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Here’s a handy way to keep your stall mats in place, excerpted from the book Stablekeeping, by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh, who designed the anchors.

Do your stall mats shift and bulge? Here’s a simple way to make horse-proof anchors that will help keep even a four-corner junction in place.

Illustration from Stablekeeping

by Cherry Hill & Richard Klimesh

Why they’re handy:
Stall mats, especially those thinner than 3/4 inch, have a tendency to bulge along seams and intersections of corners. Bulging corners can be chewed or pawed by horses, and the uneven surface makes cleaning the mats more difficult. With their rounded stake heads, these anchors sit tightly against a mat, allowing a broom, shovel or hoof to slide over them without catching the edge of the mat.

Materials:

  • 1/4-inch diameter steel rod approximately 12 to 18 inches long (the softer the soil, the longer the rod)
  • 1/4-inch steel washer
  • 1 1/2-inch diameter fender washer with a 5/16-inch center hole. (Fender washers are relatively thin and have a large outer diameter compared to a small center hole; available at hardware and auto stores.)
  • 1-inch-diameter pipe (See step 2).

Instructions:
1. Weld the 1/4-inch washer flush with the end of the rod and then weld the fender washer on top of the smaller washer. Weld the center hole of the fender washer and two or three spots around the smaller washer on the underside.

2. To round the head, insert the stake through a piece of 1-inch diameter pipe so the head of the stake sits flat on the pipe. Bend the perimeter of the large washer down over the edge of the pipe using light taps with a hammer. (Always wear eye protection whenever striking metal with a hammer.) Remove the stake from the pipe.

3. Clean out debris from under the corners of the mats so they lie flat and even. Insert the mat stake between the corners of the mats and use a hammer to drive it to the surface of the mats. Keep the stake vertical so the head will sit level.

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I’m new to horses, my 8 year old daughter has always been fascinated with horses and I’ve finally decided to get started. we are visiting some stables now to pick one for her to begin riding lessons before we purchase a horse. I’m currently building a barn and working on the stalls. I was reading in your book, Horsekeeping on Small Acreage, that you used a moving wall to allow you have a larger stall if needed. Could you provide me with some additional information on how you built the wall to move? My stalls are 10′ wide by 12′ deep. It will be the 12′ that needs to move, since I’m only 10′ wide that would be all that could swing to the back wall. Do I leave a 2′ section permanent on the from wall or does it need to hinge back to give the full opening? Just curious how you built yours to help me with my design.

Also had a question about the pen for daily turnout and bad weather, I plan to have approximately 30 x 30 pen at the back of my barn to use for this, the book mentions that this could be graveled. What would be your preference for the gravel type? Are there any con’s to having them turned out on the gravel?

The book has been great, Thanks for your help….Kevin

Hi Kevin,

So glad you found my book helpful ! You sound like you are approaching horse ownership and your daughter’s experience in a logical way. Bravo to that.

First to the swinging stall wall. One of our stalls was set up like yours, with the 12′ side being the swinging side, we left the extra 2 feet as a solid wall. Actually this makes for a nice nook for a water pail or grain bucket. And having a solid wall portion there adds stability for fastening the swinging panel when it is closed to make two stalls. Our 2″ wall portion is on the aisle side and the hinged partition is on the exterior wall side of the barn if that makes sense.

Since you have my book Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage, look on page 108. The short wall where the turquoise bucket is is the 2 foot wall on the aisle side of the stall and if you look over at the right hand side of the photo, you’ll see the 10 foot hinged wall fastened on the back wall of the stall.

There is detailed coverage of the swinging wall construction in our How-To video Your Horse Barn.

Your Horse Barn DVD by Cherry Hill and Richard Klimesh

Then for the pen gravel question, if you look on page 42 there is a photo of a handful of pen gravel which is 3/8- pea gravel. You can read more about it here on my website Horsekeeping. There is also detailed coverage of pen gravel in the 2-DVD set Your Horse Barn mentioned above.

Pea Gravel for Pens

Turnout Pen Gravel

Best of luck with your new venture !

 

Horsekeeping on a Small Acreage by Cherry Hill

 

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