Avoid Planning Costs with Mobile Stabling

Fed up with the mud?

Unless you are very lucky, you will probably spend the winter fetlock-deep in sticky mud. Apart from pulling shoes off, it can cause foot abscess, thrush, mud fever, sprains and more. *

When a horse is cold and wet, it is hard to keep condition on them and can give rise to snotty noses and rheumatic conditions. Maintaining their condition by keeping them dry and well-fed will keep their immunity high and help protect them from illness. Vets are expensive.

Ideally, you’d have a stable to keep your horse off the paddock during the winter months. Limiting turnout helps to preserve your field for the spring.

What is the best type of stable for your requirements?

Conventional stables are a wonderful facility but expensive and time-consuming to build. An architect would need to draw up plans which are submitted to the local planning department and a fee is paid to both the architect and the council. Assuming permission is granted, a concrete base is installed by groundworkers followed by a course of bricks. The wall panels of the stable are bolted through the brickwork.

Mobile stables are a much faster and cheaper solution. They are made in exactly the same way as permanent stables but instead of being fixed to brickwork, they are bolted to a heavy steel skid. The skids resemble the runners of an old-fashioned sledge.

The types of skids for your shelter

At NFF Ltd., we design and construct the skids from heavy-duty steel in our steel fabrication workshop. We take time to weld the joints and brackets to give them extra strength as our buildings are very heavy, due to the high specification timber we use.

Following manufacture, the skids are sent off for galvanising. Galvanising gives steel a shiny silver appearance and is designed to protect it from rusting giving a life span of approximately 35-years. We don’t believe in painting skids as they quickly rust.

Apart from not requiring groundworks, these buildings can be moved around. The shiny nature of the steel and the clever shape of the skids makes it easy to tow the building using a 4-WD vehicle or a tractor, depending upon the size of your stable.

Cheaper skid option

You may not want to move your building very often. In that case, timber skids may be an option. Despite being double kiln dried and pressure treated to preserve them, they won’t last as long as steel but are cheaper. It will still be possible to tow your building but it won’t glide quite as easily as steel skids do. Timber skids are best suited when a building is going to sit on an existing hardstanding and won’t be moved too often. They are still very strong and durable.

Bedding up

In order to make your building practical to bed-up, you may wish to invest in some rubber matting to lay on the ground. We recommend a layer of rubber grass mats, topped with rubber stable mats. You can then bed up in the same way as a conventional stable.

Should you wish to keep the cost down, you might choose to have just a bottom stable door. When you think about it, you are probably unlikely to shut the top door very often.

Planning Permission

To comply with planning regulations, you won’t be permitted to connect any services, namely electricity or water. There is excellent solar lighting available on the market which is cheap and easy to fit. If you fit guttering and a water tank, you can collect rainwater which is not only free but eco-friendly too.

Getting your horse comfortable with its new shelter
A good way to introduce your horse to their new building is to place feed, hay and water inside. Your horse will soon realise how cosy it is.

Sources: https://stablemanagement.com/articles/health-hazards-mud-horse-farms-31885

Making the most of your field shelter this winter

Apart from sheltering your horse/sheep/alpacas/goats etc, during inclement weather, field shelters are good for separating animals at feeding time.

Here are 10 clever tips for making them even more brilliant:

  1. Put some guttering around the building with a downpipe leading into a water trough. Free water!
  2. Have a couple of clear roof panels to maximise the light
  3. A window is a nice addition
  4. Consider putting a half stable door at the back or side of your building. This can be opened during nice weather to give your horse a different view to enjoy
  5. Line the inside of the roof for a smarter look
  6. An overhang provides good shelter and helps to prevent rain from driving into the shelter
  7. A lined overhang minimises draughts
  8. Full height kickboards re useful when horses are prone to chewing
  9. Rubber stable matting can be fixed to the internal walls if your horse tends to kick inside the stable
  10. Stable doors give you an instant stable

View Shelters

Why a Mobile Stable?

MOBILE STABLES

NFF’s mobile stables provide cheap, instant stabling for your horse or pony.  With no need for expensive concrete bases, brickwork and hence planning* these fabulous buildings can be towed around thanks to the sledge-like ‘skids’ they are built on.

