With all of the options out there for stalls, the choice isn't always an easy one. In this article, we'll outline the options available for our stall systems and some of their benefits.
Doors are an important part of any stall because they are the entry/exit point for humans and horses. They can also have other functions, depending on the style.
Grill-top door: Grill-top doors are traditional and probably the most common type of stall door. Grill-top doors are nice because the grill work on top allows some air movement through the stall, helping with ventilation. The grill work also allows horses to see what's happening in the aisle way and can provide some socialization if there are horses directly across the aisle. This door is a good option, and on most stall systems, is the standard door.
Solid door: Although horses are social animals in the wild, it's not always feasible to have them socialize inside the barn. If you have a particular horse that doesn't get along with other barn mates, solid doors can help cut down on trouble. A solid door blocks the horse's view into the aisle way and helps minimize distractions. Solid doors do little to encourage ventilation; so extra steps will need to be taken for stalls with this door option.
V-door: V-doors are one of our customers' favorite options! They consist of a grill-top door with a v-shaped opening and insert in the middle of the grill work. The insert can be opened, closed, or removed completely. When open, v-doors allow horses a great view into the aisle and the ability to stick their heads out and socialize with others in the barn. If choosing v-doors, remember to remove anything outside of the stall within your horse's reach. This can include extension cords, fans, blankets, halters, lead ropes, etc. If you don't want young visitors reaching inside the v-opening, or if you need to cut down distractions for a particular stall, just close the insert and open it again at another time. The v-door is one of the most affordable door options and really provides some great benefits for the cost necessary to upgrade to it.
Full-grill door (also available with a v-door): Full-grill doors provide good visibility inside the stall and also assist with ventilation. Horses have great views into the aisle to help alleviate boredom and vices, and the 2'' bar spacing on the bottom is tight to help prevent hooves from getting stuck. Add a v-door to encourage socialization and make this great door even better.
Half-swing and full-swing gates: Swing gates allow maximum airflow in stalls, while also allowing for socialization. Horses can lean heads over the gate to peer into the aisle and see other horses in the barn. Unlike v-doors, swing gates cannot be closed off at the top, so horses have constant access. Half-swing gates measure 28.5'' high (41.5'' high to the humps) x 49'' wide, while full-swing gates measure 51'' high (64'' high to the humps) x 49'' wide. Half-swing gates can be mounted at varying heights to accommodate shorter horses, however, we only recommend these for minis and foals if the rest of the stall is downsized accordingly.
Mesh half-swing and full-swing gates: Mesh gates provide the same features as standard swing gates, but with the added protection of tightly spaced mesh.
Mesh-grill door (also available with a v-door): Like full-grill doors, mesh-grill doors help encourage ventilation within the stall. They also give good visibility down to ground level. The mesh on the bottom of this door gives added protection for horses that like to kick. Although bar spacing is close, mesh offers added peace of mind.
Full-mesh door: If you do a lot of foaling, full-mesh doors are a great option because they provide great visibility inside the stall. Whether you need to check on mom, little ones, or a horse that is rehabilitating from an injury, a full-mesh door will give you visibility all the way to ground level. Full-mesh doors are especially nice for larger facilities because they make nightly checks as easy as walking down the stall row and peaking in. These doors also encourage ventilation and offer close spacing for added protection.
Most stall fronts come standard without any feed options, but several systems offer these choices as upgrades. Depending on how many horses you have and what your chore routine is, you may find that a feed option will save you valuable time during feeding.
Feed opening: Feed openings measure 9'' high x 12'' wide and are the perfect size for a grain scoop. If you place a feeder directly under the opening, on the inside of the stall, grain and supplements can be conveniently placed into the feeder, through the hole. However, feed openings are not large enough to accommodate flakes of hay, so it will still be necessary for you or your help to enter the stall.
Feed door: Feed doors are a nice option for those who don't want to enter the stall to feed, giving added peace of mind when someone else is caring for your horses. Feed doors measure 21.75'' long x the height of the grill and can accommodate scoops of grain and flakes of hay. Depending on your set up, feeders can be easily accessed when mounted under the feed door or on the partition next to the feed door. The extra cost of this option is more than made up for in saved time and peace of mind at each feeding.
Large feed door: A large feed door not only accommodates hay and grain, but will also hold a swing-out feeder. It measures 21.75'' long x 46'' high and depending on the type of stall system you choose, is also available as a solid large feed door. Feeders can only be mounted on large feed doors at one height, so if you have ponies or smaller horses, you may want to consider the standard size feed door instead.
Planning your stalls and choosing the appropriate options can make a great stall system even better. The right option will not only make things easier for you, but it can also help keep your horses happier and healthier! If' you're not sure which stall system or options are right for you, talk with one of our stall specialists. They can discuss your situation, horses, and needs and make some recommendations.
Debbie has over 45 years experience with horses and equine-related businesses. She has owned, trained, boarded horses and run stables at various times in her career. She is a certified fence installer, has given balanced riding lessons, and has shown horses in Western, Western Pleasure, Trail, English, Hunter/Jumper, Fox Hunting, Hunter Trials, Dressage and driving classes. Debbie has been involved in foaling, and just about every aspect of horse ownership possible, and she welcomes your questions and comments. If you are interested in using any articles by Debbie, please send her an email.
RAMM Fence Systems, Inc. makes every effort to provide reliable and useful information on horse health, care and products. The statements made on this website are based on years of experience with horses, however, they are based on generalized situations and should not replace diagnosis or treatment by a veterinarian or consultation by a professional. RAMM Fence Systems, Inc. does not assume any legal responsibility. Readers should always consult qualified health care providers for specific diagnosis and treatment.