The Truth: Crosshatch vs. Mesh Gridwork for Ventilated Horse Stalls
and safety are two major concerns for every horse stall. Although it's
not one of the most exciting parts of a horse stall, gridwork options
play a key factor in both ventilation and safety.
fact, when Penn State University published a recommendation on horse
stable ventilation, they stated the number one thing you could do to
improve horse stall ventilation is use open grillwork or grids on front
and side stall partitions when possible.
Likewise, if you've
ever had a horse that loves to find a way to cause trouble, you know or
have heard of the damage that can be done (to your stalls or your
animal) if the wrong type of grid is chosen.
Today, I'll just
focus on the types of ventilated designs that feature intersecting bars
or wire. This type of material sometimes comes in the following forms:
Electrically welded wire mesh
Woven wire mesh
our industry, these terms are often used interchangeably to describe
drastically different products. It's important to know what type of
gridwork is appropriate for your animals and your application. You also
have to ask the right questions to make sure the product you're getting
includes the true material you want.
start with this type because it's the most durable, strongest and
safest. And, it's the design that Lucas Equine Equipment recommends for
the majority of applications. Lucas Equine Equipment
crosshatch is built with 5/16-inch solid steel rods. These rods are not
woven. Instead, they are solidly welded (using arc welding processes)
at every single joint. Then,
the grid is also solidly welded to the frame at every point. A proper
crosshatch design will keep the vertical rods turned toward the inside
of the stall. This creates a consistent and catch-free design, so
horses that paw and scrape don't get beat-up knees or hooves from
raking down the door.
Some lower-end designs may include "skip welds" where the intersecting
rods are only welded at every few junctions. This design does not offer
the same level of strength and safety as true welded crosshatch.
Electrically welded mesh.
any welded product, both the strength of the material and the strength
of the weld determine the overall durability of welded steel.
Electrically welded (also known as "electric resistance welding") wire
mesh is a common product used by several stall manufacturers. The wire
used in this type of mesh is usually 1/4-inch steel.
welds are created by passing electric current between two or more metal
surfaces. While the process of electric welding is efficient and cheap,
it does not provide the same level of strength as traditional arc
Woven mesh or woven wire mesh.
gridwork generally features 1/4-inch wire, woven over and under to
create a grid/mesh. This type of mesh uses only the weaving design to
provide any stability for the intersections, rather than welding the
woven mesh can be less expensive than welded crosshatch, the lack of
solidly welded joints allows movement, separation and rattling of the
gridwork. In addition, the process of bending the metal wire to create
the mesh can create points of weakness, as well as raised edges that
horses can scrape against.
expanded metal is typically not used inside horse stalls, it can be
used in paddock gates and some stall screens. This gridwork isn't made
up of intersecting grills, but rather a solid piece of sheet steel that
has been expanded to create a pattern of openings for ventilation.
metal is typically the least expensive option of the ones mentioned in
this article, as well as the lightest in terms of weight. When used in paddock gates or stall screens, it can offer strength and durability against wear and tear and a certain level of pressure.
addition, installing paddock gates filled with expanded metal (versus
pipe gates) provides a visual blockade to animals, helping to keep
horses from running into the gate.
this terminology is used so interchangeably, it's vital to ask the
right questions when purchasing new ventilated stalls and doors or
replacing your current ones.
1. What is the thickness of the steel used to create the grid? Lucas Equine Equipment uses 5/16-inch steel rods in our crosshatch, but some manufacturers may use 1/4-inch steel wire.
2. Is the grid welded? If so, is it welded at every joint?
3. What is the method used for welding the grid joints? Arc welding or electric welding?
4. Can I see a sample? This, perhaps, the most important question.
Don't be afraid to ask your builder or stall manufacturer for a sample of the gridwork.
be able to see a difference right away in each of these designs. Be
sure and choose the design and specs that are right for the strength
and temperament of your horse, as well as one that will stand up to the
wear and tear of a working horse barn for many years to come.
Arc Welded Crosshatch Grid with 5/16 steel rods from Lucas Equine Equipment.