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Can horses share a stall?


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#1 mikki925

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 09:51 AM

I have a 16.2 gelding and a 15.2 mare. They stall next door to each other at night, and 4 times over the last 6 months he has broken down boards between their stalls trying to get to her (once successfully - we came out in the morning to find them in the same stall). We're afraid they are going to injure themselves on the nails that end up sticking up after he knocks the boards down.

So, number one - if we were to take that wall down, they would have a 24x12 stall. We're thinking even that isn't big enough to prevent them from hurting each other (she's a big meanie even outside). So, number two - any ideas on how to keep him from knocking out those boards? The last time he knocked them down, we replaced the nails in those boards with screws, and none of those boards came out this time. If no one has a better idea, we'll just replace all those nails.

Any ideas? Thank you!

#2 Foxie

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 10:03 AM

1). Move him away from the mare.
2). Make sure he has hay to keep him busy.
3). Keep him in during the day and out at night.

#3 Decembrr

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 10:34 AM

We've used U channel on the walls of our stalls, especially between the wall between the stalls. It's pretty darn simple to install, not terribly expensive, especially if you're only doing one wall. (two channels) If the boards are fit correctly, they can't knock them down or out... but IF they should ever actually break them, there aren't any nails/screws to be stepped on and replacing the broken boards is super easy.

If you're not familiar with U channel (or even C channel), it's a basically a metal rail shaped like a U, or C, and you attach one on each *end* of your dividing wall (screwed to the inside of the posts that your wall is nailed to right now)... make sure you measure your boards and cut them to correct length for a snug fit, and just slide them into the channel, one on top of the other until you've reached the height you desire.

They can't get them out by pushing or pulling, and like I said, IF they break them (kicking, etc) there aren't any nails or screws that'll come down with the boards. Use a harder wood, like oak, for dividing walls...and it'll be much harder for them to break them if they're kickers.

We bought our U channel at a metal shop in town that cut them to order (and will drill the screw holes in them if you aren't able to do it) in the size we needed. It's generally sold by the foot. If you decide to try it, be sure you measure the boards that you intend to use and make sure that the INSIDE measurement of the U channel is the right size for your board. You want them to *just* fit, not be too big and sloppy... but too narrow and you'll NEVER get your boards in there. We prefer to have it snug enough that we use a big hammer to pound them in...

Beats the heck out of worrying about nails or screws puncturing a hoof. We used U channel for all the walls of our stalls.

#4 BuddyRoo

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 10:43 AM

Well....short answer...yes you can as long as the horses get along.

If they don't get along well, then reinforcing the stall wall is a must...although I don't have many suggestions for that.

#5 meg1506

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 10:59 AM

we have 2 12 x 12 stalls that both open out to a paddock. My horses tend to stay in the same stall together except for feeding time. they both know and go into a separate stall. A few months ago I had three horses (bought one I liked before I sold one) and eventually all three would be in one stall. I don;t know how they did it, but they were all happy to be together. It doesn't matter the size of the stall so much as if they can get along together. The U channel suggestion is a great idea to try. boards that are just naield up will come down pretty easy. If the U channel isn't an option you could try using screws instead of nails. Put the boards up on the bossy horses stall so he can't knock them down. Good Luck! Let us know how it turns out!

#6 mikki925

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 11:31 AM

Thank you all for the suggestions - I love the U channel idea, although it would require some changes, I think. I'm guessing your boards are stacked lengthwise, so they lay horizontally, one on top of the other? Mine are nailed vertically to two cross beams. We're going to start by replacing the nails with screws, and switch their stalls so he has the flat side instead of the side that you can just push right off of the crossbeams.

I really don't think I want them to share a stall. They usually get along but she can be "touchy" sometimes, especially around food.

#7 iheartcalaban

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 11:34 AM

You could line the stalls with rubber mats, like the kind they use on the inside of trailers.
I haven't come across too many horses who can kick through that and the boards. Some are ones that have kicked the doors off, but still can't get through the mats.

#8 Decembrr

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:05 PM

Yes, our boards lay horizontally... I suppose it'd work vertically, too, but the U channel cost would be pretty high. It's not CHEAP stuff... but if you're just using it on the ends, like in four ft. sections, it's not that bad at all

Another suggestion would be to extend the wall UP so they can't lean against it. It sounds like your horse is just pusing it down with his weight.

If you make it where it can't get his head/neck over, he won't be able to use his weight to push. He'd only be able to kick at it... and not *too* many of them do that as an attempt to get to the other side...

If you don't want it solid (we like to keep it open feeling, and the horses can see each other), you can use cattle panels, even. Works pretty good, really. We've used the kind that have the smaller boxes on that bottom for a few rows, and then get bigger to like 4x6 or so. Use the nails/staples that you'd use on wood posts to attach barbed wire... and "trim" the top of it with a board to make it look more finished. I suppose you could use horse fencing, too... like that no-climb box fencing made for horses. It'd just be a booger to get it tight enough to not look saggy. The heavier wire panels are really easy to put up, and of course, since they're stiff, they don't require any stretching and won't sag. They're easy to cut to size w/ wire/bolt cutters, too.

