Horse Barn: Stall Design Overview
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Horse Barn: Stall Design Overview

August 12, 2019

Our stalls are composed of tongue and groove boards and metal bars and then sliding mesh doors. This provides a lot of visual contact for the horses across the aisle way and also, let’s some of the fresh air get inside their stall. If you look over here, we have a really neat access way to feed the horses. So our feed crew can come in here, put hay in the feeder as well as grain in the feed bin, shut the door and never really have to walk inside with the horse. And from a safety feature especially if you have a lot of new strange horses in and out of your facility, this is actually a good safety factor – not having to go inside in a horse’s stall especially when you’re introducing grain into the stall. Some horses will actually get pretty anxious around feeding time. Feeling threatened by the horses across from them and side to side and they may pin their ears and stomp a little bit and show more of a temper than they would in a normal setting. Along here then we have our sliding door – sliding doors are optimal for horse stalls. It increases the safety factor over a hinge door by quite a bit because they’re just safer from horses going in and out as far as getting a hip caught in the door. It’s easier to slide your door all the way across, lead your horse in the stall, close the door and then open it again to lead your horse out. The only position for any door whether it’s a hinge door or a sliding door, is to be all the way open or all the way shut. Okay, these are the only two satisfactory conditions. Any partially open door, even if a horse is loose they may try to swing in here and get into the stall and obviously this space isn’t going to facilitate that and they could get banged up pretty badly. Again from a safety standpoint all the way open or all the way shut is the rule for stall doors. Another nice feature of this door is this real easy latch. And again latches are only good if you use them. So you want to make sure after you put a horse in the stall that the latches are always brought down and this is a pretty hard latch. A horse, an adult horse at least, can’t get their muzzle through this space to open up this latch. We haven’t had any horses learn how to escape from this particular facility. But word of caution: there are some real Houdini’s in the equine world. So you want to – even though you think a latch is sure-proof, it’s always amazing how horses can learn to escape. So as we go into this stall this is about a 10 by 10 style, and this is actually the smallest size that you would want from an aspect of a horse barn. We have arabians here again, not the not that big of horses as compared to warmbloods or draft horses or even a lot of quarter horses out there. And so this works out pretty well. But 10 by 10 feet is about as small as you ever want to go. Even if you have ponies you want to make sure that your stall size facilitates future use. So if you decide to get a different breed of horse, or you sell your facility you want to make sure That the facility can be used in a lot of different ways. Here we have walls with tongue and groove boards. You’ll notice that there is no exposure of the horses to the metal siding as far as their kick boards. These are well around five feet tall. On the back end of the stall you always want to make sure no matter if you’re talking about lean-toos or horse stalls that the horse can’t be exposed to metal sheets because a horse could actually kick through that metal and severely damage their legs with a career-ending injury. We also have windows with each stall and this provides a lot of natural light into the stall that helps with their well-being. These are actually pretty big windows. We get plenty of fresh air coming into the stalls but notice we also have a bar over the windows. And this helps protect the horse. There’s no fear that the horse is going to actually try to jump out the window. So this is another important feature of this barn. If we look down below we have a rubber mat for the surface and these were actually installed over a limestone base. So we have some absorption through this floor and then we have a little bit of cush, and you’ll notice that the bedding is probably about three to four inches deep. You can afford to use a shallower bedding material with a rubber mat versus if you’re housing your horse on concrete then you would probably be looking at six to eight inches of bedding material to keep the horse from being scraped on by the concrete surface. And over here, we have our waterers. These horses are all watered by hand and one of the good things about watering a horse by hand is it provides an opportunity for whoever’s feeding and watering to actually look at the horse, check them out make sure that they’re drinking for one thing. But also just look at them from a behavioral aspect, see if the horse is eating properly and all of that. So you potentially could catch a horse on the onset of them getting sick and help them through that period quicker. Then if you weren’t taking care to do those morning and afternoon observations. The bad thing about hand watering a horse is if it doesn’t get done. And you want to make sure that with adult horse. They’re gonna drink between 10 to 12 gallons of water a day. So this water bucket is going to have to be filled up three or four times a day, especially as the weather gets hotter, they’re going to drink more. If they’ve been exercising they’ll be drinking more. If they’re lactating or milking a foal, the mare is going to require a lot more water than if she’s not lactating. So you want to make sure that these waters get filled waters get filled and that’s where an automatic water is nice, as long as it’s working, is that the horse should always have access to fresh water. However, in a stall environment like this if a automatic water breaks down and leaks, you usually end up with a flooded stall as well as a flooded alleyway. So one recommendation is if you do install automatic waters, put it on the outside of your stall so that if it does break down and leak, hopefully most of the moisture and water will go to the outside of your barn versus the inside of your stall and your alleyway.

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