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Horse Stable and Stall Door Designs
 By Winniefield Park   •   14th Apr 2019   •   392 views   •   0 comments


If youíre building box stalls, youíre going to need doors. There are several of choices in material and design, and it all depends on your budget and taste. Many of us will have to build or buy basic wooden doors, but there are other options if you can afford them.

Dimensions
One of the most basic considerations is the size of the door. Your door will probably hang about 3 inches above the floor. This allows easy opening even if there is a bit of bedding in the way. And you donít want it so high that a horse could get a foot caught beneath. So you then have to decide how high you want the door to be. It might only need to be just above chest height, and have a second door, rather like a Dutch door, above, or it might go right up to the ceiling. It must be high enough the horse canít scramble over it easily. The standard height for a pre-made stall door is 7 feet which is just short of the standard height for a stall ceiling.

As to the width, 42 to 48 inches is standard, although wider is better. You certainly want the door wide enough so the horse doesnít knock themselves as they go through. Ponies will be fine with narrower doors, while draft horses will certainly need wider doors. If a machine such as a skid-steer us used to clean stalls, your doors will need to be wide enough and swing out of the way to allow the machine to maneuver.

Sliding or Hinged
There are basically two ways doors are hung. They may be hung on 2 or more hinges and open out into the aisle or, they may be hung so they slide sideways. Doors that swing out are more likely to get in the way, especially during an emergency, and require a wide aisle so there is room for the door to open. If doors are hinged, itís safest if the door opens into the aisle. Sliding doors donít take up as much space since they open flush with the wall. The downside of sliders is that horses can try to squeeze through if the door is only partially opened.

Wood or Metal
Wood and metal are used to make stall doors. The type of wood used is something that may be determined by your budget. Spruce is less expensive than oak. But oak is a hardwood that will be far more durable. The finish of the wood will depend on your taste and budget. A stall door can be made entirely from metal. Doors made of bars and grills allow lots of light and air through. But they may take maintenance if they are exposed to damp. They are ideal if you have cribbers or wood chewers.

Windows and Grates
Stall doors can be a combination of solid wood door and grills or grates. Often, youíll see the bottom half of a door made of sturdy wood, while the top half is made of metal. Most commonly, the top half is a grate the horse can look through, but if your budget allows, the metal work can be quite decorative. Creative welders and metal workers can make beautiful designs that are both safe and attractive. Dutch doors or safety gates allow the horse to interact with those passing in the aisle, and when itís time for lights out or quite time, the upper door can be closed to completely enclose the horse. There are many types of stall grates that fold, or slide out of the way so the main door can be closed.



Of course, stall doors can have standard heavy duty hardware, or deluxe stall doors may have custom, decorative hinges and latches. Latches have to be made so they are easy for humans to open, but less so for horses. The most common of these is a sliding bolt. These are easy for nosey horses to pull open. There are many different designs available, from the purely functional, to the decorative. Some sliding doors donít have latches, but lock with simple pins. These are less easy for horse to open, but they can be finicky to close, as the pin has to be perfectly lined up. Hooks and eyes are very common, but these too can be opened by an nosey horse and can bend if the horse leans heavily on the door.
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