Small Horse Barns: The Complete Guide

A small horse barn with metal siding and roofing.

There are plenty of ways to fight the different weather conditions in the countryside when it comes to protecting our horses, but the best way, by far, will be with horse barns. A small horse barn is the best solution for those with only one or two horses or for homeowners who need extra outdoor storage where they can keep their small garden equipment, such as lawnmowers.

Styles of Small Horse Barns

A traditional small horse barn.

Traditional Horse Barns

Traditional horse barns come in many shapes and sizes. There are also quite a few regional naming variations, such as Lancaster barns, Monitor barns, 3-section barns, and more. While traditional horse barns tend to be on the larger side, it’s also possible to configure them as small horse barns with 2-4 stalls.


For those who own a large property, a traditional barn will be the best option. Even though they can build in any size, the most common sizes of traditional barns are 30×40 and 38×48.


If you decided to have a traditional horse barn, it is vital that you ensure that the materials used in the barn construction are good quality and durable. Although wood is still the most common material to build traditional barns, metal barns can be much cheaper and last much longer than wood.


Because they are typically large structures, traditional horse barns can be used for numerous reasons, such as storing tack and other essential items or housing your horses. Some benefits of having a traditional horse barn are keeping your horses warm and comfortable from bad weather conditions and providing a warm, dry place to groom and saddle them during the winter. It also provides your horses with a spacious area to rest and eat.

Inline Horse Barns

Inline barns (also known as shed row barns) are one of the most popular fully-enclosed small horse barns. In general, they are significantly cheaper than traditional horse barns (though more expensive than run-in horse barns).


Inline barns provide an affordable way for farmers to meet their barn needs. They can be built in any size and are easy to customize. It may be the best option for those with limited available space because they can build in a U or L shape or back-to-back design, which can fit perfectly on your farm.


Most shed row barn builders offer both wood and metal options. For those who are looking for an attractive barn where horses can be kept warm in the winter and cooler in the summer, the wood option might be a better option. A metal barn, on the other hand, is durable and cost-effective. Because steel is naturally strong, it will last longer than wood. Metal shed row barns are highly recommended for those who are looking for a less expensive and durable barn for their horses.


Since inline barns are wider than run-in barns, they provide more storage space to store hay or farm equipment. Another reason that farmers tend to choose shed row barns is that they have excellent ventilation, which creates a healthy space for your horses. Shed row barns are also ideal for keeping your horses safe in a variety of weather conditions.


A small horse run-in barn.

Run-In Horse Barns

Run-in horse barns (also known as run-in sheds, horse run-ins, or loafing sheds) are certainly the most affordable small horse barn on the market. These barns are most popular for providing quick shelter in pastures, barnyards, and other outdoor areas.


Bigger isn’t always the better option! If you are looking for smaller, functional, cost-effective options, Esh’s affordable small horse barns will be the best option for you.

The number of horses you want to shelter will be the biggest factor in determining what size to construct.  Below we have listed the common barn dimensions our designers recommend.

10 X 1212 X 12
10 X 1612 X 16
10 X 2012 X 20
10 X 2412 X 24
10 X 2812 X 28


Board & Batten Horse Barn

This small modular horse barn has been built uniquely for those looking for practical design and high-quality traditional structures.

Barns with board and batten siding come with a colored metal roof material and thick pine boards on the inside. It is durable and easy to clean. Board and batten construction provides natural insulation. It offers warmth in the winter and cooling during the summer.  This elegant model will not only be a shed for your horses but will also add aesthetic value to your farm or backyard.

Steel Horse Barn

Metal horse barns are fully customizable, depending on your needs and budget. Besides being affordable, these unique models are durable, safe, easy to maintain, and can stand against any weather. Since we know how important it is to keep a clean barn for your horses’ safety and health, steel barns are built so you can easily clean them.


Small horse barns allow your horses to run freely in and out and help them stretch their legs while exercising in their natural environment. Since run-in barns are easy to clean, they also help your horses to live in a healthy environment. The convenient size of the run-in barn provides space to store food and supplies or be used as a tack room.

If you are looking for a small horse barn design and quality you can rely on for years to come, our wood horse barns or steel horse barn models might be the best option for you.

Click here to see our current inventory of small horse barns for sale.

TRADITIONAL BARNS$$$$$noun check mark 1455879 272926noun check mark 1455879 27292610- 13 WEEKS
SHED ROW BARNS$$$noun check mark 1455879 272926noun check mark 1455879 2729266-7 WEEKS
RUN-IN BARNS$noun check mark 1455879 272926noun check mark 1455879 2729262-3 WEEKS

As shown above, run-in barns are the most suitable option for those looking for an economical, small and durable barn. The construction and lead time of run-in barns are fast, and at Esh’s Utility Buildings, we offer to install the barn on your property.

What is the best surface for a small horse barn?

When it comes to comfort and easily maintaining and cleaning your horses, the material you must use for the floor of your small horse barns is essential. Let’s take a look at the most preferred floor options.

Concrete Flooring

Concrete flooring is one of the best options for horse owners. It keeps the barn from collecting dust and moisture. A big plus for concrete flooring is how easy it is to clean. This cuts down on the time it usually takes to clean and provides your horses with a healthy environment. Concrete flooring is also durable and hard to damage.

Dirt Flooring

Since dirt floor provides soft ground to stand on, it is easy on the feet and legs of your horses. Unlike concrete floor, dirt floor is more challenging to maintain and clean, but since it is the most economical choice, it is still the preferred option for many prefab barn owners.

Crushed Limestone

Another answer to “what kind of flooring is best for a barn” might be crushed limestone. Properly installed limestone can be an excellent option for small horse barn owners since it is durable, easy to maintain, and provides a non-slip surface. Since crushed limestone will harden overtime, you may need floor mats or deep bedding to ensure the comfort of your horse.

Why You Should Buy a Small Horse Barn

If you need a shelter that provides safety and health for your horses while still being affordable,  small horse barns are the most suitable options. 

Healthy Environment

There are so many reasons to go with this option. The main one is that a small horse barn with an open front offers better quality health for horses than four-walled stuffy barns. Being able to move in and out of the barn freely helps to keep your horses in good shape, and it also aids with  digestion.


Most of us do not like to consider the possibility of barn fires, but unfortunately, it is a real risk.  It is nearly impossible for a horse to escape from a four-walled barn with locked doors during a fire. A small horse barn will eliminate this risk and save your horses.


Another significant advantage of small horse barns is their affordability. Besides creating a healthy and safe environment for your horses, the economical prices of small horse barns make this unique model attractive for horse owners. Moreover, you can design and customize your modular barns without significant price changes.

All in all, small horse sheds are affordable buildings to keep your horses safe and healthy. If you want a small horse barn for your property, check out our Run-In Sheds or design a barn that will fit your needs perfectly using our 3D Barn Builder.