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Hubby and our farm intern finally got our tie stalls built! These have been almost 2 years in the making. A big thanks to Jenni Grey for sending me all those tie stall photos last year! They came in very handy when planning our dimensions!

Now for the details:
We decided renovate an old stall/storage area of our barn. It just happened that the support beams along the wall were spaced at just over 5 feet apart, which worked perfectly into our plan. We built a 5 foot wide tack room on the far left first. Then, we added new beams 44 inches out from the original wall beams and tied them into the ceiling joists and buried them several feet down and in concrete. 2x6 oak planks filled in between the two beams to form head dividers. We then used 2x8 oak planks to build hay mangers onto the dividers, with 1/2 inch plywood bottoms. We have a huge mouse problem, so I wanted to leave space under the mangers for raking to discourage mice. We had some old grain tubs, so we installed them into the corner of each feeder. We installed 4 inch o-ring bolts into the foundation wall to tie off to, and I'm making the ropes just long enough that the horses can get their noses into the far corners of their feeders to clean up spilled grain, but not far enough to annoy each other.

The dividers between the stalls are removable. On the "fixed" end, we used a bucket hook rated to 1000 lbs, and a simple o-ring into the 4x4 oak beam. The great thing is that there are no sharp edges to get hung up on. The far end of the beam has another o-ring that attaches to the ceiling with heavy duty chain. If we need to train a new horse, we can always add the option of butt chains/boards to prevent the dividers from swinging. We like multi-purpose though, so with this design, we have the ability to use the area for temporary storage--such as stacking some hay or who knows what else. Additionally, it increases ventilation during our hot, humid summers.

For now, at least, we are sticking with the original floors--equitile in-laid with gravel/dirt. It is nicely packed and the horses can't dig into it. We'll see how it works long-term.

My husband built the stalls, beams, and mangers totally out of red and white oak that he cut from our land and milled on his lumber mill. In the future, we will build the head dividers up a bit higher, but he ran out of lumber. Future plans also include more "custom" tie ropes with quick-release snaps (I'll make those this week, just to eliminate the excess and the knots, new LED overhead lighting (hopefully in the next month), a fan, and the shelf on the right will be moved (notice the little horse gets that stall in the mean time). We also plan to one day cut out some windows to further increase light and ventilation.

We're both loving them already! He has a more convenient, controlled way to feed, and I finally have a convenient, well-lit, and sheltered place to groom and harness. Another issue we'll hopefully now have remedied is during fly season. In past summers, the horse flies drive the horses crazy, so they want to seek shelter in the barn. Our back area has always been too small and hot to let all 3 into though. Hopefully, this will give them a safe place to hide out.

Klaus Karbaumer says 2016-01-27 08:24:06 (CST)

Congratulations! Very nice, very solid, very practical. And what satisfaction it must be to have built that with lumber from your place and by yourself!

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Pace says 2016-01-27 12:21:38 (CST)

Very nice.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Robert Sutton says 2016-01-27 15:49:54 (CST)

Looks good. I just started putting in a team stall with a divider. What are the dimensions on your mangers? I'm going to build some this weekend hopefully.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Jonathan Shively says 2016-01-28 11:34:14 (CST)

Beautiful. There is nothing like the looks of a new barn as well as the looks of an old well used barn.

Wonderful job. Looks like an inviting place to meet, work and rest.

I am not a cat person. I do not enjoy petting cats. But, for your mice problem, I prefer to feed a cat than a rat or mouse. So a couple of good barn cats are in order to eliminate or keep in check your mouse problem.

I know that a majority of feed bunks do not go to the floor. I realize the reasons why. But a horse that lays down and gets a leg under it scares me. Mine go to the floor for that reason. Maybe a board along the front with an opening at each end so cats can sleep or raise a litter of kittens under there. I really like the way the eyelets are connected to the manger, very innovative. Thanks for sharing the pictures, they explain and show so much of your love and care for your animals.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

grey says 2016-01-28 21:50:44 (CST)

I bet that's terribly satisfying! Now you, too, can reap the training benefits of using tie stalls! Would you mind emailing me some photos so I can add them to my collection?

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Redgate says 2016-01-28 22:02:28 (CST)

Jonathan, I fully agree on both counts...the cats and the potential danger of the horse lying down.

We actually have cats, but with all the construction going on in our barn right now, they have decided it is not cat-friendly for the moment, which is allowing the mice a bit too much freedom. They still catch a few here or there, but I look forward to finishing it up so they will move back in. Meanwhile, we have a few traps set as well, and let our chickens in regularly. Chickens are quite impressive mousers!

As far as the risk of laying down, I figured it was minimal, as we don't use the stalls for that length of time very often. It is primarily for feeding, grooming, harnessing, short-term rest periods, or tie training (those we've done tie/patience training with generally aren't relaxed enough to lie down). My barn is definitely not draft-proof in the event of escape, so they aren't left out there for long periods without supervision. If we reach a point where we feel there is an increased risk of them laying down, we would change several things about this design.

