Tie Stall Design for Drafts
December 16, 2011, 3:00 pm
Filed under: December 2011
Double tie stall for draft horses

December 16, 2011

     I was asked by a reader to please give a few more details about the kind of tie stalls that I use here on the farm for my draft horses. I will try to cover all the information and paint a picture of why I choose this type of stall. I do use a boxstall in conjunction with my tie stalls and my horses get daily excercise as well.
     The first consideration for using this double stall ( for 2 horses) is to insure that they know each other and do not fight. There is no partition in the center as you can see. I have used a swinging pole type partition if needed, but usually the horses will share the space provided without incident.
     The stall measures ten feet wide. A draft horse needs a five foot wide space. That five feet, will allow for easy access and enough room to harness the horse. It also  provides a large enough space for the horse to sleep, strectch and stand comfortable. Be careful not to go six feet wide because the horse is apt to try to roll in a stall that big. That event could spell disaster, even death, if it becomes entangled or cast in the stall. My stalls are seven feet from manger to the back of the stall. That gives enough room for the horse to lie down, but discourages him from manuring where he will sleep.
     I use our northeastern hardwoods for stall construction. The oak lumber is durable, tough and not easy to chew. The strength of the lumber is a good match for the strength and size of the horses. My mangers are three feet deep, three feet wide and ten feet long. I put a divider in at five feet to split the space and give strength to the manger.
     I tie up with a log chain about thirty inches long. The chain should be just long enough for the horse to lie down, as well as, reach his grain box. The grain box I locate in the outside corners of the manger, on the inside of that space. The horses turn their heads away from each other while they eat…again, eliminating the desire to fight 😮
     The log chain has a snap on one end and a heavy steel ring on the other. The steel ring hangs on the inside of the manger. I drill a two-inch hole, two and a half feet from the wall, at the center of each space. The chain passes through the hole and snaps to the horses halter. The large ring can’t get through the hole. The weight of the ring pulls the slack out of the chain as the horses moves forward in the stall. Gravity makes this all work and keeps any loop in the chain out of the equation.
     Tie stalls work very well for me. They make chores easier and faster. Feeding is a joy and mucking out the stalls is quick. The most important thing is, and I will say again, the horses must get excercise. That means working them every day or turning them out. They get bored easily and excercise helps this problem immensely.
     Dry, comfortable and clean stalls are a great wat to show how much you care about your horses. The tie stall also helps insure each horse gets its daily ration. They can be brought in and fed, then turned back out once all the feed is consumed. In winter, my horses spend the days outside working or on pasture. They spend their nights in the warm tie stalls.
      In summer, I do the opposite. The horses are in during the day away from the biting flies, unless we are working in the fields. At night, they have the run of the pasture in the cool darkness.
     I like the double stalls for my geldings. They know each other very well and are almost comforted by one another’s presence. I can harness easily in the wide stalls because the horses move for me. I know they are safe, well cared for and that gives me peace of mind.
     By clicking on the photo above, many of the details can be seen. I also use 3/4 inch rubber mats on the stall floor to provide an additional layer of comfort….. and on this farm… comfort is what it’s all about 😮

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Thanks Ralph!

Comment by Joe

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