I wouldn't use panels like that on the lower half of stalls, but unless you have a climber, or one that'll rear up against a stall wall, there isn't much risk of getting a leg in the panels when they're hung on just the tops.

They'd keep either one, on either side, from being able to lean against your wall... and they won't be able to *bother* each other by hanging their heads and necks over or lunging at one another.

I don't know if that's a practical suggestion for your stall set-up, but if you can prevent them from getting their head and necks over, they won't be able to push a wall down.

#9 mikki925

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:42 PM

Thanks, I we'll use some of those ideas. I think a combination of having them switch sides (he's the one pushing the boards out) and reinforcing will do it.

Here are some pictures, so you can see better what the barn looks like now.

Here's Moonshine, the mare, in what is currently Valentine's stall. He's in her stall, looking over at her. (This is the day we brought her home.)
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And here is what the stalls looked like the morning after he ended up in her stall - he knocked out two boards and managed to squeeze through that spot. I have no idea how, he's bigger than this space!

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#10 BlueRibbonHunter2002

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 12:55 PM

I REALLY sypathize (sp) with you here! Our boards do the same thing, and Rumby gets great fun out of kicking thru the walls. Not so much fun for my dad though, who had to repeatedly nail them back up. Eventually, he put the boards up, then reinforced them with an extra layer of 2x4s going the opposite way.

The more I think about it, I really like the idea of the rubber mats. But if he can't get thru the boards if you use screws, that might be your most economical solution.

Good luck!

#11 Rojo Encendido

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 01:34 PM

From the picture you posted the U channel thing would work. You would just have to buy longer boards.

You could also try getting some of those kicking rings. They would only work if your horse was kicking the boards out though. Otherwise, the cattle panes suggestion would work well.

Hope you get him to stop. Hurt horses are no fun.

#12 cheree

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 02:37 PM

I would just switch their stalls. He won't be able to push the boards out from the other side.

Alternatively, nail another set of verticle boards to his side of the stall...

#13 Merry

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 03:13 PM

Put more cross braces, so if he gets the vertical boards down, there still be those to get over.
Best would be the u channel metal and slide boards in there, high enough that he can't see over it.
That should be at least 7'.

I have never seen a horse push boards out of U channel metal, but if one were really interesed in it, I wonder if they could hit it hard enough to bend them and the boards come out of the u channel?
He now has the habit of working at those boards until they come loose. [Eek!]

#14 iheartcalaban

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 03:32 PM

Just wanted to add that I have had horses either kick or otherwise remove boards out of u-channel, that's why the stalls are now lined with mats.

#15 Decembrr

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 03:58 PM

quote:
I have never seen a horse push boards out of U channel metal, but if one were really interesed in it, I wonder if they could hit it hard enough to bend them and the boards come out of the u channel?
I've never seen them bend out, but I suppose if you had softer wood, it'd be possible. We have had two horses get into ONE stall on accident (thru the stall door accidently left unlatched that CLOSED behind them) and during the *fight*, boards have been kicked hard enough to break...

The wood we have *now* in our new place is OLD rough oak. You can't put ANY sort of nail in this stuff unless you pre-drill the hole. Screws will often snap in half before you get them in, even pre-drilled. I *dare* them to kick thru that stuff if they ever try to recreate that event... I think they'd injure themselves long before breaking the boards... [Eek!]

The fastest solution is to just put him on the other side and see what happens. As long as the mare doesn't play the same tricks. [Razz]

#16 mikki925

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 05:59 PM

You're right, Merry, he probably now has a fun new habit. I just hope that she hasn't learned it too, as Decembrr pointed out!

#17 SmokenMirrors

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 06:24 PM

I am not thinking that putting two horses together in one stall, regardless of how friendly they are, is such a great idea. Horses can and do sometimes get irritated at one another, they can kick at each other, bite, and what would you do if you came in the morning and one had a broken leg from one well placed kick? Or something else damaged? I wouldn't chance it. If you have the space for two stalls, then put them in their own stalls, if they have to see one another, make sure they can look over the wall. Here is our stall..

Double 2x6 tongue in groove, nailed to the beams. Here is a picture of them.

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And here is the isleway if the barn...

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#18 ozland

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 07:43 PM

I put my walls up with the U channels, then used a router to tongue and groove 2x12 boards and stacked 5 of them in the channels, then put the heavy hog panels (3 ft high) above that. Never had any of it shift or give, and I have a couple real pushy drafties!

#19 iluvspots

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 07:50 PM

The picture you posted (below) clearly shows your setup. My thought on a quick fix without re-doing your stalls would be to put another HORIZONTAL board across the top and bottom of the dividing wall on the other side from the ones already there -- effectively sandwiching the vertical boards between the horizontal rails. Use screws to secure the rails to each other. Might be all that's needed to keep the gelding in hisown stall.

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