Tips For Designing A Better Horse Shelter

Keeping horses in a pasture with a shelter is certainly one of the most natural, friendly ways to house them. The horses can come inside and water outside as they please. They have shelter from the rain and snow as needed, but they are not locked indoors. However, designing a horse shelter that offers this ultimate comfort can be trickier than it seems. Here are a few tips to help you design a better horse shelter.

Place a dividing wall down the middle of the shelter.

Often, when you have multiple horses in one pasture, one dominant horse will go into the shelter and block others from entering. A way around this is to put a full-height dividing wall down the middle of the shelter. This way, a dominant horse can claim one side, but the others will still have space on the other side. 

Slant the ground beneath the shelter.

When creating the base or "floor" of the shelter, make sure it slopes slightly towards the opening of the shelter. This will ensure puddles do not form inside the shelter from rainwater or from urine. If you bed the shelter with wood shavings, you will go through fewer shavings with a slanted floor since some of the liquid will drain away from the shavings. 

Mount hay racks on the walls.

Make sure you include an extra foot or two of space in the front of each side of the shelter so you can put hay racks on the walls. This way, your horses won't drag the hay outside where it can be rained on — which they tend to do if the hay is thrown onto the ground. Just make sure the hay racks are high enough that a horse can't get their foot caught between the bars.

Pad the edges.

Assuming you are building a three-sided shelter, the edges of the walls will be exposed. Make sure you cover these edges with something soft to prevent your horses from scraping themselves as they come and go from the shelter. You could split pool noodles and push them onto the edges. You could also use pipe insulation, which is basically a dense pool noodle that already has a slit up its side.

A horse shelter should give your horses a safe, comfortable place to escape rain, snow, and high winds. With the tips above, you'll design a shelter that pleases your equine companions.