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horse stalls with door at the back, pros and cons

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  • horse stalls with door at the back, pros and cons

    I am currently looking to build a barn with horse stalls. I was wondering about putting doors at the back of the stalls. Can you tell me about the pros and cons of this? What worked, what didn't.

    Also, what is the best way to deal with drainage in the stall. Do you put weeping tiles under the screenings? I head of people putting wood on the floor. Tell me about it.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Pros: fire safety rec for doors that you can open from the outside.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Hippolyta View Post
      Pros: fire safety rec for doors that you can open from the outside.
      This, as well as an unfortunate pro of being able to remove a horse that has passed away in his stall much easier than trying to manuver a bobcat/tractor in an aisle.

      You don't have to open them if you don't want to, sometimes keeping them open in breezey conditions can be a little challenge but not too bad, hook//eye works well.

      Ours love being able to look out when they are in, swear QH mare likes to watch it rain, knowing she doesn't have to be out in it
      "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

      "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"

      Comment


      • #4
        I didn't know there were any disadvantages to stalls with door out the back, at all.

        As with every design, of course if you don't do it right, you may have some disadvantages, but it won't be because of the doors, but of bad design, which can happen no matter where the doors to the stalls are placed.

        In the really, really cold parts of the world, where horses need to be kept in 24/7, some say the barn is tighter if there are no doors to the outside but the entrance.
        Well, maybe you can make those doors a bit more tight, if that is a problem there?
        The rest of the year, when is nice, those doors are sure fine to have, I would say, even there.

        Now, I worked in many barns in Europe that had indoor stalls and even tie stalls and horses did fine, going out to work giving lessons or being ridden several hours a day every day.

        BUT, if you are building today and can, why not do the most the best you can and doors to the outside is one of those ideal things to add to a barn today.

        Just do it right, have an overhang, make them tight if you are in northern climates, situate the barn where the weather won't impact the stall doors to the outside in a negative way, etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          Pros:
          - Besides the ones already mentioned, I really love it when the horses have a small "pateo" outside their boxes, and this is only possible when there are individual doors in each stall. I thinks its really nice to open them up when its warm and allow the horses to be in or out as they wish.

          Cons:
          - If you live somewhere really cold, wood is obviously a worst insulator than tile and cement, so you may find it harder to climate-control the stables.

          Having that said, if I where building a box pavilion from scratch, I would include doors and small individual paddocks in front of each stall so the horses could decide to go out in the summer.
          www.facebook.com/lusitanos4sale

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          • #6
            I'd say paddock stall doors are a big plus!! Air movement is another pro I'll add. I do not have to lead horses out to pastures. Stall doors open to dry lot - from there I just open gates to the pasture I want them in. Stalls act as a run in if needed.

            Comment


            • #7
              I've had two barns with back stall doors. On one barn, the doors opened to the pasture and it made turn out easy: open stall door, shoo horse out, close stall door, repeat. It made letting them in easy, too - my guys knew who went in where and were good about going in the right place.

              This barn has backdoors, too, but they open to paddocks. I can close them if I need to keep someone in because the paddock is wet and messy, or I have an injury, or whatever. I've also had a couple of times where I had to house a bunch of rescue horses for a few days before they went on to long-term foster homes. Then I could keep a horse in the paddock and a different horse in the stall (don't recommend this long-term, but for transient horses it was ok).

              I really love having the paddocks off the stalls. It means my stallion, who is now stuck in the barn thanks to a problem with a neighbor, can still go outside and stretch his legs. And it means my horses who aren't crazy about being in stalls can have extra room if they need to come in for some reason.
              Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

              Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I believe insurance companies look favorably on the outside stall doors in terms of fire safety/evacuation.
                www.cobjockey.com - Eventing the Welsh Cob

                Comment


                • #9
                  Another pro is being able to open the door and put a gate there if you have a horse on stall rest. S/he can look out to see buddies and get fresh air.

                  ETA : Building the doors with insulation (the foam board kind doesn't get water logged in case of leak) is a good idea if you are in a cold climate.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have sliding doors into the aisle and Dutch doors that open to the paddock. My stalls have packed gravel with mats over them, and we built a 12 x 48 overhang, which is raised above the paddock. Our paddock is mud-free---geotextile cloth covered in fine gravel about 6" deep. This opens to a larger pasture for seasonal turnout. It is too wet here in the PNW for year round grass turnout on the size of pasture I have. I LOVE my "back doors" and can't imagine having to schlep my horses out thru the barn each time I wanted to turn them out.
                    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wesley View Post
                      I am currently looking to build a barn with horse stalls. I was wondering about putting doors at the back of the stalls. Can you tell me about the pros and cons of this? What worked, what didn't.

                      Also, what is the best way to deal with drainage in the stall. Do you put weeping tiles under the screenings? I head of people putting wood on the floor. Tell me about it.

