The quadrangular arrangement shown in fig. 570 cannot be adopted for small stables. As a rule the building takes the form of a simple oblong, the stable itself being at one end, the corn-store and harness-room in the middle, and the coach-house at the other end. The central portion may be carried up to a greater height than the others, in order to provide space for a hayloft or a man's room over the harness-room and corn-store. In many cases an L-shaped plan is the most suitable for the site, the coach-house serving to screen the stable from the garden or from the house. Plans of two stables of this kind are shown in fig. 571. The accommodation provided in one plan includes a loose-box and two stalls for horses, and a smaller stall for a pony, a harness-room, heating-chamber, and coach-house; over the heating-chamber and harness-room there is a room for a man, and over the coach-house there is a large loft for hay, corn, etc. In the original design for this building, a corn-store was shown on the ground floor, two boxes were provided, and a glazed roof was shown over part of the yard in front of the coach-house. The manure pit and E.C. are at the back of the stables. The heating-chamber contains a boiler, which serves to warm, by means of hot-water pipes, not only the coach-house but also a range of lean-to green-houses built against the back wall of the coach-house. The other plan shows the plans of a building containing on the ground floor a small stable for three horses, harness- and store-rooms, and coach-house, and on the first floor a hayloft over the stable, and coachman's house over the other rooms. The stable and some of the other rooms were originally shown larger, but the sizes were reduced in order to bring the cost down to a specified amount, and consequently the plans cannot be regarded as entirely satisfactory. They serve, however, as an example of an economical range of buildings, and of one method of planning a coachman's house over part of the ground-floor space. Externally the two buildings, of which the plans are given in fig. 571, were designed to be in keeping with the adjacent houses.
Fig. 571. - Plans of L-shaped Stables.
Some of the materials used in the construction of stables will be treated upon in the detailed description of the several parts. With regard to the walls and roof, there is no special material that is better than another; whatever most harmonizes with the dwelling-house, or is most characteristic of the locality, is suitable. Brick, stone, or even wood may be selected. Both stone and brick walls can be easily kept dry by building them with a hollow space in the centre. For the roof, slates are now generally the cheaper, tiles the more picturesque.
A good Stable should be 18 feet wide inside, and each stall should be 6 feet wide. The divisions of the stalls should be at least 9 feet long, which will leave 9 feet for the passage behind the horses; or if the stall division is 10 feet, as is better, the passage will be 8 feet wide. A stable for cart-horses may be 16 feet, but the width of the stalls should not be less than 6 feet; narrower stalls are often made, but for large horses this width is indispensable, A good size for a loose-box is about 12 feet by 10, but boxes often vary much in size according to convenience in planning or caprice of the owner. The stable of olden time was a very dirty place, and among many stable attendants ideas and habits in consonance therewith too often still linger. In the modern stable, however, strict cleanliness is almost as much a desideratum as in a hospital yard. Everything should be clean, bright, and pleasing to the senses. The gentleman's horse is often a nervous and fidgety creature, and every part of the fittings should be so constructed as to reduce to a minimum the possibility of his doing himself an injury. There should be no sharp or projecting angles in the. stall-divisions, mangers, or other fittings with which the horse is likely to come into contact.