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Can we talk about paddock gates? Is bigger REALLY better??

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  • #21
    size does matter, the bigger the better. I have come to the point in life that I dont want to play thread the needle when it comes to driving equipment, loaded hay wagons, etc through the dang gate.
    Just like our eyes, our hearts have a way of adjusting to the dark.--Adam Stanley

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    • #22
      Just the other day I was glad that my main paddock gate was of the 16 foot variety. I remember when the contractor insisted that I needed a gate this wide to get into the main paddock and barn area I didn't want it. Thought it way too wide. This was in 1994.

      Hay men had just backed delivered my monthly hay and when they went to drive out the truck shooshed sideways a bit because of the mud/ice/snow combination. I was very glad for my wide gate and new that the original contractor had spoken from experience.

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      • #23
        I can see where a smaller gate would be useful but I go through my 14 gate with no problem. It helps putting a wheel on the gate to help with sagging. My wheel kept getting stuck in the mud so we ended up putting a 2x4 down and now we don't have any problems. We will have to replace the wood when it rots but it still works good after two years.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by maunder View Post
          Just the other day I was glad that my main paddock gate was of the 16 foot variety. I remember when the contractor insisted that I needed a gate this wide to get into the main paddock and barn area I didn't want it. Thought it way too wide. This was in 1994.

          Hay men had just backed delivered my monthly hay and when they went to drive out the truck shooshed sideways a bit because of the mud/ice/snow combination. I was very glad for my wide gate and new that the original contractor had spoken from experience.
          well, yeah. when trucks need to go through!

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          • #25
            All the farm gates are 14ft, with the road gate to the barn being 16ft for the width needed by the 50ft semi truck to swing off the narrow country road onto the driveway.

            The 16ft gate is one piece, wheel on the end to prevent any sagging, easy to move to full open width and close easily. I would NEVER want to deal with TWO gates when I could manage with one full gate, certainly twice the walking and time to open or close. You can't anchor the swinging ends of two gates meeting in the driveway so they are solid, ALWAYS pulling on the posts in the wind. I have never seen a double gate setup, that wasn't troublesome to use, especially as it ages.

            The 14ft gates allow me to go into any field with the chain drag, or other equipment and not endanger the gate posts. We have AMAZING mud at times, and so even with fill in the gate areas, it can be very slippery so the extra width is appreciated. We also have snow, can get DEEP, so having more width lets tractor make a plowed path without taking down the posts along the lane to the fields. Having a WIDE lane, prevents horse accidents if SOMEONE tries to pass another animal, so no one gets pushed into the fences.

            We hang gates on BIG posts that are solid in the ground, don't move, even with weight of the gate on it. Gates are all easy to use, open and close easily, ALWAYS fastened open OR closed, never swinging. Just doing that saves your posts a lot of strain. Several of the gates have the small wheel on the ends, so there is no weight pulling on the hinge post. Keeps gates from being pulled out of alignment.

            I have mostly 7-Bar gates, narrow pipe spaces at the bottom to keep hooves out, wider spaced at the top of the gate. Gates are hung high, so no easy leaning over, pulling gates down by the horses. Some gates have an inside hot wire, so horses can't even touch the gate itself to prevent damaging it. Safer for the horses, saves my gates too.

            I have no small dogs that would run under a high gate allowed in the barn area. The gate with the small mesh does look nice to prevent any hoof snagging! My pipe gates adjoining the yard, are covered on one side with chain link fence stretched across tightly, wired to the pipes on all four sides, to keep dogs INSIDE the yard. Works pretty well, almost invisible on the gates, though it is a neat job if looks are real important to you. Had to do that when we got a small, DETERMINED TO ESCAPE dog. She didn't get out those gates!

            We have some 4ft gates to the barn from house, but I don't think they are really wide enough, SAFE to be putting my large horses thru. They are people ONLY gates. I tried using a couple narrower gates back when we first moved to the farm, but wasn't happy with them or how things worked in using them. Could be our setting, but they got changed over to 14ft in time.

            With my various gates (we do have a LOT) the 14ft allows me to make 90* turns from field to field, any size equipment that isn't the monster size, fits in the gates. I may need the fertilizer trucks, gravel train trucks or hay wagons, that chain drag mentioned, all of which can be wider than 8ft. Our loaded Semi truck is wider when we have a full load of hay bales on the flatbed, overhanging the edges.

            Not sure about your horses, but ours behave, don't give me problems when I lead them thru the 14ft gates to bring in or turn out. Horse on one side, hold the gate with the other.

            Could be you need to look at how gate is hung, get it on a better post so it swings freely for you, doesn't let the gate sag. No wrestling with gates here, turns jobs into work! Most of these gates are 30 years old, work just like they were new, because we don't let them get saggy or turn into problems. Part of that PITA farm upkeep issue.

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            • #26
              If your set-up can accomodate, put a large gate in a convenient place for a truck to enter, and put a separate, smaller gate in a convenient place for horses coming in and out.

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              • #27
                Call me "Debbie Downer" but even on very small place, 3.5 acres, each of the 4 paddocks has a large gate that a tractor, truck, etc. can drive through safely. My experience is that horses pick the places furthest away from the barn to go down or die. Two paddocks have smaller 4' gates for daily turnout.

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