Hinge vs. Sliding Stall Front Doors

One of the major decisions that you will face when building or expanding your barn is selecting what style of horse stall is right for your barn. While there is plenty of variety between stall styles, stall doors come in just two styles – sliding and hinge doors. Unsure of which type of door is right for you? Here’s some information that might help in your decision!

sliding-horse-stallSliding Stall Doors

Sliding stalls doors are a popular option for many horse barns. Sliding doors have a major advantage in that they save room, since the door doesn’t swing outward into the barn aisle. For this reason, sliding stall doors are ideal for busy facilities where multiple horses are frequently coming and going. They also make a great choice if you are dealing with a narrow barn aisle in your facility.

Sliding stall doors do have less aesthetic appeal than hinged stall doors. Sliding doors must be supported by an overhead track. While the overhead track isn’t as appealing as the open appearance of a hinged stall door, you need to weigh whether the space saved by a sliding stall door is worth it for your facility.

Hinged Stall Doorshinged-horse-stall

Hinged stall doors need room to swing out into the barn aisle. This means that your barn aisle must be fairly wide, especially if you have two rows of stalls directly across from each other. You will also want your barn aisle to be free of items like tack boxes so that you can easily navigate the aisle with a horse.

If you are considering installing hinged stall doors, carefully evaluate your barn aisle. The aisle needs to be level, since the bottom of the stall door may get stuck on uneven flooring. Ideally, you should build your stall so that there are at least a few inches of clearance between the bottom of the stall door and the flooring of the barn aisle. If your barn aisle is full of hills and ruts, a hinged stall door might not be the best choice for your barn.

Hinged stall doors are aesthetically pleasing, because they make it possible to have a more open stall plan than a sliding stall door will allow. Hinged stall doors can make for an elegant appearance, such as that offered by the European Stall Series. They can truly transform the atmosphere of your barn!

If you’re still unsure about which type of style for stalls is right for your barn, please visit our website or contact Classic Equine Equipment.  We would be happy to talk about our different stall lines and can help you to find the best product for your barn.

photo credit:  Classic Equine Equipment
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Use Your Smartphone For More Than Selfies

horse on cell phone THESALEHORSESmartphones can be used for everything these days – listening to music, reading emails, surfing the internet, watching movies and, of course, taking pictures and videos.  But you can also use your phone for more than taking selfies.  Here are some ideas on how to use the camera on your phone with your equestrian life.

If you are looking at a new horse, snap a picture of it with your phone.  Save it with as much info as possible.  Ex. Brownie HappyBarnStable 010117.  After looking at 3 or 4 brown horses, you won’t be able to remember if “Brownie” was the one with the white star at Joe’s Barn or the one with the white blaze at Happy Barn Stable.  Taking a picture can help you remember who is who. And if you’re phone allows you to video the test ride as well. 

If you see something you like on the internet, but want to see it in person at your local HBG with phonetack store, save the picture to the phone.  Since tack styles are often similar with one or two small differences, having the picture can help you be sure the one you’re looking at in the store is the same one you liked online.

Conversely, if you see something you like in a store, but think you can get it cheaper online.  Take a picture of the store item and save with as much info a possible.  Ex. Wintec Isabell Saddle Bob’s Tack

One of the hardest things to do is to keep track of something on your horse.  For example, it’s October and you want to be sure your horse stays at the same weight in January.  Or you notice a lump and your veterinarian says “keep an eye on it” and let him know if there are any changes.  When you see your horse nearly every day, it’s hard to remember if it really looked like THAT the last time you checked.  Taking a picture to refer to can help to compare.  Use a body condition guide to document your horse’s weight.  Photo the lump with a ruler in the picture to indicate the size at the time.

Photographing or videoing your horse is a great help to your veterinarian in case you have to call him.  What may look like an emergency gash to you may look like a medium cut to your veterinarian if he can see it before he comes out.  With a picture, he may be able to instruct you how to care for it yourself and save the vet call.

The say a picture if worth a thousand words and if your horse is exhibiting odd or unusual behavior, it’ often better to show the veterinarian a video rather than try to describe it in words.  A horse that is “shaking” vs. “trembling” can mean different things to a vet.  So eliminate any confusion and send a video.

All of us want the perfect barn or pasture.  If you are visiting somewhere and see am idea on how to improve your barn, ex. a different style of window or how to handle winter turnout, ex. a gravel sacrifice area, snap a picture so that you’ll remember just what you’d like to do at your barn.

