March 2018 - Classic Equine Equipment

Gorgeous, durable stalls only scratch the surface of company’s broad and ever-evolving line of horse keeping equipment.

by Kim F. Miller

From rubber barn aisle pavers to powerful yet safe barn fans, Classic Equine Equipment has an inventory that extends far beyond the gorgeous stalls that it’s most famous for. Over its 27 years, the company has earned loyal clients and a growing fan base among horse owners who prioritize safety and smooth stable workflow wrapped in an elegant, durable package, no matter the price point. Clientele ranges from owners of Miniature Horses and Draft breeds to a few zoo animals.

Along with broadening its line of stall components, stable equipment and flooring and horse keeping accessories, Classic Equine continually refines all aspects of its manufacturing process. They make everything at their facility in the rolling hills horse country of Southern Missouri. Design, fabrication and powder-coating is all done in house, explains company president John Daniel. Along with controlling quality in every phase, the set-up allows Classic Equine to quickly adapt to changes in market demand and to requests for customization on individual projects. Whether a client is building from scratch or expanding or remodeling an existing stable, Classic can “quickly tailor product for customers who want to personalize their projects,” John reports. And they can do it without the long lead times typical of other companies in the field.

Embracing technological advances has enabled Classic to improve efficiencies in various production processes. Barn owners benefit from that by counting on ever-increasing quality and durability. And that’s true in each of the several options for stable interiors that fit a variety of budgets.

The Classic team sees the improving economy hit the horse world in the form of growing demand for new construction and remodels. In both types of projects, there’s an additional increase in demand for rubber pavers, exotic hardwood from managed timber growth and HDPE lumber.

A hot-seller of late is Classic’s Tru-Step® Interlocking rubber pavers used in barn aisles, cross-tie and grooming areas. They drain easily to be especially good in wash racks, exposed walkways and other areas that get wet regularly.  These “I” shaped pavers are made of non-slip rubber for safety and come in two thicknesses: 1.5” and .75”. The latter is ideal for adding to concrete barn aisles with an adhesive for an easy upgrade from a slick and unattractive surface to one that’s safe and nice looking. The thicker pavers can be laid directly onto a compact base material, eliminating the cost of pouring concrete for the aisleways.  Both are shock absorbent, reducing the wear and tear on horses’ legs, not to mention the clip-clopping noises of hooves coming and going. The pavers come in black and terracotta colors.

The Tru-Step pavers are built to take a beating and last a very long time. They’re engineered to resist UV rays, chemicals, extreme heat and cold and they won’t shrink or crack. 

Good Wood

Classic Equine’s long tradition of beautiful stall components comes current with the most suitable, atheistically pleasing and popular wood options for doors and walls. This is true for customers buying wood fillers for existing stalls and those starting their projects from scratch. There’s no such thing as completely “horse proof wood,” John acknowledges.  But experience and knowledge enable Classic to come pretty close with their three options: Southern Yellow Pine, Brazilian Hardwood and HDPE (Plastic) Lumber.

Southern Yellow Pine is the strongest of the soft wood species, making it a very durable wood for horse stalls. It’s a structurally stable lumber that can easily be stained and have other protective finishes applied to it. This premium grade lumber combines low initial cost with relatively low long-term maintenance and labor for wood in a stabling environment.

Tiger-wood is Classic Equine’s name for its Brazilian hardwood. It earns its “hardwood” designation for being “virtually kick proof,” says John. Its “Zebrawood” nickname comes from the black striping that adds to its distinct beauty. Tiger-wood darkens and ages over time and with weather exposure, but its original look can be preserved with proper care. Along with its ability to withstand the rigors of horse habitation, Tiger-wood is resistant to bugs, decay and rot and it doesn’t splinter. It’s ideal for humid climates because it’s not prone to mold.

Two thickness of Tiger-wood suit every application: 1” is ideal for stabling equipment and ¾” is perfect for lining back or end walls, doors, windows and tack rooms. The extra investment in Tiger-wood pays dividends in durability.

High Density Polyethylene is gaining popularity, too, notes John. It’s especially popular with veterinary and/or large breeding facilities that prioritize long-term easy maintenance while preserving the wood appearance. This high-tech plastic product is moisture resistant, impervious to insects, rot and bacteria. “This is not a ‘composite’ style wood option like most offer with fillers that decrease the strength of material and decay over time,” John explains. This is Classic’s most expensive wood fill option, corresponding with its near-forever durability.

An Inside Job

Barn interiors are Classic Equine’s bread and butter and the range of choices they offer is almost overwhelming. Hinged and sliding stalls doors and stall walls and a variety of barn doors and windows are among the components that can be mixed and matched to fit various barn structures and customized configurations. Stalls come fully-welded, or in kits, and every choice features hardware designed and manufactured to function safely and smoothly over the long haul of a well-built stable’s life.

The company’s staff of nearly 50 offers plenty of guidance in picking the best options based on use, budget, personal preferences and regional realities. For example, horse owners in fire-prone California are advised to have two exits in every stall, increasing the odds of escape in an emergency. Classic’s team might also recommend its on-demand waterers, which reduce mess and waste, an important factor in the region’s predicted return to drought conditions.

Other options are more universal. Sliding stall doors, for example, are great space savers and ideal for busy facilities with lots of horses coming in and out. The European look of hinged stall doors is an elegant choice in barns with ample space. Yokes and square designs, with or without wood fills, enable myriad options for the layout and look of the barn’s interior.

Lighting, fans and tack room equipment scratch the surface of Classic’s line of horse-keeping accessories. From the big items like exercisers to the small stuff like finials to top a stall post or cross-tie pole, the catalog is a one-stop shop for everything a horse owner could dream of.  There’s an attractive hitching post, a handy hay caddy, a wall organizer for rakes and pitchforks, and infinite items to store and display tack.

The Stanford Equestrian Center’s Red Barn and Folgers Stable in Woodside are a few of Classic Equine’s best-known projects on the West Coast, and the line is found in many privately owned stables out West, too. Nationally, the Budweiser Clydesdales, Olympic eventers Karen and David O’Connor in Florida and Purina Mills Equestrian facilities in Missouri are tops-in-their-fields examples of happy Classic Equine clients.

Some Things Never Change

While Classic Equine Equipment has continually expanded its catalog, updated its manufacturing process and expanded its staff, one thing hasn’t changed: its mission to provide quality stall systems, barn components, exercisers and accessories to meet the needs of discriminating horse owners. Since its inception in 1991, the company has made and maintained many horse owning friends. Following their progress and staying in touch is feasible and fun through social media.

“So many customers come back after many years because they want to expand their stable or have moved to a new place,” John reflects. “They’ve come back to us because their original product worked so well. It’s been really nice to share and follow their stories.”


For more information on Classic Equine Equipment, visit www.classic-equine.com.