By Philip Pryor, Ag Engineer
Corton production makes stalls to the highest quality standards using sustainable energy sources and employs 30 people with a certified training program
Can horse stalls be both beautiful and low-maintenance at the same time? I had to find out when my clients were looking for a certain quality in stalls that other manufacturers couldn’t seem to achieve. Typically, these horse owners previously had designed and owned a barn and were fed up with false claims from stall suppliers resulting in rusty steelwork after a year or two, rough welds causing cuts and channel holding boards allowing the chewing of wood.
Just look at some of the stalls set up for visitors at shows and you will realize the lack of care given to housing horses. Several years ago, I was ashamed to see an English riding team who had flown their horses over the Atlantic to Florida for winter events having to put up with miserable stalls set up in a field. Miami Airport has our professional stalls in the quarantine building which are suited to their rigorous sterilization cleaning—and there are incidentally no penetrations in the floor for maximum biosecurity.
We respond to the gaps of knowledge and “know how” both with exciting solutions and CAD drawings showing floorpans and details for feed rooms, wash stalls and arenas. Our staff have constant interaction with architects, builders, trainers, Olympic horse team members, top breeders, and veterinarians.
Stalls for miniatures, ponies, and 19 hand stallions are all in a day’s work. Meanwhile the doors on stalls we supplied 20 + years ago go on shutting like a manor house front door and sliding doors and partitions glide to a locked halt.
If you have camels and horses, we have a good stall front for you. Designed for the Airport quarantine in Qatar, those high held camel heads can pass right through. The feed and necropsy rooms required tight fitting sanitary doors. With our steel door frames made to fit tightly even a mosquito has trouble gaining access.
As for the bar of the barn – the grooming area; a comfortable and sociable zone can be assured with handy grooming partitions, and our overhead wash arms in the adjoining wash stalls push carefully away. A motorized solarium for drying horses will lift clearly up.
Yes, there are a lot of questions when starting to plan your horses’ home and we like to be involved early on. When we get contacted by owners, architects, and builders, they frequently visit the factory. In the main showroom, many questions are answered like: I don’t want my horse to trip, chew boards, weave its head, catch its hocks on the door frame, cut its lip, etc. All those horse housing details are small but important. Needless to say, we always manage to visit some remarkable farms with these visitors whether to see some famous stud horses or an arena with a built-in restaurant.
Quite surprisingly in this day and age, builders think that concrete or block walls stalls are okay because they are cheaper. In fact, a block partition has virtually the same cost as one of our professional partitions, which offers grillwork ventilation plus a board section designed to absorb the strongest of horse kicks. Concrete and block work do absorb bacteria—yet another reason not to use them.
USA horse owners love their horses and want their architect and builder to be on the same page and know all the ins and outs of their wishes. When we visit with them for the first time, it is surprising how many questions come up. Where should we locate the barn, how close to the house should it be for the nighttime check, and where do we put the turn out paddocks.
That is the HorsestallsUSA & Corton difference.
We help with the overall picture of making the barn the place to be. Let’s face it: horse people are early risers and get out to the barn early. You will find them with a cup of coffee under our solarium for drying the horses warming up on a winter day. We go the extra mile to make this happen. We even consider horses’ water needs with Corton taps and covered plumbing to make life in the barn a little easier. Your builder will be able to address everything from fitting a stall front around ugly structural posts, to making partitions longer and higher for stallions. Thinking back to some projects, there was the French Castle in Greenwich with traditional French stalls and oak wood boards, the 88-stall hunter jumper barn in Wellington, FL, where we pioneered curbs under the stalls for immaculate clean floors. This was followed by high and low stalls—see our Ratina and Rembrandt design. You will note these are named after famous horses from some time back. With a leading equine architect, Corton worked out the design to manufacture these stalls for an eclectic look and good conformation. They have been used by the Dutch jumping team and grace many beautiful barns.
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Originally from the October 2020 issue.