See it, snap it, remember it.  Use your phone to document what’s important in your equine life.

photo credit: The Sale Horse

Your Horse Called – Here’s How He Wants His Stall Designed

horse on phoneYour horse spends a lot of time in their stall.  Here are some things he wants you to know to keep him happy and safe.

  1. Take into account his size. While smaller horses or ponies can get by with a 10’x10’ stall, most horses need at least a 12’x12’ stall. Warmbloods or mares with foals may require larger stalls.  The “rule of thumb” is a stall length should be 1-1/2 times the length of the horse so he has room to turn around and lay down.
  2. At least an 8’ divider between his stall and his “neighbor.” A wall with an upper half grill at least part of the way across lets your horse see other horses without them annoying him. Open space at the top of the stall dividers help the air circulate within the stall interior.
  3. A stall made of strong materials so his neighbor’s hoof doesn’t come through if he decides to have a bout of kicking.
  4. A ceiling at least 11’ tall so he doesn’t have to worry about hitting his head if he should get the urge to rear in his stall.
  5. A stall with lots of light and fresh air. Windows and doors where he can see out will help keep him from being bored.  Plenty of fresh air will help eliminate respiratory problems. 
  6. Doors that are wide enough and open outward so he doesn’t get banged in the hip when he walks out. Doors with yokes or Dutch doors allow your horse to hang is head outside and watch what’s going on.
  7. Secure latches on the doors so he’s not tempted to play Houdini and escape.
  8. Sturdy hinges and hardware so that nothing in his stall breaks and becomes a danger.
  9. A floor that is comfortable to stand and lay on. Flooring with stall mats make for a happy horse.
  10. Plenty of clean water. While buckets may be fine, they require regular cleaning.  An automatic waterer ensures that you horse has plenty of fresh water.  Add a heater for warm water in the winter and your horse will be a happy camper.
  11. Easy feeding options – swing-out doors and hay racks so he can get his meals served quickly and easily.

Luckily, Classic Equine Equipment makes the Integrity Series that has all of the qualitieswood-barn-integrity your horse is looking for in his stall.  The Integrity Series is the ultimate component horse stall system. All grill sections and doors are solid welded, never any pieces to assemble. Constructed from heavy-duty galvanized steel tubing, the Integrity Series is available in any length. Mix and match door, feed or watering options to create the perfect horse stall. All components, including track and door hardware, sold separately.

The Integrity series is perfect for existing barn retrofits or new construction. Components are easy to install and virtually maintenance free. These products add value to your barn and security for your horses while being value engineered to fit all barn budgets.

For more information on the Integrity series and all stall options, visit the Classic Equine Equipment web site.

Photo credit: Mountain Rose Horsemanship Training, Classic Equine Equipment

New Uses For An Old Favorite – Stall Mats

Did you know that there are other uses for stall mats besides providing comfort for your horse in his stall?  You can use full or partial stall mats in non-traditional ways to make your barn and home safer, cleaner and more user-friendly. 

Loktuff logo mat

Classic Equine Equipment offers high quality stall mats that will fit both standard and alternate uses.  Backed by a 12-year wear warranty, our LockTuff interlocking mats are guaranteed never to buckle or curl.  Available in the versatile 4′ x 6′ size, they come in  ¾” thickness or ½” thickness with a color speck.

mighty lite stall matOr check out our Mighty Light stall mats.  At about 12 pounds each, Mighty Lites can be snapped together in minutes and easily moved. Sized at 36″ x 48″ x 7/8″, they have interlocking edges and are reversible for extended wear. The slip resistant surface is easily cleaned and are impermeable to liquids. They are also great to take to shows. 

Around The Barn

  • Stall mats can help eliminate muddy hooves and feet around gates, doorways and paddocks.
  • Stall mats in paddocks are easier on your horse’s legs and easier to clean up manure. Also easier to shovel snow.  Great for use in pasture run-in shelters.
  • Stall mats in the hay and feed rooms make it easier to sweep and keep clean and helps keep your hay dry.  They also provide a deterrent to mice burrowing up into the feed room.
  • Stall mats in indoor wash racks are, comfortable, non-slip and easy to clean.  
  • Stall mats in the shoeing area are easier on your horse’s legs when being shod – and on your farrier’s too!
  • Stall mats on the tack room floor are easier to clean than carpeting and are softer and warmer on your feet than concrete.
  • Stall mats make great walkways in a variety of areas – down the aisle over concrete to keep horses from slipping or as a pathway to the barn in rainy or snowy weather.