If you place rubber grass mats, topped with rubber stable mats in your mobile stable, you can bed it up as you would normally.  Should you wish to move the building, you can pull up the mats and replace them once the stable is relocated.  

If your stable is going to be sited away from services, you can invest in some cheap solar lighting for those dark evenings and have guttering with a water tank to catch the rainwater.  

It’s worth considering an overhang for the front of the stable to give your horse extra protection from the elements.

Where possible, avoid facing your stable in the direction of the prevailing wind as you want to keep your beloved equine as snug as possible.

A good way to encourage your animal to feel comfortable in their new home is to hang a hay net inside and make a point of placing their feed bucket inside. 

 

RDA(Riding for the Disabled Association) New Timber Pavilion

Sally S (NFF Timber Buildings Manager) and Martin Logan (Timber Buildings Estimator) were invited to the Kipling Trust RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) Grand Opening of their new pavilion.
We were commissioned to design & build the timber pavilion for the RDA complete with disabled toilet access at the side.
The exterior verandah was a popular vantage point for viewing the driving competitions, and also a great place for a social get together.
The founding member, Jan McSweeney cut the ribbon to officially open the building.
We really enjoyed seeing the carriage driving competitions and it was lovely to see everyone having such a great time

 

5 Tips on caring for horses that live out during the winter

Every winter, most horse owners face the challenge of wet, muddy paddocks. This can give rise to horse health issues such as mud fever, foot abscesses, pulled muscles and rain scald to name but a few. 

 

  1. The right ‘clothes’

Horses are very good at regulating their own temperature but when they get wet they feel miserable and their immunity drops.  This leaves them open to coughs, colds and worse.  Consistently damp hair can create a problem with rain scald where large tufts of hair fall out.  If you have a native horse or pony, they tend to be more hardy than the finer breeds so a thin rug would often be sufficient for them.  Thoroughbreds etc. often require thicker duvet rugs and ideally neck covers to keep them warm.  The other benefit of rugs is you have cleaner horses for when you go riding.

 

  1. Standing in mud

Muddy gateways are the bane of most horse owners’ lives in the winter.  When the horses stand in wet mud, the lamina separates regularly causing abscesses to form where infection sets in.  Mud fever is another common problem and especially common with heavily feathered horses such as cobs.  This is where the mud collects and remains damp creating an itchy and crusty rash.  It can sometimes make the horse feel quite unwell.  Crushed chalk can be put down to help absorb the mud or you could consider electric fencing off the gateways where possible.

 

  1. Feeding

When the grass has stopped growing, the horse is reliant on feed from its’ owner to provide the necessary nutrients.  Good quality hay is a must as it provides bulk to help keep the weight on the horse as well as vitamins from when it was made.  Ideally this should be fed on the ground but some horses trash it before they have eaten much which is wasteful.  If you use haynets, ensure they are not low enough for the horse to get his/her hoof caught in it and not too high that it causes neck strain when they are eating.  Whether you feed piles of hay on the ground or individual haynets, take care to place them far enough apart to save arguments amongst your herd which can result in costly vets’ bills.

 

  1. Water

Remember to keep water troughs clean and accessible.  If there is an overnight frost or a prolonged period of very low temperatures, it is crucial that you check the tanks regularly.  Horses always need a plentiful supply of water but they are even thirstier when eating dry hay and maybe hard feed too.

 

  1. Inside space

You may be lucky and have access to stabling which is ideal when the fields get too muddy for safe turnout.  If you don’t have that option, you could consider a mobile stable or field shelter.  These buildings come fitted with ‘sledges’ enabling you to move them around using a 4-WD or a tractor, depending upon the size of the building.  The panels are made the same as stables but instead of being fixed onto brickwork, their base is a framework of either steel or timber complete with fixings to accept a tow strap.  They can be open fronted, fitted with a gate or have a stable door on them. 

 

New Season New Horse

Mobile Field Shelter

Thinking of buying a new horse ready for the season?

