Horse Barns

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2002
Reaction score
Southern, NJ
We are still in the process of planning our horse barn and have talked to a couple different builders. One specializes in wood the other does both but recommends steel over wood stating that steel last longer and yet is more cost efficient. The one that specializes in wood tells me that steel sweats too much even with good ventilation.

Please tell me your pros and cons of your barns, steel or wood. Having a tough time deciding what to do here!!
My riding instructor has both kinds of barns a steel barn and a wood barn.

The steel barn makes a TON of noise when it rains (even if it is just sprinkling outside). The noise has been kind of nice however, because the horses don't seem to care about loud noises anymore. She found that if she left both doors in the barn open during the day and closed them at night, there was very little sweating. It was just a matter of keeping the doors open during the day as often as possible. Steel in a light color also seems to keep the barn cooler, we have sprinklers that keep the roof wet on really hot days and it really helps. Another nice thing about the steel barn is that it doesn't burn to well!

The wood barn stays warmer in the winter than the steel barn, but not by much. There is strips of metal edging all over the barn to keep the horses from chewing it. If we didn't they would have the barn chewed down in no time
But unlike steel, wood won't sweat.
I have an MD metal barn and just love it. I do have some condensation in the winter which could be fixed by insulation but not really a problem. The one thing I absolutely love is after foaling or quarantining horses I can pressure wash and it looks like a new barn and far cleaner than a wood barn would be.
I have an old fashioned red wood barn with a loft and metal roof. I love my old barn, it's cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Not as clean as the metal ones and as far as fire threat goes metal is better. If I were building again it would be metal.....but I love the look of my old red barn!
One of my barns in Florida was a higher end 6 stall metal barn, the other barns were wood. Both had problems.

The steel barns are nice and really pretty I think but mine was not insullated. It should be backed up with interior wood because a horse can easily kick and dent it or just go through it. Mine was so noisey that it would drive me up a wall. It actually hailed there a couple of times and I thought that someone had launched an attack. We had lightening rods of course that were grounded right, but I know of some barns that were hit regardless. So that was always a concern too. It cost a small mint to have it lined with wood. I could have had another barn built for the extra wood that had to be put in it. It was pretty much maintenence free and that was nice. It was not worth the money in my opinion and very overpriced for what it really was. It did look nice and neet though. In today's market, these buildings are priced sky high with the price of metal/steel being what they are and what they have escalated to due to the war. My new barn has no steel in it at all.

The wood barn was old, old, old, a contant repair job. Termites, bugs, rot, you name it. A day didn't go by where I was not out there banging my thumb with the hammer. Wood barns in my opinon do require a lot of upkeep.

For all these reasons and more, this is why Jerry chose concrete for our new barn. It's cost effective and cheaper than going to wood or steel.

Our last dilemna is what to do the inside stalls with now. Jerry would like to use steel rods that he can make in our shop easily and very inexpensively, so that I can have an "open" type barn, and the other option on the table is oak plank boards that they cannot chew. Decisions, decisions.
Well, I love my old wooden barn. It has character. I painted it barn red and white, added a patio/porch, have old barn/western signs hanging up, ferns, windchimes, bird feeders etc. My barn is around 30 years old. My hubby offered to have me a new barn built, but no way, Jose. My sister just built a big metal 72 foot long barn and I would not trade my old wooden barn for hers at all. Just my opinion though.
I have a metal pole barn. If I were to do it again, I would defintely go wood. I had a Q.H. mare that was feeling spunky put her left hind leg through it! A year later after twice a day doctoring she is healed up. And thank the good lord did not cut any tendons, so has been sound the entire time. Go wood or cement.
WOOD! If I had to do it all again I'd do wood. Oh I know..the maintenance, painting, wood rot but so much cooler. Mine is metal with the 1" pink foam insulation then hemlock wood walls. Concrete floors too. Problem is when it's hot it's HOT in the barn. I have a huge wooden shed attached to the barn end with a shingle roof. My kids stay out all day no matter the heat as the shed stays cool with the 2 big fans. The barn is usually 10 degrees or more hotter. We have 2 sliding doors 10' wide. I'd also do overhead doors next time.

I was out in the barn thinking about your thread and remembered that in the winter it frosts on the roof inside, when it thaws it kind of "rains". I hate that especially on my hay.
Last edited by a moderator:
I love my little wood barn. It is warm in the winter and cool in the Summer and just feels cozier than the metal barns I've been in.

Of course you can add certain things to metal barns to help them feel more like a wood one, but I would choose wood if I could.

Liz M.
Interesting how many seem to prefer wood over steel. We are getting ready to build a new barn too and will probably go to a pole barn with steel siding. After fighting termites and moisture problems in my old wood barn, and trying to keep it clean, I'm ready for a change. I do love the look and feel of a nice wood barn but maintenance is high. We plan to line the steel with wood up as high as horses can reach. The stall dividers will be breathable and in our climate the big doors are always open, so I'm hoping it will be a comfortable barn. I sure like the MD and Barnmaster barns, but doing a lot of price comparison, we decided we can build the pole barn and have the same exterior look for much less money.

I have to say METAL.

The "burn factor" and the "chew factor" are major issues/concerns for me. After having mostly wooden shelters for my horses, we built a metal two stall shelter three years ago and I LOVE it! We are in the process of building a 6 stall metal barn that is pretty much the same pattern as the shelter we built. With the wood it seemed I was spending YEARS of my life painting or lining the sides with with metal or chicken wire (which looks terrible) trying to keep the horses from chewing it. My vet has a neat and tidy metal barn that has the 1/2 wall solid metal sides and looks great. It doesn't get too hot because it has proper ventilation. Metal does "sweat" when it gets cold and then heats up again, but it hasn't really been that much of a problem for me.
Last edited by a moderator:
We have a metal pole barn and I have NO problems with it. Where the horses can come and go into the barn, we put up 1x12x12 on the walls half way up incase of any kicking or messing around. The roof is shingled so I think that helps cut down some of the noise from the rain. I keep both doors open in the summer and have some fans to push the air thru, I usually find the horses in there during the heat of the day. In the winter it stays pretty nice considering. The barn is white with a black shingled roof.

It's easy for Fall & Spring clean up of old cob webs, etc.

Latest posts