once you’ve located the perfect property, it’s then time to ensure your home and facilities are proper and safe for not only your family, but your horses also.

What do we inspect in a typical Equestrian Facility?

Stalls keep horses safe, comfortable, out of severe weather and in a place where they can relax. Therefore, good stall design is an integral part of keeping horses healthy and happy. Considerations are given to:

  • Runout of Norunout
    • Some stalls are designed to be separated from outdoor space, and others allow for access to an exterior runout. Runouts are a nice feature in many circumstances, but are most helpful when:
      • the horse does not get consistent daily exercise. The runout is not intended to replace exercise, as it is important to turn a horse out into a larger paddock or pasture; but a runout can provide mild outdoor stimulation and moderate healthy movement possibilities for horses that are confined for longer periods.
      • the horse is new to a stall environment. If you’re housing a horse who is used to living in a pasture, a stall with a runout might be more comfortable for the animal. In fact, the stall door can be left open for a while until the horse gets used to the routine of being in the stall to eat and relax.
      • your horse is housed in a mild, dry climate. There’s no point in having a runout if it’s miserably cold or muddy outside most of the time. Indoor/outdoor environments for the horse work better when the door between inside and outside can be left open more often.
  • Stall Sidewalls
    • Walls between stalls can be solid or a partial grille. Our recommendation depends on the types of horses you house. If you house a social group of well-behaved horses, then solid walls to four feet above the ground with grille above can make for the most airy and friendly feel in the barn. However, even in this case, we prefer to specify that a portion of the side wall be full-height solid at the point where the feed box is mounted. This keeps horses from fighting with each other over food.
    • Full-height solid partitions are used in circumstances when there are many horses coming and going, such as in a show barn. They also can be useful for horses that don’t respect personal space with their neighbors. Even if your horses are well-behaved and socialized, outfitting your barn with at least one full-height solid stall can give you flexibility when you need it.
  • Stall Doors
    • Stall doors can be sliding or swinging. Swinging doors can be hazardous if they swing into the aisle, so most barns use sliding doors, at least on the stall fronts. Swinging doors can be used for outside doors going out to runouts if they can be latched open or closed for safety.Stall doors can be open-grille or partial solid. Open-grille is a good option for most horses, as it affords greater visibility out of the stall.Stall doors can also be provided with an opening for the horse to stick his head out. This is a great feature for stalls in private barns where the horses know each other. For temporary housing stalls at show barns, it’s best not to allow horses to crane their necks into the aisles. If you use the aisle for grooming with cross-ties, you probably want to be able to close the stall door openings to prevent nipping at neighbors during grooming.

      If you provide an opening at the front for horses to use, we recommend a tapered opening that is smaller at the bottom, because it discourages repetitive behaviors such as weaving.

  • Windows and Openings
    • Natural light is a great idea in a barn. However, if you use a window or an opening on the back of your stall, be sure it is designed with safety in mind.Glass windows must be placed high in the wall (5 feet or above), constructed of tempered glass, and protected on the horse side with bars. Another option is a sliding shutter; a shutter can be opened in nice weather and closed in bad weather.
  • Stall Fronts
    • The style of stall fronts you choose should relate to what you’re trying to achieve. Stall fronts can be completely open-grille or partial solid. Unlike the open-grille stall door described above, an open grille on the stall front itself is not usually the best option. Open grilles are used if:
      • your aisles are extra wide, to prevent horses from being bothered by other horses;
      • you have ample storage elsewhere and don’t need to use stall fronts for storage;
      • in veterinary settings, for monitoring sick horses.

      Because most people’s situations don’t fit into the criteria above, a partial-solid stall front is most practical, because it gives the horse a better sense of enclosure and provides a storage surface for hanging blankets, etc.

  • Stall Materials
    • Most people purchase prefabricated modular stalls. These can vary a lot in quality. Talk with your friends and colleagues in the industry to determine whether they’re happy with the quality of the product they purchased. Manufacturers that sell nationally to higher-end markets often have very nice products, with high-quality finishes, materials and hardware. If you can afford these better products, you will be happier in the long run, as they will last longer and will have fewer problems like:
      • tracks getting gummed up with debris;
      • paints and finishes flaking off;
      • warping and denting;
      • sharp edges that can develop and cause a safety hazard.
  • Stall Floors
    • Stall floors might be the most important component, as this is the surface on which your horse will be standing continuously. For anything other than a medical stall, we recommend using a well-draining, mixed-aggregate base—such as a road base (without any sharp stones)—under a stall mat. To ensure that the aggregate base lasts longer, you can use a soil retainer made for horse stalls. This is a grid mat that sits within the top layer of aggregate.On top of the base, rubber mats are placed. Bedding can then be placed on top of the rubber mat to soak up urine. Here are some rules of thumb for long-lasting stall floors:
      • Make sure that the soil drains well. Stalls set on top of muddy or hard-backed surfaces will cause a lifetime of trouble. Prepare the soil prior to building the barn by removing topsoil and organic material such as tree roots and amending the soil if necessary before compacting it. You’ll want to end up with a nicely draining, consistent and compact sub-base. Upon this you will prepare the top six inches with the aggregate base for the stalls.
      • Plan for your final stall floor height to be several inches above the surround grade outside the building to further encourage drainage.
      • Use high-quality, three-quarter-inch-thick rubber mats made for horses. Cheap mats will shift, wear out and change shape.
      • Use grooved mats for better traction for the horses.

Pricing for equestrian facilities start with a base rate of $150 for travel, the exterior, plumbing, electrical, roof, and structure of the barn itself. A fee of $50 per stall is added for inspection of each individual stall for inspection of the components and conditions  specifically stated above. We will inspect all stalls, which must be included as we do not partially complete inspections.

An inspection of the arena structure and roof, to include the footing depth and condition is included for an addtional $100. When inspecting the arena, we will also include a free sand analysis from TruTex. 

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