California Riding Magazine • May, 2013

Classic Equine Equipment
A focus on quality brings beauty,
safety and longevity.

by Paige Cerulli

Elegant, stylish barns are the envy of every horse owner. More important than an eye-catching appearance, however, is the fact that the stalls and barn components are built to last and with the safety of their equine occupants in mind. Classic Equine Equipment was founded on a love of horses and a commitment to their care and safety – and delivers on those values by providing quality horse stalls, barn doors, windows and stable accessories such as flooring and lighting options.

Explains Christy Schulthess, Director of Sales and Marketing, while many horse stalls and stable components may look similar from a distance, up-close examination will reveal some significant – and serious – differences in quality and design. "In the long run, quality is a money saver," states Christy. "We're building a product that's not only going to last a long time, meaning your replacement cost will be less, but we also focus on the safety of the equipment. We all know how accident prone horses can be, and preventing injuries is a cost saver."

Christy brings firsthand equestrian experience to the company. A lifelong horsewoman, she grew up riding hunters, played polo in college, and was involved in the Thoroughbred industry in Kentucky before joining Classic Equine Equipment. She holds a degree in mechanical engineering, an advantage that allows her to assess the products from both a structural and equine perspective.

Quality starts with the base materials at Classic Equine Equipment. They start off with pre-galvanized steel, which comes from the mill with a thin layer of zinc which has been electrostatically applied. If a horse rubs or chips paint off, the underlying steel will be protected by the zinc, acting as a rust protectant. "No matter how well a product is painted, over time horses will chew or wear the paint in some places. Our material choices add to the longevity of the product we produce," says Christy.

Many other stall manufacturers start with black steel, also called cold rolled steel. This is the same material used in steel horseshoes – and, as horse people know, it rusts very quickly. We all have seen how rough horses can be on stalls. Wherever that paint comes off the bare steel will rust, and that rust can spread underneath the paint, start to bubble, and flake off even more of the paint.

Another manufacturing process, called hot-dip galvanization, takes the completed black steel component and dips it into a vat of molten zinc. The zinc coating is rust-prohibitive, but the surface can be quite rough, and often dulls to a very dirty grey – it's not a very pretty finish. "You're trading beauty for longevity," states Christy, "plus for product of like quality it tends to be more expensive due to the additional processing and transportation costs. Personally, I believe Classic Equine Equipment's choice of manufacturing methods provide an excellent balance – beauty without sacrificing quality or value."

Designed by horse people for horse people, Classic Equine Equipment's products are made to be safe and sturdy. Spacing between bars is, at most, two inches to keep even the smallest hooves from becoming caught. Face welds are ground smooth and latches are recessed to avoid protrusions and the chance of a horse getting caught up. Fully welded, heavy gauge tubing forms the framing of the components – channel is never used as a structural element, only to hold the wood in place.

Christy advises anyone considering building a barn to do thorough research and get references on the service providers – whether contractors or stall manufacturers. "If you haven't selected a builder yet, Classic Equine Equipment often has a number of builders in your area who are familiar with our products and their installation," says Christy. Even if you have a contractor, don't automatically rule out using Classic Equine Equipment products. "We can work with most any structure, builder, or architect. With our standard of building product for each customer individually, we can accommodate most design requests."

Christy adds that planning is of utmost importance when building a barn, and encourages barn owners to ask questions in the beginning of the process. Consider what features are most important, and lay out the barn so that it allows for those design elements to be incorporated. "If you'd like a bathroom and a wash stall, knowing that ahead of time will allow you to locate them closely together so that you're only plumbing certain sections of the barn. If you'll be using rubber pavers for the barn aisle or mats in stalls, know what product you'll be using so that your builder makes the grade the correct height. You will invest both time and money in your barn; it helps to contact us or get your stall manufacturer involved early on in the design phase so that product installation is seamless."

Photo by John Jernigan Photography

Classic Equine Equipment has been in business over 22 years. As Classic offers the widest range of products in the industry, their professional sales staff is available to assist customers in selecting the best products for each individual project. Christy is very proud of the fact that all steel products are manufactured at their plant in Fredericktown, Missouri – including their
equine treadmill.

Article provided by Classic Equine Equipment. For more information, visit them online at www.classic-equine.com or call 800-444-7430 to request a free copy of their 2013 catalog.