- Earth tamper
- Post hole digger
- Hand saw
- Stakes and twine
- Heavy hinges or a sliding door railing kit
- Heavy square lumber posts
- Lumber planks
Horses are strong, but delicate animals. Their proper care requires bringing them in from the paddock, and that means they must have stalls. A good stall need not be elaborate, although some are. However, it must account for a few basic features that provide shelter, a floor that is suitable for mucking, and a structure that is sturdy enough to withstand some horse kicking.
Survey the line of posts that will serve as the structural supports for the stall. Use the stakes and twine to make straight lines and mark where the posts will go, using the first pair to anchor against the barn wall and the last pair as gate posts.
Dig up holes for the posts using a post hole digger, shovel, and mattock. These holes should be a minimum of 18 inches deep, and they should be kept uniform to make cutting the posts later on a simpler matter.
Saw the posts so that they will run from the bottom of the holes to the ceiling, checking each one before placing it. These posts are often irregular, so they will require some work to make an exact fit.
Set the posts, check that they are level, and fill in the holes. Use the tamper to make the ground solid.
Nail in the planks to the posts and build the stall's walls. These should be interlocking, so that they alternate ends and centers for each post. This will give the wall more strength. Some of the planks will require both horizontal and vertical cuts with the saw to make for an exact fit and to create the alternating pattern.
Build your gate. This can be done using lumber planks. Set two measured and cut planks horizontally and check with the level, and then nail leveled planks vertically onto them. Set a final plank diagonally for added strength and rigidity. Screw on the handle.
Screw in either the sliding door railing or the hinges, depending on how you have chosen to mount the gate.
Screw either the gate to the hinges, or the wheels for the sliding gate railing into the gate. For the siding gate, there is the final touch of mounting the wheels into the railing and putting the cap on the railing to close it.
TIPS AND WARNINGS
- TIP : The floors of horse stalls are usually made of compacted earth or clay, because it is easier than concrete on horse hooves, and also partly soaks up the substantial amount of urine that will seep through the bedding and into the floor.
- WARNING : Stalls are almost always built into already constructed horse barns or sheds. You will need one before starting.