With the fields drying up and events to plan for, you may well be ‘horse shopping’. 

Introducing your new horse home can often be a bit worrying in case it jumps out of the paddock, kicks your other horses or runs through electric fencing.  If you don’t have an available stable, a mobile field shelter is a quick and easy option that won’t break the bank.  The field shelters can be fitted with stable doors and be bedded up in exactly the same way as a stable using rubber mats.  They all come with a full towing kit.

Should you choose to fit guttering to the building with a water trough you can make full use of the rain water and solar lighting is always helpful.

The basic design of these handmade buildings can be altered to accommodate windows, talk grills, louvre vents, clear roof lights (to let in extra light), chew strips, full height internal kick boards or even an opening ‘top door/window’ at the back or side of the building for a new horse to look out of and meet other members of his new herd.

From £1232 + vat (£1478.40 inc. vat) you can buy a 12 x 12’ mobile shelter on timber skids which includes delivery and installation within a 40 mile radius of TN21 9HJ. 

The maximum recommended size for a mobile field shelter is 12’ deep x 24’ long.  Any bigger than that can cause problems for towing.  The smaller buildings will easily tow with a decent 4wd vehicle but the larger buildings require a tractor to move them. 

Why not consider adding a mobile storage unit or hay barn.  There are many options are trained staff would be happy to give you more information on.

Getting Ready For Winter

We have been really lucky with an extended summer this year but now is a great time to ensure everything is ready for the winter ahead. 

Be sure to check roofing felt/Onduline is fully secured and hasn’t perished.  You don’t want to see daylight when you look up from the inside of your building. 

The fixings on guttering can come adrift with the weight of autumn leaves and can block up.  Free flowing rain water from the gutter downpipes can be collected in a water trough for animals.  It’s a shame to waste natures’ gift.

If you don’t have electricity in your building and want to avoid tussling with a torch, there are some great solar LED lights on the market at very affordable prices.  They are simple to suspend from a hook on the ceiling.  We have found this one to be very good

If you building doesn’t have a floor, you could consider laying some rubber grass mats on the ground followed by some rubber stable mats.  This will help to protect from the mud and give a solid surface for either horse bedding or storage.  If you have a mobile building, you can pull the mats up when you move it and re-lay them in the new position. 

We are a knowledgeable and friendly team at NFF Ltd. and would be very happy to advise you regarding maintenance of existing constructions or if you are considering building something new. 

New Stables photos

Check out our updated gallery of timber stables and stable-blocks.  All our buildings are designed and hand-crafted by our experienced team at Horam.  Delivery and installation are included in the price, subject to conditions*.  (*Contact office for details).

 

 

Do I need shelter for my horse or pony?

Horses in a bespoke stable block

 

The BHS guidelines state “all horses and ponies kept at grass require the provision of an adequate effective field shelter”.

 

Over time, we have bred more refined horses to suit our preferred disciplines making them increasingly vulnerable to temperature changes. Thin-skinned breeds from warmer countries are particularly susceptible to the cold.

 

When animals live out they use a lot of their reserves to keep warm and tend to drop weight.  A stabled horse/pony needs less food than one that is out-wintered.

 

If you are not blessed with well-drained fields, winter can quickly change smooth green pastures into rutted mud-baths ready to be colonized by weeds once spring arrives.   Winter can be a very unpleasant time for the horse-owner.

 

Keeping your horse/pony in a shelter or stable for the winter months not only preserves your ground for the spring but it helps to keep your animal in good health. If a horse gets cold, its’ immunity will drop leaving it vulnerable to illness.  It doesn’t take long for a vet’s bill to add up to the cost of field shelter!

The All England Jumping Course, Hickstead

The All England Jumping Course, Hickstead

 

We are very pleased to announce that we have signed a fantastic sponsorship contract with The All England Jumping Course, Hickstead. We will be servicing and maintaining the timber buildings at Hickstead for the next 3 years.

We are having trade stands at The British Jumping Derby Meeting, The Longines Royal International Horse Show and the All England Jumping Championships. Please come along and visit us, have a look at our display buildings and find out what more we can offer you.