LEFT OR RIGHT
Model: Dutch-door gate latch.
Maker: Barn Pros.
Why buy: The reversible latch can be installed for right- or left-handed use and features a safety release for quick, one-handed operation.
Cool feature: The durable hardware holds up against even a MacGyver-type horse.
More info: (866) 844-2276; barnpros.com.
IN OR OUT
Model: Finger latch.
Maker: Innovative Equine Systems.
Why buy: The design allows you to open the door from the inside without reaching through the grid, but is still horse-proof.
Cool feature: A self-closing design keeps damage to a minimum and won’t snag his flesh or your clothes.
More info: (800) 888-9921; equinesystems.com.
SLIDE OR SWING
Model: Flush-mount lock latch.
Maker: RAMM Stalls & Horse Fencing.
Why buy: The combination lock-and-latch can be operated from either side of the door and includes all hardware with purchase.
Cool feature: It can be used for both swinging- and sliding-style doors.
More info: (800) 434-8456; rammfence.com.
STALL OR FENCE
Model: V1136 stall latch.
Maker: National Hardware.
Why buy: The steel, all-purpose latch can be affixed to any type of gate or fence, and the retractable bolt is automatic.
Cool feature: The unit comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
More info: (800) 365-1311; tractorsupply.com.
The attention you pay to your horse’s care and training shouldn’t stop when he’s out of the arena and put up in his stall. A stalled horse needs special consideration of his surroundings to ensure that he’s kept safe and out of trouble in his home. Here are four safety factors to consider that’ll help you provide a safe living situation for your horse.
Buy quality. Purchasing a lower-cost latch will save money initially, but if it’s easily bent or broken, or corrodes over time, you’ll have to replace it more frequently. Instead buy a quality steel latch that’ll last and give you peace of mind that your horse is secure in his stall.
Minimize protrusions. A lock that extends out beyond the door’s surface can easily catch on your clothes or your horse’s flesh, leading to scrapes or scratches. When possible, opt for a latch that’s set into the door, because it won’t easily catch. A flat lock will also be more difficult for your horse to play with or open.
Double-check. After you’ve left your horse’s stall and before you leave the barn, double-check gates and doors to ensure that they’re locked securely and there’s no chance he’ll get out.
Latch the Dutch doors. Double doors that lead to a run need to be securely latched either to the barn, outside the door’s opening, or to the stall’s frame to keep them from opening or closing suddenly. A swinging door could easily hit and injure your horse, or could lock him out of his stall where he might not have access to feed or water.