As horses have become domesticated over the centuries they have lost much of their natural hardiness and now need to be sheltered overnight. A stable offers the horse a quiet, safe place to rest and feel secure. Other shelters can also be found in a field to offer the horse a place away from the wind and rain.
It is becoming more common for people to sell their stable blocks on places such as eBay, but knowing the type that is suitable for one’s horse requires a little time and research. This guide will inform the buyer of the different types of stables available on eBay.
Types of Stables
Stables serve to keep a horse warm and dry, and in the last few decades, stables have become cheaper and easier to produce. The main design has changed little, as stables can be found in two main designs:
· Barn Stable: This where the horses are all housed together under one roof, and are facing each other into an open hallway.
· Traditional Stable/Stable Block: The Stable Block is where each horse has its own stall and stable door. The stables can be lined up several in a row or be placed in a U shape around a main yard complex.
There are two main types of stables and the rest are variations thereof. The following table gives details about advantages and disadvantages of the two main types:
· Each horse has individual access, which prevents the need to disturb other horses if seeing to a horse at night time
· Lower risk of cross contamination.
· Overhanging roof offers some protection from sun and rain.
· The buyer has the option to add more stables on at a later date, or use one for storage.
· Storing each horse’s tack can be difficult; nothing can be left outside the horses stable.
· Some horses prefer to be around other horses when inside at nighttime.
· High roof space means good air ventilation for the horses
· The whole stabling area is undercover, which is useful for wet weather.
· Contamination can spread easily depending on the conditions in the stable
· Some horses may find the environment stressful
· Dealing with one horse late at night means the risk of waking the rest.
The stables that are most common on sites such as eBay will be wooden based structures, which are easy to assemble and will be easy for the buyer to pick up or have delivered by a courier service.
Stables will be measured in size and these are detailed in the description of the stable, so the buyer knows roughly what to look for. The following list is some of the types of stables that can be found on eBay:
- Field Shelter: The Field Shelter is for outside use, and won’t be used to keep the horses in overnight.
- One Horse Stable: This is a space that is ideal for one horse or can be used as a tack/storage room. These are commonly sized 12ft by 12ft or 12ft by 10ft.
- Two Horse Stable: This is a structure built to house two horses inside with a partition, or to be used for a horse and its foal.
- Used Stable: Many sellers are selling their stables on eBay and this offers the buyer the chance to get a used stable in good condition at a much cheaper price than a new one. The buyer will often be able to arrange a view prior to buying the stable.
Checklist for a Good Stable
A horse will spend a lot of time in its stable, especially over winter and in cool conditions so the stable will need to be comfortable and comply with some of the following aspects:
- Fire Safety: The horse must be able to be removed as quickly as possible, so it is best to have an easily accessible stable with no difficult locks or any type of obstruction in the way.
- Size: The size of the stable will depend on the size of the horse, in general the horse needs to be able to turn around, lie down and get up without touching the walls. The height of the stable needs to take into account the height of the horse and the door needs to be wide enough for the horse to get in and out.
- Stable Security: Horses are quite clever and are able to undo bolts on doors, so it vital to have enough security to keep the horse contained in the stable. The door will need to have a top bolt as well as a kick bolt on the bottom door.
- Flooring and Drainage: Non-slip rubber matting is the ideal flooring solution, as it can be washed down easily and is good for insulating the floor for the horse to sleep on. The floor also needs to slope a little to allow waste to be drained away.
- Lighting: Windows are good for allowing the horse to look out of, and to also let natural light in. Any electric lighting needs to be covered and light switches need to be on the outside of the stable.
Stables are simply an empty shell and won’t be ready for a horse to move into right away. Some of the following are good extras to consider when planning the layout and functionality of the stables:
- Fixture and Fittings: These can items such as tie rings and hayracks, and are easy to place and move if needed. Ensure they are fitted at the correct height for the particular horse. Good matting will also prevent the horse from slipping over.
- Window Vents: Wooden stables will benefit from the use of a window vent as they can be opened depending on the weather to help with airflow.
- Stable Doors: Some buyers may wish to purchase more sturdy stable doors or ones with metal railing, as they prevent the horse from chewing on the door or reaching for the bolts.
- The Feed and Rack Room: This room needs to be close by to allow easy access, but also be well secured to prevent theft. The buyer will also wish to consider access to open areas to allow farriers to see to the horses, and to also have lorry access for deliveries.
How to Look for Stables on eBay
A stable is a big investment, and some websites may not stock a great range or offer the buyer flexibility in how they wish to buy a stable. eBay offers the buyer a unique platform to purchase a stable that is good value. The following steps will help the buyer start the search for a stable:
- Navigate to the eBay homepage and select the Sports & Leisure tab on the left hand side.
- Select the ‘Sporting Goods’ tab, and then select the Equestrian subcategory. Stables don’t have a subcategory on eBay so the buyer will need to further the search by entering ‘stable’ into the search bar.
- The keyword search is going to be the most effective way to look for stables on eBay, and the buyer will need to go into some detail in order to bring up the most relevant listings. The buyer can type in the size of the stable they want. For example, ‘12 x 12 stable’ or they can look for the type of material, like ‘wooden stable block’.
- The buyer can use some of the filters on the left hand side to air their search.
Some Helpful Tips
Buying on eBay is an easy process, but the buyer may want to consider a few things before making a decision to purchase:
- Read the item’s description over carefully and look closely at the pictures. The condition of the stable will be important, as it is a long-term investment. If the location of the listing is nearby then the buyer could always arrange a viewing to see the stable first hand.
- Always complete the transaction in eBay, if the buyer asks to use an alternate payment method like a bank transfer then do not buy the listing. PayPal is the most secure way to purchase on eBay and the buyer is protected by eBay’s buyer scheme.
Tips to Help Keep a Clean Stable
A clean stable is not only good for the horse; it will make the daily process of mucking out quicker for the rider. The following are some handy tips to help keep a stable in good condition and cut down the cleaning time:
- Muck out every day and turn over the hay. Apply some fresh bedding where needed. A stable should be cleaned out with disinfectant and a hose once a week with fresh, clean bedding put down each time.
- Sweep out dirt and old hay as often as possible to reduce exposure to dust. Clean away cobwebs and any build-up of dirt along walkways.
- Disinfect the drainage system regularly and wash out with water once a day, especially after mucking out.
- Air out the stables in warm weather, open all the windows and door to let the air freshen the inside.
- Clean all feeding equipment and keep topped up with fresh food/water.
A good quality stable will ensure a horse’s health and happiness for its lifetime. Stables can be personal and functional. As such, a horse owner can get name plates for their beloved horse, and with ready to build stables becoming more available, the buyer can plan their perfect stable yard.
Traditional style stables offer the buyer greater flexibility, if one is not being used by a horse it can become a tack room or relaxing space for the horse riders. The buyer can now confidently select and buy a stable on eBay from the contents of this guide.