by American Stalls October 26, 2020
Horse stall maintenance is always a hot topic among barn owners.
After all, your horse stall equipment is a long-term capital investment. That’s why it’s crucial to carefully choose your materials, finishes, and design. Once you have purchased your stall equipment, you can maintain the longevity of your investment with consistent maintenance. Here are a few points to consider in improving the long-term performance of your horse stall equipment.
Be Mindful with Stall Accessories
Keep your stalls looking new by avoiding scratches with hooks and hardware. Hang lead ropes and halters on hooks that keep hardware from paint finishes. Additionally, choose sliding door hardware that will prevent any additional scratches from usage.
Increase Ventilation in Your Barn
Ventilation is key for your horse's lung health, but also for the longevity of your stall's long-term performance. As your horse breathes, he or she releases carbon dioxide and water into the air. This produces anywhere between 35-50 lbs. of dampness per day. That puts a lot of moisture into the air; moisture can lead to rust. This is why great ventilation is key as it prevents rust.
While most horse stalls tend to have steel bars on top, they tend to have tongue and groove lumber located on the stall bottoms. We some grilled bottoms (see below) on some stalls, but a mesh bottom is what we recommend to most clients. You can read more here on our thoughts on mesh.
Pay Attention to Your Stall's Hardware
Sliding stall doors include stall front doors, barn end doors, and paddock doors. We often recommend sliding stall doors since they eliminate the hazard of hinged doors that swing into aisle ways. This is especially important in busy commercial barns. That being said, no two sliding stall doors are built the same - mostly because of the track equipment.
Anyone who has stepped into an older horse stall barn has used sliding doors that are close to impossible to open and close. Customers often complain about their older stall doors which require all of their bodyweight to open and close. This is the result os using lower quality track systems that are hard to operate.
When purchasing or improving your existing stall doors, choose heavy-duty track systems with a self-cleaning design. A self-cleaning design features a completely round track. This design allows for dirt to slide right through the smooth track so the sliding door slides easier for a longer life. A self-cleaning design will ensure dust, moisture, and dirt does not settle inside the track system.
Additionally, a quality track system will use Delrin rollers that are built to withstand day-to-day usage. This trolley is stronger and quieter than steel-based wheels. Delrin wheels will not rust and never need additional lubrication. Our Delrin rollers glide effortlessly and stand up to years of constant usage.
A well-made track system makes all of the difference in your stall's day-to-day performance.
Clean and Maintain Your Stall's Finish
The horse barn is generally not the most conducive environment for horse stall finishes. That is why it is so crucial to regularly clean and maintain your stall equipment to improve your investment's longevity.
When cleaning horse stalls, we recommend that you use water and a mild dishwashing liquid to clean the steel components. After the wash, clean with a soft washcloth. We highly discourage the use of abrasive cleaners, TSP or ammonia. Lastly, ask your stall manufacturer for a bottle of touch-up paint to regularly touch up any scraps and scratches. Regular maintenance of your powder coat finishes will ensure that your steel is protected against rust.
The above are four helpful details to help protect your stall equipment investment and keep a beautiful barn for years to come. That being said, this is not an all-inclusive list since every barn is unique. If you have any questions, feel free to give our team a call and we would love to help in any way.