If you run a horse barn, it can be tempting to use out-of-the-box equipment or to use items that were in the barn when you bought it. However, you'll find your facility runs much more smoothly with a few custom steel items that you can have fabricated to your unique specifications. The more horses you stall, the more important it is to have your barn operate like clockwork. Check out these elements for the barn of your dreams.
Benefits of Using Steel Equipment
While you might even be able to make some of these items yourself out of wood or plastic, there are multiple benefits to having them custom fabricated of steel:
- Steel is sturdier and will last longer.
- Steel is easier to keep clean and germ-free.
- Metal withstands weather and water better than other materials, and it dries faster.
Think about how many times a day you or your staff take off and put on blankets or fly sheets. Having a custom blanket rack keeps them clean and at the ready in between uses. No more dragging on the ground over a stall door or getting musty balled up in a corner.
Blankets are expensive, so keeping them in tip-top shape saves you or your boarders money. You can have stationary racks built into the barn, as well as a freestanding rack that can be placed in the sun outside for hosing down dirty blankets and letting them dry quickly.
Stall doors should slide open--no more swinging to get in the way. Have you thought about making different height openings for different size horses?
Shorter horses or ponies put in regular height stalls can get frustrated when they can't put their heads out to see what's going on or to socialize. This can result in all kinds of undesirable behaviors like stall kicking and cribbing or other vices.
While it's tempting to throw a flake or two on the stall floor every morning and night, feeding your horses from a hay rack can actually help prevent colic. It also makes voracious or easily bored horses eat more slowly, keeping them occupied longer. Just like your stall openings, wall-mounted hay racks should be placed at different heights for optimum feeding.
When you have your doors fabricated, be sure to add openings for grain bins. You can attach metal grain bins to each opening that can be filled from the outside then flipped to the inside of the stall. This will save time for you or your grooms, and it's safer too, as no one has to go in the stall to feed grain (which makes some horses crazy with anticipation) or retrieve emptied buckets (which those same horses hate giving up).
Having a dedicated wash station is safer than washing horses in cross-ties. Cross-ties are usually in busy areas of the barn--not the ideal place for a shampoo. And with slippery floors and light restraints, horses that rear up can flip over backwards--a disaster for the horse and safety hazard for the human.
Build a steel pipe wash station that can accommodate even your largest stallions or draft horses. With a pipe to tie the horse to in front and a chain across the back, plus rubber footing underneath, your horses will be contained and safe from accidents.
Owning a horse facility is inherently risky and full of logistical problems. By getting rid of the headaches associated with some key elements and using custom steel equipment, you can keep the focus on riding and enjoying your hoofed companions. (For more information on steel fabricators, contact Simko Industrial Fabricators)