Your barn aisle is an area which is heavily traveled by both humans and horses. It's also a potential source of danger. Don't worry, though - we've come up with five ways that you can make your barn aisle safer.
Install Footing with Traction
Carefully examine the footing in your barn aisle. Many barn aisles are made from concrete, which can be slick, especially when wet. There are many footing options that you can use to provide your aisle with traction, reducing the chance of you or a horse slipping. Consider using rubber stall mats, rubber pavers, or even a dirt barn aisle for a safer surface.
Remove Clutter from the Aisle
It may be tempting to store items like pitchforks and tack trunks in the barn aisle, but these objects can be dangerous, especially if a horse acts up or spooks in the aisle. Instead, locate these items in their own storage areas so that they're out of the way. The aisle will look wider - and cleaner - because of it.
Light the Aisle Well
Dark barn aisles make it difficult to see, but they can also increase the chance of a horse being spooky while being led. Look into various lighting options to brighten up your space. Install lights which illuminate the entire aisle for a safer atmosphere. As an added bonus, good lighting makes it much easier to groom or take care of a wounded horse in the aisle.
Use Breakaway Crossties
If your barn aisle includes crossties, pay special attention to these potentially dangerous features. Make sure that you only use crossties which will break away if a horse spooks or panics while tied. The hook that you mount the crossties to should be attached to a wall, never to a stall door. Run a loop of baling twine through the hook, and then attach the crossties to the twine. If a horse pulls on the ties, the baling twine will give way, freeing the horse before he can injure his head or neck from the force.
Build a Wide Aisle
This tip won't really work unless you're constructing your own barn. If you're lucky enough to be able to design and build your own barn, make sure that it features a wide aisle. The more space that you have available in your barn aisle, the less likely it is that you or a horse will be injured if a horse spooks or misbehaves while being led or tied. Wide aisles are also visually pleasing, since they allow for more light and give the barn an impression of being open and airy.