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WikiProject Equine (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
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Hi all,

I am intending a clean up and improvement of a number of articles which sort of fit around this one, but before I cause complete chaos, can I just check people's views on terminology, as my view is different to what is shown here, and I'm wondering if it is a WP:ENGVAR issue, or just that its never been made clear.

To my mind a stable is a single box for a single horse, whereas stables is the building containing several boxes for several horses. Consequently, for me, a horse would be stabled in a stable at the stables.

Now that's not really what is reflected in the article at the moment. There is certainly information which can be included about a singular stable, such as the purpose, and recommendations from governing bodies over size, function etc.

Any thoughts?

OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 07:03, 11 November 2011 (UTC)

It is an ENGVAR issue. In the USA, a "stable" refers to the whole barn, and "stables" is used interchangeably. Thus a "stable," singular or plural (inconsistency probably due to UK origins), is a building and does not refer to boxes here at all. (Yet we might say, "I'm going down to the stables" in reference to a single building without a hint of irony or any notion that "stable" could mean a single stall). A single box for a horse here is a "stall" or a "box stall." (I'm safely over 40 and never heard of a box called a "stable" until I started editing wikipedia and met you Brits! LOL!) The smaller variant that a horse is tied in and cannot turn around is a "tie stall". As [{Mark Twain]] said, we are a people separated by a common language, and in the world of horses, this is particularly evident. I'd look to the whole WP policy on US/UK English and "teach the issue" by explaining both terms. For example, the article on headcollars was started by an American, thus the title is halter. On the other hand, the article on cattle roundups was started by an Aussie, thus it is named Muster (livestock). I am OK with the "whoever got there first names it" policy in most cases, the main trick is to just be sure we try to make it clear right in the lead what we are talking about and all the variant terms thereto with all necessary redirects (see what happened with roundup). This article does need cleanup, and maybe a general overview followed by a more detailed explanation of the differences between the UK and the US following. (The muster (livestock) article does the Au/US explanation in an OK, if not perfect fashion). And FYI, We also have zero government rules in the US on such in most states, though maybe a few places might have a city ordinance for police horses or public stables, perhaps. Montanabw(talk) 03:13, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
That was my suspicion, so some careful wording is needed. I'll see what I can draft, but as with other articles, I think we might need to end up using an international term per the WP:COMMONALITY policy. As part of that, as the name for the building can be stable or stables in the US, I would suggest that this article is moved to the plural stables (as this is used in both languages for the building, but the singular is never used in BrE), as a discussion of the buildings, in which a subsection would be the stable/stall & stall/tie stall explanation. Then i'll get mt drafting hat on. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 11:19, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Not sure we can find a common term, I suspect this akin to halter/headcollar, but I'm sure willing to explore a solution. Even a redirect to "barn" or "box stall" or "loose box" is problematic. However, is "stables" plural, ALWAYS the term used in the UK for what we might call a horse barn? What does the term "barn" imply in the UK? In the back of my brain, I'm wondering if "stable" can become a disambiguation page linking both to articles on Stall_(enclosure) and barns, though those articles also may need work, and the stall one might benefit from splitting off into the animal housing forms... don't know. I think the can of worms possible is why no one's tackled it yet, but if you are game, I am too. Oh yes, and see also livery yard versus boarding stable and I doubt we will ever find a universal term for an equestrian center because I doubt one exists (?) Oh gawd, my brain is now boggled! Montanabw(talk) 22:16, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
Stables would pretty much always be the term for the building in which the horses live. A barn is normally where you would keep the hay, straw or livestock animals. Horses can be kept in a barn, and it is occasionally used in that context, especially if your stables are American Barn style (i.e. large building with stalls round the edge or in rows), and even more especially if you have more than one stable block (to differentiate between horses in the "shed" and those in the "barn"). That said, if talking to someone other than someone on your yard, in BrE you would never say "i'm going to the barn to see the horses", only ever the stables. OwainDavies (about)(talk) edited at 06:04, 14 November 2011 (UTC)
Whereas here, especially out west where I live, "the barn" is standard lingo (note WP Equine's project box on every article). Just some examples, for your amusement, [1], [2]. Montanabw(talk) 23:54, 14 November 2011 (UTC)

Merge discussion[edit]

Just a quick note that the merge discussion is primarily at Talk:equestrian facility. Montanabw(talk) 02:59, 21 November 2011 (UTC)