If you keep your horses out in a pasture, whether for some or all of the day, it's a good idea to build a run-in shed where they can seek shelter from the elements as needed. Usually, these sheds are three-sided. Some may have a partial wall across the fourth side to add a little extra protection from rain and sun. The design is really up to you; there are thousands of different options to choose from. However, all good run-in sheds should have these four elements.
1. Soft Flooring
Never install concrete flooring in a shed. If a horse runs into the shed in a hurry -- especially if he is wearing shoes -- he could slide on the concrete, fall, and injure himself. A dirt floor is the easiest option. Some owners like rubber mats since they can hose them clean and therefore keep the shed more tidy. Below your dirt floor or rubber mats, make sure you install a foot or two of gravel for good drainage.
2. Correct Directional Placement
Figure out which way the prevailing winds blow in your area. You want the shed to face the opposite direction -- with the back to the wind -- so that wind does not whip through the shelter when the horses are inside. Occasionally, winds will blow in the opposite direction, but that's just nature.
3. Enough Space
Make sure your shed is large enough for the number of horses you have in the pasture. For instance, a 12 x 12 shed will work for one horse or two smaller ponies who get along well, but for two or three horses, you will want more space -- like a 20 x 20 shed. If you have one horse who is territorial, you may want to put a divider down the middle of the run-in so that territorial horse can spend time on one side, and the other horses can congregate on the other side. Otherwise, the territorial horse may "claim" the run-in and keep others away.
4. Safe Roof
Especially if you live in an area where snowfall is common, you need to make sure the roof to the shed is secure. You do not want it to come crashing down on your horses at any time. Have an architectural designer look over your plans to ensure the roof structure is safe, and choose quality roofing materials.
Follow the tips above, and your run-in shed should serve as a safe horse shelter for your pastured horses.
When was the last time you got outside and really enjoyed your time away from work? A few years ago, I realized that there were some real problems with the way I was spending my free time, and it really caused some issues. For example, I was starting to gain an inordinate amount of weight, and I could really feel things starting to slip. I decided that it would be smart to start focusing on recreational activities and sports, and that simple decision saved my life. Within a few short months, I started feeling more energetic than ever before, and it was really powerful. Check out this blog for more information about spending time in recreational settings.