Barn Building 101, Barn Safety, Horse Stalls 101 | By: American Stalls | Date on: 12/18/2020

One popular topic among our clients is how to set up the perfect foaling stall. 

After all, you have invested a great deal – including a hefty stud fee, top-notch care, regular vet visits, and a high-quality nutrition program for your mare. Let’s also not forget the hours of effort that you have put into caring for your mare through her pregnancy. That being said, you’ve had the easy job as she’s the one who’s had to carry this goal for the past year. 

Now, let’s talk about your soon-to-be new born foal. As a new born, your foal will likely be a tad clumsy and have less-than-desired vision. As he gets older, he will gradually becomes more aware of his surroundings. Over time, he’ll develop curiosity which means that he’ll explore every inch of his stall. Similar to a newborn baby, every object and point serves as a potential hazard. 

As you set up the foaling stall, we strongly recommend to think about safety, cleanliness, and convenience. Here’s how to set up a safe, comfortable environment for your new arrival.

Stall Size:

Bigger isn’t always better, but smaller is almost always worse. Your mare needs space to roll around and get comfortable during her pregnancy. At a minimum, we recommend a 12’x18’ stall. An ideal foaling stall size is 12×24 or 20×20. 

That being said, we understand that stall space is a premium in just about any barn. That is why we suggest to design your stalls with a hinged, swinging horse stall partition. This hinged partition gives you the flexibility to transform two 12×12 stalls into a large 12×24 stall for foaling. Lastly, a hinged partition gives you the ability to create a spacious environment that your mare needs to comfortably and safely deliver.

Bedding:

A horse stall must be bedded to provide comfort to your mare, but also be safe for her newborn baby. Thick bedding is required and the stall must be kept clean. We recommend to end with foal-friendly bedding such as clean straw. Breeders prefer clean straw since it is not porous like wood shavings or sawdust. These porous materials can harbor bacteria that can make your foal sick. 

In addition to traditional bedding, we highly recommend a stall mattress system. Our StableComfort flooring creates the perfect environment to keep your foal comfortable and safe. Our mattress system is proven to be the equivalent of about 4-6 inches of wood shavings.

In addition, while standing, this mattress system provides a supportive, even surface for your horses. While lying down, this mattress system helps provide plenty of support for your mare to rest. Lastly, StableComfort provides great, anti-slip footing for your energetic and active newborn foal. 

Inspect Your Stall

It is a given that your mare – weighing close to 1,300 lbs – will lean, push, and test the limits of your horse stalls. She’s nesting and wants to make sure that she is safe.The same can be said about your newborn, curious foal. That is why your stall walls – including stall fronts and partitions – need to be free from any protruding elements. Inspect your stalls for protrusions that include feed bins, hay racks, tie rings, exposed steel components, and any exposed wood edges. Additionally, it is recommended to invest in strong horse stall partitions and hardware that will withstand her impact. 

One great way to bolster your horse stall is to install our StableWall kits. These foam panels are designed with 1-1/2” foam and covered with a 1/4” thick rubber cover. These StableWalls create the perfect environment for your mare and foal to prevent injuries, prevent casting, and create a safer overall stall environment. 

The above tips are in addition to our recommended standards for horse stall and barns. This means barn design and stall design that allows for ample airflow and ventilation. It means electrical wiring, water lines, and utilities to be well protected from their equine occupants. Lastly, it means that your horse stalls are built from heavy-duty materials, mindfully crafted, and designed with safety in mind. 

Please reach out if you have any questions. You can get in touch with the team at American Stalls by giving us a call at (855) 957-8255 or filling out an inquiry form.

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