Question: I’m building a new horse facility and have two horses. I plan to have a few pastures and a dry lot. How big should my dry lot be? Do you have any other recommendations as I layout my dry lot?
Response: Dry lots provide an area to house horses when they are not on pasture or in stalls, and are an important part of a facility plan. Dry lots can vary in size; however, dry lots should provide at least 400 square feet per horse. This guideline assumes that horses housed together in a dry lot get along. Make sure to account for feeding, water and shelter space within the dry lot. However, dry lots that are too large will become weedy.
We recommend using a permanent fence (e.g. wood or panels) to enclose your dry lot. Ideally, your pastures would run alongside your dry lot. This will allow you to use common gates that open into each pasture while still allowing access to the dry lot (and shelter, water and feed). While a 4-foot gate is good for turning a single horse in or out of the dry lot, make sure your dry lot has a gate large enough to get equipment or several horses through. We recommend a 12 foot or 16 foot gate for equipment use.