Stall walls made of plank boards stacked on edge inside a channel make a quick setup for stalls. They also provide an easy way to take the wall down to double the size of a stall. A sandwich board ties these boards together, preventing them from being pushed apart. Let me explain how a sandwich board can save your horse’s life.
When a horse lies down in a stall too close to a wall with his legs facing the wall, the horse may have difficulty getting back up on his feet. Horsemen call this “being cast.” If you are in the barn, you will hear the hooves loudly hit against the wood wall as they desperately scramble to get themselves upright. It is a sound of panic.
When the walls are constructed of boards that can shift up and down, a cast horse can catch the bottom of one board with a hind hoof. This happens when either the horse presses that board away from the others or they are already bowed and warped, leaving an edge to catch. All horses have the strength to raise the column of boards easily. As they do, a gap is created in the wall allowing this hind leg to go through. Once the hoof passes through the wall, it comes down on the leg trapping it. This is a guillotine effect, and the results are at best damaging to the leg. However, many of these happen at night, especially when the horse has been rolling from colic. The owner finds the horse dead in the morning with one leg trapped in the wall.
This is preventable, and the images here will show you examples of how some farms have accomplished this.
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