Other Uses 

  • Use in front of your sink to keep your feet warmer and prevent leg strain from long periods of standing.
  • Use as a mulch in the garden or around trees.
  • Use as a welcome mat to keep mud out of the house.
  • Use as a place to store wet or muddy boots.
  • Use in the garage or workshop to insulate the floor and cushion feet while working.
  • Use in the back of your station wagon or SUV to keep it clean when hauling wet or muddy dogs.

horse stall with mats

And, of course, Classic Equine Equipment’s  mats are perfect for your horse’s stall, aisleway or trailer.  They are versatile and durable.  

“There’s Nothing Like A Classic!”

 

photo credit:  Classic Equine Equipment

 

A Few of My Favorite (Winter) Things

horse-and-barn-in-snow_stablemanagementIf you own or manage a barn, over the years you’ve come up against some challenges in doing so in winter.  Me, too.  I’ve put together a list of some of the things I’ve discovered over the years that have made my job a bit easier.

Stall mats – My favorite multi-use tool.  However, in the winter, in addition to keeping your horse off a cold concrete floor, these are great to as anti-slip walkways to the barn.  They are also indispensable for helping to keep mud from forming around barn or stall door openings.  Outdoor water troughs often become churned up and muddy -when the mud freezes, it becomes a landmine for your horse to walk over.  This helps protect him from taking a bad step on frozen mud.

Water heaters – Horses need about 10 gallons of water daily. While the optimal temperature for adequate water consumption is between 45 and 650 F, most times it more of mater of just having water instead of ice!  Heated water buckets can help with that.  Classic Equine has automatic water options for both inside and outside use.  Both come with a heater option.

 For those of you without an automatic water system, there are heated water buckets that work great.  Plug them in and the heated coils in the partitioned bottom of the bucket keep water ice-free.    If your horses use a stock tank for water, a stock tank deicer is another great option to eliminate ice.  While neither may bring the temperature up to “warm,” both are excellent at keeping ice from forming. For those bigger warm water jobs, there are portable hot water heaters. 

white-horse-with-feederAutomatic Feeders – Unpredictable winter weather can sometimes make it difficult to get to the barn at exact times to feed.  And you know what your horses can do to your stall doors if the grain isn’t delivered on time!  If you aren’t able (or don’t want to) get out to the barn to grain your horse, this may be an option. The iFeed system is an automatic grain feeding system that allows you to set up one or several stalls on whatever schedule you want to deliver grain. 

wash-bay-heaterWash Bay Heaters – this went from being a luxury to a necessity when the winters started getting colder and snowier over the last few years.  Great for both clipped and unclipped horses.  If you don’t clip, the heated lights can help dry out your sweaty horse before blanketing.  If you clip, the heated lights can keep your horse warm during the time between grooming and putting on his blanket.  Also great for riders, trainers or spectators who are frozen from too long in the arena.

Auto lights – Let’s face it: even though you know every inch of your barn, there’s still something scary about going into a totally dark barn before you hit the lights.  I like the old-fashioned automatic lights that go on an off at set times and illuminate my way to the horses.  Or you can go high tech with new smart products like Amazon’s Echo.  With Echo, you plug your lights into a special socket and then you program your phone to not only tell it when to turn the lights on or off, but you can check to see if you actually remembered to turn them off.

Good winter clothes – no one knows cold like the people who live in Maine.  There are a lot of good winter apparel companies, some specifically for horse people (though most of them are geared for riding), but by far L.L.Bean has the best assortment of warm weather clothes – from undergarments to hats rain/snow boots.  And they are all guaranteed with easy return.  Wear it all winter.  Didn’t like how it performed?  LL Bean will take it back for an exchange or refund.  For any reason.   During winter months, water should be kept between 45 to 65°F to maximize consumption. 

Please note that, except for Classic Equine Equipment, we don’t promote the listed brands of equipment.  They are only the ones I have used with success.

With Christmas still more than a week away, there’s still time for you to ask Santa for one of these winter helpers. It can help you get the best present of all – more time riding!

7 Do-It-Yourself Upgrades To Your Barn

These seven upgrades (all available through Classic Equine Equipment) are functional, cost effective and can enhance your property value. These projects can be accomplished by most do-it-yourself-ers and the results will be appreciated by both the two- and four-legged users!

