Following the majority of the clean up (see Part 1), we began with attempting to move some railroad ties from one side of the barn to the other so we could begin the stalls, however we quickly learned that the majority of them are frozen to the ground still. As a result, we had to adjust the order of intended tasks so we decided to shift our focus to the standing stall conversion first.
We made quick work of one standing stall that we simply wanted to use for storage. Within a matter of minutes, my husband had the hay manger removed and we were pretty much finished with it. The manger took up a fair bit of space within the stall; space I deemed valuable for storage of bales, tools, shavings and a wheelbarrow.
The other standing stall however, we are converting into a stock which is taking a fair bit more work. It's currently also acting as a storage area for some wood and things, so we decided to begin with building the kick plate as we could do that without relocating the wood currently stored within it.
We settled on 3/4" Plywood, which we later decided to double-up making it just over 1" thick for good measure. I knew I wanted the kick plate to be entirely removable, so I left it to my hubby to design how that would work. He settled on what he calls hinges and I call "the holey things", with bolts that act as pins and drop down into them. This allows us to remove the 2 pins from one side and have it swing one way or the other, or remove all 4 pins and completely remove the kick plate in a matter of seconds. Due to the nature of plywood, we put a strip of puckboard over the top to protect it from the undeniable amount of fecal matter that will cover it, as I worry it will seep down between the layers. Saying that and knowing full well it's going to get covered in poop whenever used for reproductive work, I also wanted it to match the future stall fronts because... yanno, matchy match n' all that.
Following the creation of the kickplate, we moved onto designing the chest bar. I wanted the chest bar to be completely removable incase we want more space, but I also wanted it to be adjustable depending on the size of the horse and what we're using it for. In the stock I currently use at my in-laws, I mostly use two different positions for the chest bar depending on the mare, so having something that was fixed in place didn't seem suitable to me.
When my husband, who lovingly said "it's all your ideas, i'm just making sure it gets done properly and no one gets hurt with power tools", asked me where I wanted the chest bar, I honestly had no idea. I've never taken the time to measure the one at my in-laws, so I did the easiest thing I could imagine - I walked out to the pasture and caught Sierra to use as a measuring stick. She's never been in the standing stall, or in stocks (to my knowledge), but she was perfect as could be and was more interested in cookies or napping. Occasionally, her boyfriend whinnied for her, which made for cute photos.
The final steps for completing the Stall to Stock conversion took a little fabricating from my husband. This stock will not be used entirely for reproductive work, so I also wanted to put a steel bar between the two posts, so we could back horses into the stock and hoist their head up for dental work and any other needs.
My wonderful husband also wanted to build a simple mount for my ultrasound machine, but it's not exactly a priority for me right now, as I can easily use a cart or make him hold it for me (hehe).
I'm pretty excited to have the first tiny portion of this major project relatively complete, but I think there will be a bit of a lull between this post and the next part of this series, but there will be more and I can't wait!