Barn Door Locks

I need to secure (with locks) the barn doors on my horse barn. The barn doors are large and heavy, with one on each end of the barn. The barn stalls open to outside paddocks, so the horses won’t be locked in. The neighborhood kids are getting into the barn and we need a way to secure it.

It’s generally inadvisable to lock horses in–barn fires and all that jazz.

But a chain and a padlock can secure barn doors when there are no horses inside.


Or a hasp and padlock, depending on door geometry. (Agree with Simkie about horses not being in, of course.)

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Do you have other access points to the barn i.e., outside doors on the stalls, man door somewhere? Do you want the lock on the outside or the inside? Our old barn had locks but on the inside; however, you could still get in the barn via the stalls or the man door (which has a lock also). Ours had an upside down metal “U” bracket on one door and a metal thingee with hooks on both ends that you slipped over it, kind of hard to explain.

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I’d install a camera and put in a call to the local police before I’d lock my barn.


If the horses can get out - the kids can get in. It’s likely neighborhood kids. Buy or make some fake security signs about cameras. Or, buy a real one. Horses panic in a fire and run back in. You need the fastest access to them possible. Is there a schedule to their fun and games? Weekends? I’d lie in wait for them. ( I have done that.) Or, get a dog that won’t let them mess with his barn.


With the edit here–what makes you think that locking the doors will make one lick of difference if you still have in/out access for the horses? Kids will just come in where the horses do.

Cameras that deliver images to your cell phone are a better investment. Arlo or similar if you have solid WiFi, or 3G game cams if you don’t. Make sure the property is posted and inform the cops.


Put up LOTS of No Trespassing signage. Install several game cameras or security cameras. Also installing motion sensor lights at several points of entry may also help to deter some of the activity. If you feel that these are neighborhood kids, I’d send a letter or have conversations with the parents. Letting them know that you are having trespassing issues and that you will be installing xy &z features to be able to monitor your property and be able to have the individuals charged with trespass. Ask them to please have a conversation with their children and to have the children pass on the information among themselves. Relay that you’d rather not have to press charges, but you can not allow the trespassing to continue.


I might sit in a lawn chair in my barn with a shotgun on Saturday night. And a camera. That would be a fun evening.


All you need is a sign of a revolver pointing at you that says “there is nothing in here worth dying for” ;D or get a barn lock reviewed by

If you’re trying to lock sliding doors, get these and put them on the inside. These are good to have anyway so that the doors don’t flop around when it’s windy:

I would also make sure that you have very very hot wire over every other area to get into where the horses go in and out though, or they’ll just go through that way like everyone else mentioned. I’d also advise cameras and possibly sitting out, thought not necessarily with a gun :laughing:

The kids would just go in thru the stalls, no? I’d put very very bright motion activated light and a security camera inside the barn. Ideally located so it would capture them whether they enter from main door or through the stalls. Since you don’t want nocturnal critters setting off false alarms, look for one that’s “pet immune”.

Some prominently placed No trespass / Camera surveillance signs around the property perimeter and on the barn door might help to deter these kids before the trouble starts. And would also help build the case against them if they break into your barn anyway. That they opened a door is a required element (in most states) of the more serious crime of breaking and entering, vs just misdemeanor trespassing. If they just walk through an opening into the barn without having to push a door open, and/or if they did not commit any other offense like vandalism or theft, B&E prob would not apply, but it’s still trespass.

If you know who the kids are, and want to see if you can stop this without getting the kids into the legal system, I’d probably ask if law enforcement would visit the homes and give them a “talking to”, and see if that works.
I would definitely not approach the parents first–if the parents are jerks, you could put a target on your back when you escalate to law enforcement.

If you don’t know the kids and if there’s a community facebook or NextDoor group, you might post the security video there , just as an alert to others that there are opportunistic criminals currently working in the neighborhood. If you can get helkp from someone who knows how to manipulate video, I’d probably blur out their faces a little, just to avoid doxxing minor children on social media (even if they’re criminals). Chances are a parent would easily recognize their kid just based on clothes, size, walking gait, etc. and maybe the parents would take action.

Heads up that this is a three year old thread & the OP hasn’t logged in since then…


Aw hell, thanks!

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I wish we had an update. Darn it.

This bumping of old threads seems to be happening a lot recently. It’s annoying.