The Stall Fixer-Upper Guide

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Horse in Stall

Horses are…challenging on their stalls, to say the least. Between the standard chewing, banging, leaning, and pushing, it doesn’t take more than a few years for your horse’s stall to become a little worn out. And while you may not have the option of moving him to a new stall, you can upgrade, clean, replace, and repair some stall components to help give his place a fresh new appearance. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Replace bucket hooks

Bucket fasteners have a definite fixed lifespan. Metal or plastic, they all wear out eventually. So if you’re tired of that old half-functioning hook that doesn’t keep the bucket flat against the wall anymore and spills water every time your horse leans against it, make plans to make some fastener upgrades. New bucket hooks make life easier, and look much better than many of the average horse owner’s DIY solutions.

Clean stains on walls

For an improvement that costs nothing at all (except effort), you’d be surprised what some simple scrubbing can do to improve the appearance of the stall walls and door. Stains and general smudges accumulate over time without you really noticing, until before you know it, your stall looks a hundred years old. Take back some of the wear with a scrub brush and water (pick a time when your horse can be out of the stall until it dries). You won’t be able to remove every stain, but you can make the stall look much fresher and more welcoming.

Horse Stall Interior

Flatten mats

Rubber stall mats are heavy, so they usually stay down pretty well. But after a time, even the best stall mats can start to buckle or flip a corner, making the floor uneven. Fixing this is a job that takes very little time, but eliminates a real “your stall looks worn out” eyesore.

Repair chewed spots

Even if your stall has been equipped with chew guards on the flat surfaces, horses are still good at finding ways around the guards—or finding places to chew that you weren’t expecting. Depending on how your stall is constructed, it just might be possible to remove and replace the worst of the chewed boards—in fact, it can actually make for a pleasant weekend project. It may take some time, but this one way to really make the stall look new again. When you replace wood, consider using screws rather than nails to reattach it, as this will make the renovation process easier next time.

New hay racks

Replacing your hay rack may not be necessary from a functionality standpoint, but if it’s several years old and rusting on the wall, you might want to upgrade to a new one just for aesthetic reasons. It’s just another detail that can help make your horse’s stall look new again.

Daniel Johnson is a freelance writer
and professional photographer. He’s the author of several books,
including How to Raise Horses: Everything You Need to Know, (Voyageur
Press, 2014). Dan’s barn is home to Summer, a Welsh/TB cross, Orion, a
Welsh Cob, and Mati and Amos, two Welsh Mountain Ponies. Follow him at www.facebook.com/foxhillphoto.

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