Almost all DC stables, have small windows on the side, constructed precisely at the level of a horse’s head and referred to as either “horse head height” windows or “stall” windows. However, as the HPO alley survey points out, some stables did not have any windows at all. Why are these windows significant? They helped keep horses healthy so that they lived (and worked) longer.
These 1319 Naylor Court stable stall windows are revealed having been hidden for over half a century. This stable was built in 1885 as a private stable (26' x 52'). The wall has been protected and preserved by the much younger adjacent building.
The infill bricks seen in the photograph were very loosely associated when first constructed and now show severely deteriorated and missing mortar, poor quality brick, and gaps. These bricks were inserted 100 years ago to simply form a thin face of a new structure on the opposite side of the wall. They are nonstructural in that they were never designed to bear weight and do not meet today’s firewall codes. They were essentially cosmetic and simply served to seal the opening. These bricks were inserted in the window space of the 1899 building wall in about 1919.
in the science of taking proper care of them, are bred rather by their surroundings than, as the
old theories declare, by what they eat. The diary of every day in a healthful horse's life
ought to begin with the statement that his bed was turned up in the morning, and new straw
put in place of the foul. An unclean animal cannot be comfortable. Drainage, of course, is
the first subject to consider, for a stable where the smallest quantity of foul water stands, to
say nothing of pools of it, is offensive to a horse as well as to a man. A hostler who does not
have his stables well drained has no right to complain if his horses grow old early, become
vicious, or get sick. And ventilation is quite as important as drainage. An experienced stable-
man has ventured the opinion that fewer horses are foundered by what they eat or drink than by
exposure to draughts while they rest. His stables are so ventilated that the currents of air never
touch the horses. The stalls are not ventilated from below, but above the horses' heads."