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Horse & Rider Gear is an online glossary of terms and definitions commonly encountered by horse lovers. Click on the links below to choose from our alphabetical list of terms.

Stall - Choosing a Stable

Ideally, your horse should spend the better part of his day or night outdoors. Most horses, however, are kept in stalls either at night in the winter or during the day in the summer, with further confinement in very wet weather.

Tie stalls, narrow chutes in which the horse stands with his head tied, are not satisfactory for long periods of time. The average horse needs a box stall measuring at least 10 feet by 12 feet (12 feet by 12 feet is even better), which allows him to move around, lie down, and, if he's so inclined, urinate and defecate away from his food. Ponies can live in smaller space, but no less than 10 feet by 10 feet.

Stall walls should be solidly built of wood, cement, or metal (possibly covered with rubber mats). They should be at a height of 4 to 5 feet, and can be up to 8 feet between stalls. The walls must be strong enough to withstand repeated kicking, both of the restless, "pay attention to me" type or the powerful "get me out of here" type. The top part of the stall wall should have wire grills or mesh with openings of 2 inches or less for light and ventilation. The ceiling must be at least 8 feet high. Openings need to be at least 4 feet wide to accommodate a horse, as well as a large wheelbarrow for cleaning.

There are a number of options for flooring including dirt, concrete, and wood and bedding. Rubber mats can protect against many of the disadvantages of each type of floor, offering further cushion for legs and keeping the floor itself safe from digging hooves and soaking urine.

See also Barn; Facilities; Bedding