Fans at Rally

I was sent the question, “Are fans allowed at rally?” The answer is “Generally yes, unless otherwise specified.”


The hanging of fans is one of the four things that parents are allowed to do at rally! Aren’t you glad?

 

See the "What Parents/Chaperones can do at rally” article for the entire list of activities that non-competitors can do at rally.


You will need:

A fan.

A heavy duty extension cord.

Securing materials: bungie cords, bailing twine, duct tape, zip ties, etc.

A ladder makes hanging cleaner, easier and maybe safer.


The hanging of fans is an advanced topic. Getting it right can require much ladder work or climbing, and fine tuning. Quite literally, it is a dirty job, but someone has to do it. Frequently it falls on dear ol’ Dad. Take it easy on the fan installer. It is hot, nasty work. And be careful on that ladder!


The fan can be the $10 box variety, but they are not my personal favorite. They make more noise than wind. The $50 variety will last much longer, and move some serious air more quietly.


Hanging the Fan


The first step is picking a suitable location for the fan. Generally, the best/easiest location is on the stall door. This blows on the place that the horse tends to hang out at and makes for easy access to the on/off switch. For some stalls this is not possible. Another potential location is sitting on top of the stall in a corner, aiming down at the horse. A place that is NOT appropriate is the other half of the stall front if the stall has a sliding door. Placing the fan there will not allow the door to fully open, resulting in the horse possibly breaking a point of the hip when entering/leaving the stall.


Stall door mounting: Place the fan on the stall door with the cord coming out at the top. This makes easier wiring in the next step and typically places the switch in a location for easy access. Use bungie cords (there is a “bungie net” that works really nice and easy), or zip ties, or bailing twine or whatever to secure the fan to the door.


Stall top mounting: Bridge the bottom of the fan across the two stall walls in a corner. Secure the bottom of the fan to the top rails of the walls. Then angle the fan down and secure the top with bailing twine or a bungie to point the fan down at the horse.


For either method, make sure that no securing items are close to the fan blades.


Laying the Extension Cord


Most stalls have fairly convenient outlets but you will almost always need an extension cord. The extension cord must be of the heavy duty (three prong) variety. Light duty cords do not secure in the socket as well, do not carry the current as well, and are easier for a horse to chomp into if they gain access to the cord.


One VERY important point regarding the electric cord is that the stall door MUST be able to fully open/close with the fan plugged in without the need to unplug the fan. The worry is that in the "heat of battle" the competitor will forget to unplug the fan, and by opening the door, rip the plug out of the socket, possibly stretching the cord and causing electrical problems now or later.


Some stalls, especially those at champs, have a sign at the top. This can be a good way to store the extra cord. Loop up the extra, and lay it around the sign.


Stall door mounting: The idea here is to have the cord “drape” so that the cord can swing back and forth with the door opening/closing. Plug the fan into the extension, and then attach the cord to the stall at the top/center of the stall door. This way the fan will “pivot” on the center location of where the cord is attached. Then secure the cord the rest of the way around to the outlet. As you are going, test the ability of the stall door to fully open and close.


Stall top mounting: The cording for this option is pretty easy. Just lay the cord around the stall top and secure out of reach of the mount.


Happy fan hanging!

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