Tips for buying stall guards

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• Considerations: A stall guard allows you to bring light and air into your horse’s stall while keeping your horse confined. Safety is the paramount concern, and you’ll want to consider your horse’s personality in choosing a design: Stall guards afford a greater view of the activities in the barn, which can be comforting to gregarious horses but can invite altercations between more aggressive ones. Some determined horses will lean on a guard until it breaks. Others may try to take advantage of a guard, climbing over or slipping under if given the opportunity.

• Options: Stall guard designs range from single rubber-covered chains that stretch across a doorway to large, metal mesh barriers (sometimes called “stall gates”) that cover the bottom part of doorway opening, with space at the top for a horse to stretch his head out. Guards made of heavy-duty nylon webbing can be adjusted to accommodate various lengths, which makes them handy for use at show facilities on the road. Whatever style you choose, consider how it will be anchored to the door frame: Most are designed to clip to screw eye bolts, so you’ll need strong wood to “hold” the hardware.

• Price: Stall guards range in price from $15 for a simple chain-style stall guard to several hundred dollars for large, metal gate-type designs. 

This article first appeared in the May 2017 issue (#476) of EQUUS magazine