If you are someone who owns several mules and horses, protecting and securing them is your responsibility. It is not only about feeding them and taking care of their health but keeping them safe from external factors as well. Mules and horses tend to have a huge amount of energy. They will wander off in faraway areas without you being aware of it.
While shivers run down your body, finding them will take a huge amount of time especially if they have wandered into the dark. There are several ways through which you can secure your mules and horses. In this article, we are going to discuss them so that you are able to approach it in a balanced way. Of course, budget consideration is another important factor. Therefore, discussing several options is a must. Let’s begin.
Before you proceed with installing or replacing a pasture gate, you must define your requirements. What this means is that you will need to decide, who is going to pass through the gates? Do you need a gate just for horses or mules or for trucks and tractors? A walk gate should be atleast 4-feet wide. Whereas, a drive gate should be around 11-19 feet wide.
This will allow you to drive through the widest vehicles you own. Professionals suggest that there should be two pasture gates, one walk gate for horses and mules, and the other for tractors and other vehicles. As a result, you will be able to control both the horses and the gate while entering or exiting.
Furthermore, if you are opting for a drive and walk gate, then using a double gate would be a wise option. You can install a drop rod on one side, allowing you to open one gate while the other remains closed. In such cases, the height of the gates should be the same as the fenceline. If you are holding horses, then the height should be around 45-55 feet. This will provide them with appropriate ground clearance. At the same time, measure the gap between the bottom of the gate and the ground so that a pony or foal could squeeze under.
In addition to that, a rolling gate will be a convenient option. You can simply swing in and out by installing rubber wheels since chances are high that the gates will be heavy and long.
Similar to the fenceline, you can either purchase or create your own gate. It needs to be mentioned, which is also the case with the fenceline that safety, durability, and appearance should be given top priority. The appearance comes last as you would want to focus on the former features. The principle strictly applies to incase if you intend to build a gate on your own.
Since you will be making it from the materials you already have, be very conscious about the protection and safety features. Furthermore, regardless of the type of gate, you opt to create or install, especially if you create on your own, keep in mind that there are no rough edges or anything such that might hurt the animals or even yourself.
Typically, gates are made of woods, vinyl, and metal. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. If you talk about metal, it has the highest resistance and strength as compared to other materials. On the other hand, wood can also be used to create gates since it is comparatively more visually appealing but requires extra maintenance. Lastly, vinyl is both visually appealing and attractive but constant exposure to sunlight can reduce its strength. Moreover, both wood and vinyl in that respect can break in a collision. And, while you are deciding the gate material, keep in mind that the size will directly influence the weight.
If you have decided to use wood, consider using lighter wood types such as cypress or hemlock. Additionally, constructing a wooden gate will require some carpentry know-how.
If metal is what you are looking for then you are not limited in terms of options. Instead of getting one made, manufacturers keep several sizes in stock so that they could be easily installed. You can opt for steel gates with welded pipes and gates to galvanized steel planks with edges that are bent for safety. You can determine the gate quality by observing the gauge of finish and steel. Heavier gauge steel, 14-gauge for instance weighs and costs more but is able to resist stronger impacts as well. Furthermore, you can give an appealing look to the gates by painting or powder-coating them.
If you have purchased or already have vinyl rail fences then you will probably be in the hunt for a matching gate. In the case of vinyl gates, make sure that it is well-braced. Like wood gates a vinyl gate will achieve strength if it is cross-braced like an inverted V or crossed X. Plus, vinyl gates like wood are prone to breaking upon collision. Therefore, make sure they don’t shutter when the temperature drops.
Now that we have discussed potential ways to secure mules and horses, it now comes down to gate positioning. Regardless of the gate type, you will not be able to properly secure your mules and horses if the gates are not properly positioned. The hinges, screws, washers, nuts, and every other thing that goes into positing, should be well throughout. Keep in mind that horses and mules are intelligent animals. With time, they copy and learn several actions.
Therefore, do not be surprised if a horse manages to break out. This is where latches come in as well. Gates receive quite a pounding on a daily basis since they are opened and closed multiple times during a day. Not only that, horses smashing themselves against them will add to that as well. This is why being considerate about the whole process is important.
The aim of this article was not only to inform you of the ways to secure mules and horses but also the different types you could opt for in accordance to your budget. As mentioned previously, each gate type has its ups and downs. It is up to you how you analyze the situation and act. Although the process may look easy, you need to be careful about the material, hinges, latches, and screws, etc. You would want the gates to add convenience to your life, not aggravation.