Pointers to comfortably stable your working horses

July 29, 2015

As a horse owner, keeping your animal safe and comfortable is top priority. From the type of floor to the type of fence, here are some pointers to keep in mind when stabling your working horses.

Pointers to comfortably stable your working horses

Know exactly what your horses will need

When planning your space, a stall measuring 3.6 x 4.2 metres (12 x 14 feet) is ideal for a horse. A dirt floor, while more difficult to maintain than concrete, will be easier on your animal's feet.

  • Make the floor material at least 15 centimetres (six inches) deep and six to seven centimetres (just under three inches) higher than the surrounding ground
  • Rake it periodically to keep it level
  • From time to time dig out the dirt and replace it with a clean new layer
  • If you own more than one horse, each will need its own stall, with floor-to-ceiling partitions between stalls
  • Set windows high in walls and screen them against flies and other insects
  • Provide access to a paddock or pasture, the more time your horses spend there, the better their muscle condition will be

Build a sturdy fence for your horses' safety

  • The best pasture fences are made of boards or the traditional post and rail; both styles are safe, secure and highly visible
  • An electrified wire can be run along the top to discourage an especially spirited animal
  • If you use wire fencing instead, choose a small mesh size so that the horse's hooves cannot become caught, and tie rags to the top so the horse can see the fence
  • Avoid barbed wire, since it can damage your animal

Pay attention to the little details

  • Hay is sheltered in spare stalls
  • Divide stalls with a solid partition 1.5 metres (five feet) high with screen mesh extending to ceiling
  • A stable door can be opened at the top to let in light and air, yet closed at the bottom to keep the horse inside
  • An overhang protects against rain
  • A lidded box holds the grain mixture
  • The floor may be dirt or concrete to a depth of at least 15 centimetres (six inches)
  • A board fence is easy for horse to see
  • The paddock area provides a place for light exercise
  • Corner troughs are for feeding grain and water
  • Place gravel at the stall entrance to keeps this heavily trafficked area from becoming muddy

With a little know-how and effort you can provide your horses with a safe and comfortable home. Doing it right the first time will make for a better experience for both you and your animals.

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