The Stall-divisions are usually fitted with cast-iron posts, which may be bolted to a stone block or provided with a hollow base which can be filled with and bedded in concrete, as shown in fig. 572. A ball or other rounded top is best for safety, and a very pleasing effect may be produced by having the ball of polished brass. The divisions should be of wood, grooved and tongued, and 1½ inch to 2 inches thick, sliding into a grooved iron sill below and a curved or ramped iron capping above. A portion of the sill should be fitted, as shown in fig. 573, with a shifting-piece to allow the wood-work to slide in, for the convenience of replacing when damaged; when the shifting-piece is replaced, it holds all secure. The divisions may be of pitch pine or oak, but a very handsome and strong division is sometimes made of teak rubbed smooth and oiled. Many divisions have an intermediate rail, in which case the portion between this rail and the ramped upper rail may be of round iron bars, or iron trellis-work, which gives a much lighter appearance and facilitates the circulation of air. It is better, however, that the parts immediately beside the horses' heads should be filled solid, so that the horses, when feeding, cannot see, and possibly disturb, each other. Another advantage of the central rail is that it may be made hollow, to contain a sliding bar, which can be drawn out at night and the end secured to a staple or socket in the wall. This closes the passage behind, so that if a horse breaks loose during the night he will be safely confined to his own stall. A typical division is shown in fig. 573, which also shows in section a hopper window serving as a ventilator over the horse's head.
Fig. 572. - " Self-fixing" Base for Cast-iron Stall-pillar.
A MODERN STABLE Fittings by Messrs. Musgrave.
The divisions for loose-boxes are generally made of the same character as the stall-divisions, with boarding below and trellis-work above, which, in the same way as for the stalls, should be closed alongside the manger, etc. The latch of the door should be flush with the woodwork and of such form that the horse cannot "nose" it open. Loose-box doors may also be made to slide, but the special advantage is not apparent. A simple method of forming a loose-box is by continuing one or both end stalls of a stable back to the wall, filling the space by means of a door and short length of stall - division. This is economical, but has the disadvantage of leav-ing no thoroughfare in the case of a continuous range.
The lower parts of the walls of a Stable are best lined with boarding, and the appearance is improved if this is secured into half-rails of iron at the top and bottom, to match the divisions. In a higher-class stable a portion at least of the space above the boarding should be lined with glazed tiles, and the tiles should be continued to the same level above the manger. The enamelled tiling is impervious to moisture, and, being on that part of the wall upon which the horse breathes, or with which his body comes in contact, is easily kept clean, and is not liable to decay. Salt-glazed bricks are now often used instead of wall-boarding, and are cleaner and more durable. The tiles above the wall-boarding should be of some light tint in preference to white. Dark tiles are not to be recommended. The upper part of the walls, if not tiled, may be plastered. Though more expensive, Keene's or some other hard-setting cement is for hygienic reasons to be preferred, but ordinary plaster can now be cheaply coated with Duresco or other preparation which admits of being washed or renewed at a comparatively slight cost.
Fig. 573. - Stall-division with Shifting-piece in Sill for taking out and replacing the Woodwork.
It is indispensable that the Stable-floor should be impervious to moisture, capable of being easily cleaned, and with as few places for the lodgment of dirt as possible; the surface should have a sufficient foothold to prevent any risk of a horse slipping. The ground vitrified clinker stable-paving bricks meet these re-quirements, and should belaid upon Portland - cement concrete. In the ordinary paving bricks, the joints are at the bottom of the grooves, but it is better to have the grooves formed in the middle of the bricks, so that the joints are on the flats between the grooves. The floor should have as little slope as is consistent with the flow of liquids, so that the horses will not have to stand too much on an incline. Another excellent paving is formed with adamantine-clinker bricks. These are of a small size - 6 inches long, 2½ inches deep, and 1¾ inch thick - and are laid on edge in herring-bone fashion upon concrete, with rather open joints, and grouted with cement. These clinkers wear with a gritty surface, and, being so small, the numerous joints afford a good foothold for horses. They are made with chamfered edges as well as square. Similar bricks are also made a little wider. Granolithic paving composed of Portland cement and granite chippings, and laid on a foundation of brick or stone rubble, forms an excellent floor when properly laid by experienced men, and has the great advantage of being in one mass without joints. It can be grooved in any way, the surface figured as desired, and channels can be formed in it to any width and slope. Ordinary cement paving is, however, quite unsuitable for stables, as it is soon damaged by the horses' shoes.
A, Surface-drain or gutter; B, Disconnecting trap; D, Ventilation-pipe from sewer; E, Patent waste-chamber of manger with movable waste-pipe into the gutter; F, Pipe through wall; G, Air-inlet; H, Air-outlet; J, Valve for regulating outlet of air; K, Foul-air shaft; L, Extract-cowl.
The fitting up of racks and mangers has received great attention. The chief desiderata are: nothing that could injure a horse, or that a horse could injure, perfect cleanliness, and economy in the use of food by the horse. In many stables there are in every stall or loose-box three articles - a hay-rack, manger, and water-pot, but the last is often omitted. All these are best made of iron, with enamelled lining to the manger and water-pot. The hay-rack answers best when on a level with the manger, the old-fashioned overhead rack allowing dust and particles of hay to fall into the horse's eyes, besides often allowing the food to be wasted. The low or trough rack is not open to these objections, as hay dropped by the horse generally falls again into the rack. This may be fitted with a sliding grid, which lies loosely on the top of the hay. The horse eats through the bars of this grid, which follows the hay as it diminishes, and prevents the waste occasioned by the horse pulling out too large mouthfuls at a time. Another form often recommended has the bottom of the rack on a level with the manger, and in this case it should be fitted with a sloping perforated bottom, which allows the seed to drop through, and always keeps the hay close to the front of the rack and within reach of the horse.
The front of the manger should be of considerable strength, and rounded so that the horse cannot grasp it for "crib-biting". It is a great advantage to have the water-pot made without a brass plug or chain, but on the "tip-up" principle. This can be so arranged that, while the attendant can turn it over to empty, the horse cannot possibly disturb it. The water is discharged into a waste chamber, from which a metal pipe leads to a continuation of the stall gutter; this is of great service for flushing the latter out. The tumbling principle may also be applied to the manger, rendering it more easily washed out when necessary. Another advantage in the manger is a cross-bar (fig. 575), which prevents the horse from "nosing" corn or other food over the edge.
Fig. 575. - Manger, Hay-rack, etc.
The tying of the horse in his Stall is of some importance, and in this several improvements have been made with the object of avoiding noise and preventing the horse (if startled or frightened) from injuring himself, or pulling away or breaking the manger. In the arrangement shown in fig. 576 the horse is not fastened to the manger, but the chain or halter works through a long slit in the top plate, or a front guide ring, which allows it to play as freely as if there were no manger before the horse. The bracket supporting the manger holds back the halter-weight close to the wall. The weight has an india-rubber buffer on the top, which, when suddenly pulled up, strikes a flat place below the bracket and prevents noise, besides checking to some extent the shock to the horse. The upper end of the manger chain or halter has a small ball, which stops when it comes to the slit in the top plate, and relieves the horse of the weight while feeding, the weight only coming into play when the horse draws back or throws up his head. There are several modifications of this principle, but all contain the buffer on the weight and the ball to prevent it from dragging needlessly upon the horse. Leather is sometimes substituted for the chain in the part passing through the ring, so as still further to reduce noise. The tying also is sometimes duplicated, so as to prevent all possibility of the horse breaking away.