Do It Yourself: Building Horse Stalls

Horse stalls can be constructed quickly and easily if you have the material and the knowledge.

If you are planning on getting a horse or two for pleasure riding, one of the first things on your "To Do" list has to be to build a place to keep your new animals in. If you already have a barn, then you are halfway there, if it is located in a "horse - friendly" area. If you have neighbors who live close by, they might not appreciate the smells and flies that accompany a horse.

The next step is to plan out your barn so that you can build horse stalls in it. You will need a section of the barn to be a tackroom. This is a place to keep the saddles, bridles, blankets, and other equipment for your horse. You will also need a place to store hay, and you will need, of course, horse stalls to put your horses in.

Horse stalls are generally rectangular structures that are built inside a barn, near an entrance, in order to get proper ventilation. You can also place electric fans around the horse stalls to help circulate the air. Placing the stalls near an entrance also allows you to take advantage of the sunlight. This natural lighting, in conjunction with electric lighting, will make the area easier to work in.

The components of a horse stall include a front, two slatted sides- open for proper ventilation- and a solid swinging door with a heavy duty latch. You can build the stalls out of either metal or lumber. Lumber is most recommended, though, because it is easier to work with. You will need to choose a good, solid type of lumber that will withstand the abuse when your horse kicks it, chews on it, or leans against it. You may choose to build your horse stalls either free - standing, or you can use a wall of the barn for a side. A comfortable stall is important, and one that is five feet wide, eight feet long, and six feet high will comfortably accommodate the average-sized horse.

To start the actual building, for a free - standing stall, you will need to dig holes and sink wooden posts in cement in the floor of the barn. Or, if you're going to use an existing barn wall, you can simply build onto it. You will need to then build a three - sided frame out of sturdy four by fours and either nails or long wood screws. Then, you need to use lumber to fill in the front wall so it is solid. Nail lumber across the width of the front wall. Next, use additional pieces of lumber to fill in the sides; nail them on in the same manner. Except, make sure that you space the boards about six inches apart to allow for proper ventilation.

Now, it's time to build the door for the horse stall. The measurements of the door will need to be five feet wide and six feet tall. It must be built to withstand abuse if your horse should kick it. So, to start with, build a square frame out of sturdy four by fours and spikes. Then, fill the frame in with lumber by nailing pieces vertically across the frame. Then, measure and cut some lumber to use as reinforcements. These pieces will run horizontally, and they will be placed individually at the top, middle, and at the bottom of the door.

Finally, get another person to help you hold the door up into place. Attach it to the horse stall by using galvanized, heavy duty hinges. After the door is hung, make sure that is swings freely. Then, install a heavy duty latch on the door so you can secure it when it is closed.

Now that you have finished building the horse stall, you might choose to stain and varnish it, or you might choose to paint it. You might also want to attach metal chew guards to the top of the front wall. These guards are designed to keep your horse from chewing the wood.

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