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Building the Perfect Stall

Building the perfect stall involves starting with the right size space and the proper materials. Good ventilation and lighting, and appropriate flooring are all components to building the perfect stall. It need not be complicated or confusing, as long as you know where to start.

You need to be sure you have the right sized space when building the perfect stall. At a minimum, the stall should be 12’ x 12’ in size. Larger horses will require more space, but most experts do not recommend much less than this even for smaller horses. The ceiling should be at least 10 feet high; higher than this is better, allowing more room and better ventilation. Since we’re building the perfect stall, it will have an adjacent paddock, allowing the horse to move in and out freely. The best type of door between the stall and paddock is a Dutch-style door, which has top and bottom portions that can be opened and closed separately. This style of door allows you to keep the horse in the stall when desired, while still giving him the freedom to look around.

The proper materials to use when building the perfect stall can vary by location. In climates that are very warm year-round, concrete block can be a good choice. It is relatively inexpensive and very durable, and is easy to disinfect. A drawback to concrete in warm climates is that it limits the amount of air that can circulate through the stall. In cold climates (including those that are warm or temperate during summer but cold in the winter), concrete blocks can be very cold and are therefore not recommended. Wood is frequently used when building stalls, since it is usually easy to obtain and fairly durable. It is not easy to disinfect, however, and may be subjected to chewing by the horses. Galvanized steel is also often a material of choice for stalls, although it is not always entirely rustproof. Since we are building the perfect stall the top choice, albeit the most expensive one, is polypropylene. This very durable plastic is long-lasting and virtually maintenance-free. It is easy to disinfect and chew-resistant.

When building the perfect stall, ventilation and lighting are important components. Air should be able to circulate freely through the stall, but you do not want to subject your horse to drafts. Depending on your barn structure, you may need air inlets and outlets in each stall, or just at each end of the building. Horses require light just like humans do, and natural light is always the best kind. Windows and light fixtures should be constructed with break-proof glass when possible and should always be covered with mesh or other protectors to guard against breakage.

Flooring is another important consideration when building the perfect stall. While many stall floors are wood, this is difficult to clean and susceptible to rot. Concrete can become slippery when wet, so should always be textured. Dirt flooring should include good drainage, and have a slight slope. A better choice, when building the perfect stall, is resilient and non-slip rubber flooring.

Building the perfect stall involves taking into account all aspects of the stall’s environment. Well-sized and constructed from solid materials, the perfect stall has good ventilation and lighting as well as a safe and comfortable floor.

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