This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol6", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
Horses are housed in as comfortable a manner as possible, but the opinions of the owners are many and varied, and these should, above all things, be carefully studied. The loose-box of 12 by 12 feet or 12 by 10 feet is naturally the best way of housing a horse, but in most stables sufficient space is unobtainable, so stalls are provided instead; that is, spaces which should be 6 feet to 6 feet 6 inches wide (although many are put up as narrow as 5 feet 6 inches), and about 12 feet long to the gutter. Between each horse is placed a division. Iron is claimed to be the best and strongest material for the framework, but wood is preferred by many as being quite satisfactory and easily repaired in situ, which is a great consideration in stables removed at a distance from any large town.
Fig. 30 shows a 4-inch square - 6 by 5 inches or 5 by 4 inches - oak post firmly fixed to ceiling joists, and into concrete below. From this is carried the ramp, or sloping rail, from post to wall, where it may be built in or fixed to a second post. A strong piece or sill should run along the floor, and both this and the ramp grooved to receive 2-inch wood boarding secured together by means of an iron tongue between the boards. A ramp of 6 by 5 inches can also be used with a lower rail, 7 by 1 1/2 inches, to which 1 1/4-inch sheeting is nailed on each side, which is kept raised 1 or 2 inches above the floor for purposes of ventilation.
Where economy of money and space has to be considered, or where temporary stables have to be erected, an arrangement shown in Fig. 31 may be adopted, which consists of a plank of wood, technically known as a bale, some 15 inches deep, hooked to the wall, and suspended by a chain to the ceiling joist. This arrangement is much used in military, tramway, and other stables where a great number of horses are housed. It may also be employed for dividing a loose-box into two stalls. A pole may be substituted for the plank, an arrangement which is commonly used for troop horses. In most stables of any pretension iron posts, ramps, and sills are used. The post may be carried from floor to ceiling, making a solid abutment for the ramp, as also helping to carry the floor above. In Fig. 32 it is shown simply as a heel-post, and this is what most commonly occurs. The post varies in diameter from 4 to 6 inches, according to the strength required, and is of wrought or cast iron. Posts are also made of oval shape, the idea being that the projection beyond wood panelling is less. A post of similar design to the heel post, but halved and of greater height, may be fixed at the head or wall end of stall, and so give an effective finish to the stable.
As the strength of the stall depends almost entirely on the solidity of the heel post the mode of fixing it is important. Fig. 33 shows a special base for fitting into concrete, which renders the post quite firm, or the post may be fixed to stone bases by means of lewis bolts. The sill piece is frequently made of grooved iron to.
Fig. 33. Improved Selt-Fiximg Base.
receive the boarding, a shifting piece being provided, so that a broken board may be easily replaced, or the sill may be laid flush with floor or raised some 3 to 4
inches, to allow of ventilation below. The length from head to heel is 9 to 10 feet.
Fig. 34 shows two forms of sills made by Messrs, Musgrave & Co., which allow of ventilation about the ends of boards and of free exit of moisture, thus preserving the boarding.
Fig. 35 shows another means of ventilation by the same makers, advantage being taken of the cavity inside the heel post, having air admitted into it by means of an air duct leading to the outside wall. The air enters the stable at the top of post.
A ventilating stall division, made by the same firm, is shown in Fig. 36. As will be seen, the air enters the hollow division through a grating close to floor level, and is admitted to the stable at top of the ramp. This air trunk is fitted with a regulator.
The ramp, or top iron bar of the stall division, may be of almost any shape or contour desired, and is grooved to receive the boarding, if such be carried up to the top, or else to receive moulded iron bars or open grating. It should be at least 7 feet high at head, and may run horizontally to heel post, so obscuring one horse from another if the boarding is carried right to the top. The ramp may fall in a straight line, or curve in a sweep to some 4 feet or 4 feet 6 inches at the heel.
At some 3 feet 9 inches to 4 feet 6 inches from the floor a middle rail may be inserted (see Figs. 35 and 36), and the space between this and top rail be filled up with some plain wrought-iron bars or with some cast-iron pattern. It is a matter of opinion whether the division at the head end of the stall should be left open or closed, many being of opinion that horses can eat more comfortably if not interrupted by seeing one another. It can be filled in with sheet iron if so desired.
A complete finish to the stable is obtained by fixing a half-post and lining against the wall which forms the side to the stalls at each end of the range.