                      Thanks!
                      By all means - put the back doors in. I've built 4 barns, last two with outside doors - no regrets. Current barn I added small "pens" so horses could have "in and outs" LOVE this feature and so do my horses. I'm in Fl. so with dirt/sand soil we don't really have to worry about drainage. I have matts on top of native dirt, works well here. Wood warps, holds moisture and rots - look at alternatives.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Since the pros have already been addressed, the cons would include expense and maintenance. Depending on what kind of siding you have on your barn, it can be difficult (expensive) to hang/hinge a door. There is extra framing involved. The doors are one more item that will need maintenance and repair. Depending on how the doors are installed there may be extra edges for horses to chew on. Also, with exterior doors you are probably going to want a larger overhang so if it starts to rain while your doors are open a ton of rain doesn't blow in. Personally I like exterior doors, with the exception of dutch doors, which I consider unacceptable because they are just something for cribbers to crib on and chewers to chew on. My favorite installation is the combination of a screen door on the stall side and a sliding door on the outside side. That way the doors can be slid open for fresh air, but the horses are contained by the steel stall screen door, but in an emergency the screen door opens and the horse can be led out.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You probably want to build an overhang above the doors to keep rain out when they are open and also to provide sun shade.
                          A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BeeHoney View Post
                            Since the pros have already been addressed, the cons would include expense and maintenance. Depending on what kind of siding you have on your barn, it can be difficult (expensive) to hang/hinge a door. There is extra framing involved. The doors are one more item that will need maintenance and repair. Depending on how the doors are installed there may be extra edges for horses to chew on. Also, with exterior doors you are probably going to want a larger overhang so if it starts to rain while your doors are open a ton of rain doesn't blow in. Personally I like exterior doors, with the exception of dutch doors, which I consider unacceptable because they are just something for cribbers to crib on and chewers to chew on. My favorite installation is the combination of a screen door on the stall side and a sliding door on the outside side. That way the doors can be slid open for fresh air, but the horses are contained by the steel stall screen door, but in an emergency the screen door opens and the horse can be led out.
                            This is the only negative I've found as well. Our builder didn't hang them right, and my one giant broodmare actually pushed both dutch doors out the back with her head, taking a good bit of barn siding with it. Ugh. Otherwise, I LOVE them and the horses do too!
                            Cornerstone Equestrian
                            Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
                            RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated
                            www.cornerstonefarmpa.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have been in two different barns with this style. In both cases the back doors were dutch doors. Neither barn had an overhang, but if the weather was really bad they just closed both parts of the dutch door. They both opened up to individual turnouts. I would say they only closed the doors a handful of times. Most of the time the doors were left completely open. But it was nice if you had a horse who needed to be kept in his stall. You could leave the top part of the dutch door open and he could still see all his friends.

                              I also liked that you knew there were two ways out fo the stalls. The barn I put up was built with a sloped roof, so the back side is two small for doors. Durning the hurricane I realized if something fell infront of the doors, I would have to cut the horses out the back.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I recently built a new barn and have dutch doors on the back with a stall screen in front. The top of the dutch doors can be opened for ventilation without worrying about a horse chewing the door or a panicked horse putting their front legs over the lower door. The screens are an extra expense but well worth it in my opinion. And I like knowing I have a second way of getting the horses out in an emergency.

                                I also sited the side of the barn with the stalls facing the south to keep the north winds out. There is an overhang over the stall side to keep the stalls shaded in the summer. Despite being built on a hill, even with all the top dutch doors open the barn is still significantly warmer than being outside. It is all wood (hemlock) but the dutch doors are metal framed (with hemlock inserts) to keep from warping.

                                So, I think siting the building is important to keep a back door from making the barn colder, but I feel for safety and ventilation reasons the back doors are worth the extra expense (the only con in my opinion).

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  My barn has the sliding dutch doors that open up to 40 foot runs. I love them. I've only closed them up a couple of times in six years. The ventilation is great, and my horses enjoy the freedom to come in or out as they please. I have a ten foot overhang which keeps the snow and rain from coming into the barn. I can't think of a negative.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Our older barn has dutch doors that look out into the fields, newer barn has sliding doors and full screens. Great venilation in the new barn, and closes up tight when the weather is nasty. Stalls in both barns both have doors that open into the aisle.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I worked/boarded at a barn that had front and back doors. I loved the back doors they had little paddocks/runs that you could let them out in to get a little exercise and be outside. This was nice if the indoor was full or the turnout pastures were already full. The only bad part about it was when it snowed, I still turned him out in it while I cleaned his stalls and was working around the barn and not working with him and regularly had to dig open the door all winter because of drifting. It was a very badly built barn and that could have been part of it, but it was a pain in the butt. We also had problems with the stalls flooding when the snow melted because of the back doors, once again could have been just a badly constructed barn but was also a pain in the butt.
                                      ride like you have never ate the dirt

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I love having 2 doors in stalls. I love the ones that are full doors with the 'mesh' design (like a lot of the big TB farms have) - they are awesome for getting good airflow!! We would leave them open spring, summer and fall unless it was a big rain, then we'd close the solid outside doors that just had a closed window for light in them but not for airflow (and they would be closed in the winter as well to help keep the barns warmer)

                                        Honestly, if you can afford the extra doors, I'd do it if I were you

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