Features of the Best Horse Stalls
Horse owners know how much time and resources go into caring for a horse. Though these beasts are powerful and majestic, they are very high maintenance. This is particularly true of horses that compete in shows. The upkeep on a horse can often be prohibitive, especially if the prospective owner doesn't know what he or she is getting into. One of the most important aspects of taking care of a horse is choosing its shelter. Horse stalls should be in a comfortable environment with enough room for the horse to live while also allowing for easy stall access and maintenance by the owner. Finding the best horse stalls for your horses can be one of the more challenging decisions the current or aspiring horse owner has to make. This hub will describe some of the types and features of the best horse stalls and how to rent or buy them.
Selecting a Horse Stall
When visiting barns and horse farms, you should know the features of stall that you’re looking for. You will need to get a stall for each horse, so make sure you find a barn that will be able to accommodate them. If you are lodging your horses on your own property, make sure to select a barn location that is large enough. The barns should also be kept at comfortable temperatures for the horses, and they should be continually looked after while in their stalls.
Another consideration is the size of the stall. A popular size of stall is 12 foot by 12 foot. Other sizes include 10’x10’ or 24’x24’, though other sizes could be available depending on the barn. The larger the horse, the more room he or she will need to live. At the same time, you want to make sure that the strength of larger stalls will not be compromised by its size, as horses can put a beating on their environment.
There are many different kinds of materials used to frame the stall. This material will also make up the bars or other parts that keep the horse from reaching out of the stall while also allowing proper ventilation. These materials can include steel (painted and galvanized), aluminum, and mesh. Some materials are stronger than others, and this can also be affected by the particular design of the stall. Make sure that the stall you select will be able to contain the strength and size of your horse.
The rest of the stall is usually filled in with wood. This wood can have either no finish or many different finishes, depending on the look desired. The wood should be in good condition, and the stall should look like it is well-maintained.
Selecting Horse Stall Accessories
One aspect of a horse stall is access. How will you tend to the horse without going into the stall? How will the stall open? These are all important questions to consider when searching for stalls. Make sure that they have easy access, like feed windows and utility doors.
One of the important accessories is a horse stall mat. Horse stall mats come in a variety of sizes and types. The purpose of a mat, usually made out of neoprene or rubber, is to provide the maximum amount of comfort for your horse while also making cleaning the stall an easier task. It can also save money by reducing the amount of bedding needed.
Other accessories include waterers and feed buckets. Good waterers will be insulated on all sides to maintain a pleasant drinking temperature no matter the conditions, hot or cold. Another important item is the bucket and bucket holders. These holders will keep the bucket at a comfortable eating height while also having the strength to stand up to daily abuse. Some stalls have swing out doors that allow you to replace feed and water without having to enter the stall.
Build Your Own Horse Stall
If you own a lot of property and have construction ability or connections, you might consider building your own horse stall. This option is advantageous because you can build the stall to your and your horse’s specifications and desires. The disadvantage is that properly building a stall and the associated building (if necessary) requires a lot of skill, money, and time. There are many companies willing to customize stalls to the inch and with any features and accessories that may be desired.
If you decide upon this option, you are able to either purchase a ready-made stall kit or build a stall from scratch. With the former option assembly will be easy but you will have less flexibility in design. With the latter option you can customize it to your liking, but you are pretty much on your own with the construction of the stall. Two major types of horse stalls for sale are modular and conventional. Modular stalls are usually preassembled pieces that require no support posts, while conventional stalls do. What is particularly useful about modular models is that they can be used as portable horse stalls.
You will need to set up a stall frame, usually made out of metal, and then create the walls out of lumber. You can then fill in the bottom of the stall with sand and add a mat if you want. You will then want to add any accessories, some described above, that you need for the stall, as well as a door big enough to allow the horse to enter and exit.