Surprises in the horse barn aren't always pleasant

By Kim Lemmon, Ohio’s Country Journal

At this point in my life, I’m never really very surprised when I find some kind of problem or disaster in the barn. I will admit that I did reach my breaking point last spring, when the barn flooded and my pregnant goats where standing in three inches of water but that was a pretty extreme problem.

Most of the time rotten mini horses, Mike and Ike, create the little surprises I meet randomly during my morning feedings.

Mike and Ike are usually the source of any unfortunate surprises I find in the barn.

I wasn’t really very surprised when I saw Mike and Ike munching on several bales of hay they had managed to pull into their stalls one morning last week. Really it was only a matter of time until it happened.

Last summer, in an effort to cram as much hay into the barn as possible, my husband, Mark, and I filled two of our three horse stalls with hay. It seemed like a great idea at the time. By early January, one stall was empty so I decided to move the horses around so that everyone would be able to move out of the barn overhangs and into stalls in anticipation of possible extreme winter weather.

As you can see, the black metal bars that served as part of the divider are not welded to the top and bottle braces. This provides a challenge when it is time to reconstruct the stall.

I moved Mike and Ike into the middle stall that was next to the stall that still contained hay. There were a couple of problems with this master plan.

Our stalls were not new when we had them installed a few years ago. They are nice but not especially sturdy. The bars between the horse stalls are not welded to the stall pieces so they often pop out under a horse’s “supervision.”

Another problem I noticed before putting the boys in their new stall was that Mark and I had crammed so much hay in the stall that one corner of the upper stall divider had come out of its brace. I guess what I’m saying is it was just a matter of time until Mike and Ike completed damaging the stall.

The moral of the story is never buy stalls that have the bars as individual pieces. It is much easier to deal with if the bars are welded to the upper and lower stall braces.

Now who is going to volunteer to come out and help me put this stall back together? It is a lot of fun trying to line up all the barns and upper and lower brace pieces at the same time!

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