For now, though, we are loving it! Feeding time is so much easier and cleaner. I also love the rustic, purposeful look that this former storage area has now.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Jonathan Shively says 2016-01-29 12:19:34 (CST)

Reigate, please don't take any of my comments negatively. It is a beautiful barn/stall area. Ask 100 teamsters and you can always get 110 responses! Thank you for posting the pictures of your work, it is wonderful.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Redgate says 2016-01-30 11:22:20 (CST)

Jonathan, no offense taken whatsoever. I'm glad you brought it up--especially if someone is considering building stalls for leaving horses unsupervised for long hours. I've heard my share of stories of horses getting hung up, and I haven't even been in the draft horse/tie stall world that long. I was simply clarifying why we did it this way. Seriously, I welcome everyone's input. I still have plenty to learn, and love hearing the wisdom all of you offer!

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Dan in Illinois says 2016-01-31 21:01:07 (CST)

Looks great enjoy the reward of your labor.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

grey says 2016-02-04 14:03:48 (CST)

Wow, bummer about your cat situation Bret4207! We have two wonderful spayed female murder-machines and they keep us rodent-free quite handily. Not all cats are born hunters. Ours came from a colony of ferals. After a couple of years of living in the shadows of our barn, they decided we were okay and are now very affectionate as well as effective rodent-destroying machines. I've no doubt they'd take chicks if they had the opportunity, but we would lose chicks to hawks, coon, yotes and possums if we didn't keep the chicks in some kind of Fort Knox.

The Murder Sisters also bring in rabbits, squirrels and birds but that collateral damage is acceptable to me.

Mine use the corral as their litter box, but also enjoy using the molehills in the pasture, which I find hilarious. With only two cats, I don't find this amount of cat poop to be problematic.

Occasionally a stray male will come wandering and THEY do spray urine (on the hay, of all things, or the horse blankets), which is not something I'm willing to tolerate. Those get dealt with.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Redgate says 2016-02-04 16:33:52 (CST)

I gotta say, I'm with grey. I've missed my 2 cats (and 1 occasional visitor) actually living in the barn since we started the construction. One of our girls, especially is a killing machine. Amazingly, she doesn't bother our chicks or birds (not that we provide opportunity), but no mouse escapes her. Since construction started and they spend less time in the barn, she has learned to come running when we call. For example, if we hear a mouse scurrying in the feed bin, we will call her. She will jump up, get in position, and wait. We open the feed bin, and that mouse never knew what hit it! If we are dealing with multiples, she will crunch it, and come back for seconds. I love that cat!! The others are good, but I would rate them as average mousers.

As far as the bathroom issue, that was a problem when our tie stall area used to be storage, as it was the only dirt area in the barn. Now, we have raked it down to the hard plastic tiles, and there is nothing to dig. We haven't had any issue since then.

I could imagine if you had more than 3-4 cats, the smell could get to be a huge problem. There'd be no way to stay on top of that!

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Jonathan Shively says 2016-02-05 13:24:56 (CST)

We have lived on this farm since 1992 and out of all of our cats, we have successfully had 3 kittens grow into cats here. The rest, don't seem to be good mamas or they do something with their litters. When we move something and mice run, any cat around that doesn't run after them, no longer belongs on our farm eating our feed. Also, we are very specific to have mouse proof feed containers (except for the hogs self feeder). We feed our cats near this self feeder keeping them close to another available food source! I myself don't care to feed welfare cats. This is a working farm.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Redgate says 2016-02-05 14:44:29 (CST)

Bret, no doubt that would get old. I am a total animal lover, but my husband has taught me reality and balance as well. His rule is that we can have any animal on the farm--as long as it earns its way somehow. Cats eat mice (those who ate chickens or nothing at all are no longer here), dogs guard, goats milk and give meat, cattle meat, horses drive, etc. Even the few housepets and the riding horse we have are here to teach our children life lessons. My 9 year old daughter has to pay "board" every month to keep her horse, as well as purchase her own tack.

In your case, as much as I hate to admit it, I think my husband would have happily invested in a lot of .22 ammo to deal with that issue.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

grey says 2016-02-05 23:22:06 (CST)

That's nuts. That's way too many freeloaders. When strays come in here, I catch them in the live trap and have them spayed/neutered and then evaluate them for pet potential. Only a couple have ever totally refused to be socialized. Those few were so traumatized by the whole trap/spay/neuter thing that when re-released, they disappeared into the woods never to be seen again. The others have all been placed in homes via my connections with local cat advocates. I nearly always have one pensioner housecat as well, but that's a house pet with a litter box. Completely different story from the barn cats.

I don't get but one to three walk-ups per year. Horrible people do like to come out here to dump their unwanted pets, but the coyotes and bobcats keep the population of poor naive homeless pets down. I guess a quick end from a predator is better than starving to death, but it still makes me furious.

3 years ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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