I won’t be heading to Missouri this weekend. Son starts college and I’m helping him begin his new routine as well as taking care of house duties here. However, I did give husband a Honey-Do Assignment for the weekend and that is to make two stall doors for the barn aisle. These are to be latching half doors to replace the grill monstrosity of the horse dungeon.
For the most part they will be made out of scrap left behind in the barn. Large hardware hinges and latches will need to be bought. They will be based on this photo I saw on CL (barn and house for sale):
I’ve also seen this done with just a swinging bar made of wood at chest height with a V supporting arm. If you want maxium ventilation and horses would respect this type of barrier, this would be easy and cheap to make with lumber as oppposed to say buying a metal gate.
This style of stall doors ONLY works if your horses are friendly to each other. Sometimes they can be too friendly in the case of two geldings who were playing and one gelding bit the tongue of the other, slicing a piece off that I found in the stall the next day! UGH!
The gap at the bottom of these example doors is also dangerous because a horse, if cast, could get a hoof caught under it. Make the door lower or higher. If you have a horse who kicks when he is fed that needs a stronger door. Of course, latches have to be geared towards your horses’ level of cleverness. Different latchware may need to be chosen if a horse in the barn is an escape artist.
I personally turn out all my horses together and let them interact, dealing with the consequences i.e. bitten tongues, bite marks, swollen legs from being kicked, etc… Letting horses be this much available to each other takes a leap of faith and sometimes horses do get injured despite your best care.
However, keeping horses together is not a setup suited to everyone, especially if you have horses coming and going, horses that fight, horses that need to be isolated for medical care or aggression, or you are boarding horses who don’t have turnout together. Horses that command an expensive price or who have to be competition ready generally are isolated with grillwork from each other, and possibly turned out alone…we can only hope they at least have a parallel pasture partner.
When horses just don’t work together like Z and Tristan, I retired Tristan into a herd with other geldings of the same age, temperment and physical recreational needs. He’s had no further problems. The surprise has been that Z and Pandora who are both alpha-oriented horses (Z through aggression, and Pandora through chess moves) are getting along fine. I do think Pandora would like a buddy she could have lower then her and perhaps that could happen come spring.
Interior stall doors need to be done before we can cut out an opening on the exterior wall to another stall. They would allow both Z and Pandora stall access and it’s becoming more important as we enter the rainy fall season of storms because Z dominants the use of the stall. Last night, only Pandora’s head and shoulders were allowed in for cover.