When possible, gates should be placed on sloped ground which drains well, lest the area become a mudhole.
Stall doors should be as wide as practical to prevent horse or handler from banging the frame on the way in or out. 6' wide doors work well.
Sliding stall doors can be nice, but make sure there is a stop on the track to keep the door from falling off if opened too wide, and roller mounts at the bottom to keep the door from swinging away from the wall. Sliding doors must open and close easily, or people will try and lead horses through them without opening them wide enough. (Human Nature.)
Swinging stall doors should be hinged in such a way that they may be easily swung open 180ƒ and latched flat against the wall when left open. Saddle racks, blanket hooks, and tack trunks should not be positioned to prevent this. If doors are left partially open, it is just a matter of time until someone cracks into one edge-on.
If you're going to have to walk through one paddock to get to another paddock, your fence layout needs to be reconsidered.
Back to EQ Winter 2001 Index.