CEE doors

  1. Metal exterior barn end doors

Consider purchasing new metal barn end doors.  To prevent rusting, look for doors made from pre-galvanized steel, and ask about the availability of a rust-inhibiting primer and powder coating.  If you have a large opening, consider investing in aluminum doors, which won’t rust and are much lighter and easier to handle than either their steel or wood counter parts.  Don’t forget to update the track system, too.

  1. Dutch doors

Look for steel doors built with fully formed outer jambs, much like a regular door frame.  These are made to fit an existing opening.  If you do not have openings for Dutch doors, cut them in to your barn wall and then build a simple jamb.  The doors are a great safety addition and add much needed ventilation.

  1. Windows and window grills

Stall windows add light and airflow.  If you add glass-paned windows, be sure to include protective grills.  Bar spacing on grillwork should be three inches or less for safety.

  1. Stall fronts

It is possible to just replace the stall doors and tracks.  Grillwork for the front of the stalls can be added or replaced – just be sure the spacing is three inches or less.   For a more complete renovation, a one-piece fully framed stall door can be purchased.  Be sure to consider yoke and feed door options, too

  1. Stall mats

Consider selecting high-quality interlocking stall mats that stay in place.  Look for mats that have a lifetime warranty against rolling, buckling and curling.

  1. Aisle flooring

Often the existing floor must be dug out to accommodate the thickness of the flooring.  Individual dog-bone-style pavers provide less waste than larger matting, the finished look is elegant, and the surface is non-slip.

  1. Tack room organizers

Like closet organizer systems, tack room organizers have component pieces that allow endless combinations of racks, baskets and hooks to be mounted on the tack room walls.

If you handle one upgrade per weekend, by the end of summer you can have a great barn!

 

14 Ways To Use Stall Mats To Solve Common Barn Problems

a horse for elinor run in shed.jpgWhile stall mats are great to use as the base layer in your horse’s stall for comfort, stall mats can also be used in several “non-traditional” ways to make your barn safer, cleaner and more user-friendly.  Consider these alternate uses in and around the barn as well as other areas where you can use Classic Equine Equipment’s versatile and durable stall mats:

  1. Stall mats can help eliminate mud around gates, doorways and paddocks. They are especially useful in and in front of run-in sheds..
  2. Stall mats in paddocks are easier on your horse’s legs and easier to clean up manure.
  3. Stall mats in the hay room make it easier to sweep and keep clean and helps keep your hay dry.
  4. Stall mats in indoor wash racks are non-slip and easy to clean. In outdoor stall mats, they do the same thing, but also prevent mud from hose runoff.
  5. Stall mats in the shoeing area are easier on your horse’s legs when being shod – and on your farrier’s too!
  6. Stall mats on the tack room floor are easier to clean than carpeting and are softer and warmer on your feet than concrete.
  7. Stall mats in the grain room make it easier to sweep up any spills. They also provide a deterrent to mice burrowing up into the feed room.
  8. Stall mats make great walkways in a variety of areas – down the aisle over concrete to keep horses from slipping or as a pathway to the barn in rainy weather.
  9. Stall mats attached to back walls of stalls can help save your walls and the legs of a horse with a habit of kicking.
  10. Stall mats in the bed of your truck make it easier to sweep out hay carrying hay or gravel.
  11. Stall mats provide excellent padding on the floor and sides of trailers and make floors easier to clean.
  12. Stall mats are great to bring to a show. They provide a soft and safe place for your horse to stand and a clean place for you to groom or tack up.
  13. Stall mats can be used under your compost bins to prevent nutrients from seeping into the ground. They also make it easier to scoop out the finished compost.
  14. Stall mats can be used around the house. Cut into smaller pieces when necessary:
    1. Use in front of your sink to keep your feet warmer and prevent leg strain from long periods of standing.
    2. Use as a mulch in the garden or around trees
    3. Use as a welcome mat
    4. Use a place to store muddy boots.
    5. Use in the garage or workshop to insulate the floor and cushion feet while working.
    6. Use in the back of your station wagon or SUV to keep it clean when hauling wet or muddy dogs.
Mighty Lite stall mat

 

Mighty Lite mat

 

Classic Equine Equipment mats come in the traditional 4′ x 6′ style as well as our lightweight and portable Mighty Lite mats.

There are probably many more uses for the“jack of all trade” stall mat – what others can you think of?

Photo credit:  Classic Equine Equipment; ahorseforelinor.com