DIY Field Shelters/Run-Ins

JirehFarmsTN

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Hello all!
I am hoping to add my first horse to our farm relatively soon, and one thing I need to finish up is a field shelter/run-in prior to actually bringing any horses home.
My plan is turnout 24/7, but making something that can be closed in in as a stall in case it’s ever needed. Has anyone ever made a similar shelter? Would love to see some pictures, recommendations, etc!

We made some smaller run-ins for our kunekune pigs and goats this summer and I’m thinking of doing something similar, but I want to get input of some more experienced horse owners before I decide for sure.

The shelters we built are 6x12, made out of cedar planks on the sides. If I go with this style, I can easily change it to 12x12 instead to provide adequate space for a horse to turn/lie down/etc. I’ll grab some pics when I think of it!
 

JirehFarmsTN

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Hello all!
I am hoping to add my first horse to our farm relatively soon, and one thing I need to finish up is a field shelter/run-in prior to actually bringing any horses home.
My plan is turnout 24/7, but making something that can be closed in in as a stall in case it’s ever needed. Has anyone ever made a similar shelter? Would love to see some pictures, recommendations, etc!

We made some smaller run-ins for our kunekune pigs and goats this summer and I’m thinking of doing something similar, but I want to get input of some more experienced horse owners before I decide for sure.

The shelters we built are 6x12, made out of cedar planks on the sides. If I go with this style, I can easily change it to 12x12 instead to provide adequate space for a horse to turn/lie down/etc. I’ll grab some pics when I think of it!
EB39F71E-3E9D-48FF-990A-1F4ABDF31088.jpeg

One of the shelters I had in mind, just a smaller version.
 

Alaskan

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Huh...

I have never locked up a horse.... is there a reason why you want to lock up the horse?

I have usually had shelter for them... but just a run in.

First, your horse will need a buddy of some kind. So, is the buddy going to be a second horse? Or a cow, or goat..... or???? That of corse changes the size needed.

But.... what i have used....

In the summer pasture, I cut a space into some trees, so the trees acted as a walk in shelter. I cut out the underbrush and low branches so nothing would poke them, and made it nice and big so no one would get cornered. Maybe.... 20 feet wide opening that was 15 feet deep.

When they were in temporary electric fence paddocks in summer (so they could graze unfenced areas) they usually had zero shelter. But those were done in good weather only. And where I live they did not need shade.

For the winter paddock we used the barn as a run in. We kept the barn floor good and open, so again there were no places to get pinned. I think the barn is a 30x20. Entrance they ran in was a good 10 feet wide.

What we had worked well for 3 horses..... I think it would have been too tight for 4. It was better when we had only 2.
 

JirehFarmsTN

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Huh...

I have never locked up a horse.... is there a reason why you want to lock up the horse?

I have usually had shelter for them... but just a run in.

First, your horse will need a buddy of some kind. So, is the buddy going to be a second horse? Or a cow, or goat..... or???? That of corse changes the size needed.

But.... what i have used....

In the summer pasture, I cut a space into some trees, so the trees acted as a walk in shelter. I cut out the underbrush and low branches so nothing would poke them, and made it nice and big so no one would get cornered. Maybe.... 20 feet wide opening that was 15 feet deep.

When they were in temporary electric fence paddocks in summer (so they could graze unfenced areas) they usually had zero shelter. But those were done in good weather only. And where I live they did not need shade.

For the winter paddock we used the barn as a run in. We kept the barn floor good and open, so again there were no places to get pinned. I think the barn is a 30x20. Entrance they ran in was a good 10 feet wide.

What we had worked well for 3 horses..... I think it would have been too tight for 4. It was better when we had only 2.
Thanks for the reply!
Ideally the horse would never be closed in the shelter, it would really only be in the event of an injury, but I could also have an area in the barn in that case.

We are hoping for either our goats or my dairy cow to be the horse’s buddy, however if the horse isn’t happy with that I’m open to bringing in a horse buddy.

I like the idea of the natural shelter, and the barn in the winter! Did they prefer one over the other?
 

Alaskan

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I like the idea of the natural shelter, and the barn in the winter! Did they prefer one over the other?
:idunno

The summer natural shelter is in the big pasture.. and the barn is in the winter paddock. So, there was no way for them to choose one over the other.
 

Pinewood Ridge

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We have a 4 horse cedar sided barn, with a feed room. The stalls are 12 x 12'. I can say from experience, you never know when you are going to need to close a horse in. Ours come in for meals, and I close their doors so there is no bullying. I have also been leaving them in at night lately when the temps are down in the teens or lower. They aren't young, and our pastures are either knee deep in mud or frozen. Seems like its either raining or snowing (you don't want to have a horse out un-blanketed below 50 degrees if its doing either one). My oldest guy has been getting cast on the ground some lately, where he can't get back up on his own (thanks to a case of EPM last year). I definitely don't want him on the ground in this weather. Typically in the warmer months, they're out except when they come in to eat.
I've also had to keep horses in for injury or other medical problems.

With all that being said, 12 x 12 is fine. I would put a door on in case you need it, and make sure you have good ventilation.

As a companion (horses are herd animals), a goat might work. You may also want to look at rescues though. I've adopted through them before, and had very good luck. You can find horses, donkeys, and ponies there that need good homes. I recommend rescueme.org, where you can look for animals in your area.

Good luck!

.
 

Alaskan

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Seems like its either raining or snowing (you don't want to have a horse out un-blanketed below 50 degrees if its doing either one)
Excellent advice... but I don't agree with that line.

As I said, we never put blankets on, no matter the weather. I on only incredibly rare occasions have seen blanketed horses up here.

Snow on a horse is never an issue as long as the animal is healthy.

Rain that soaks them, then turns into ice can be an issue. However, my horses were never stupid enough to stand out in that kind of weather... they would seek shelter.

As to having to stall horses in instances of bullying with feed.... whenever bullying was an issue we would have halters on the horses, and clip each horse to their "spot". Even in a large herd of horses (20 or so) they quickly learn which spot along the fence or feed trough is theirs, they will run up and stand and wait. Clip everyone up, feed them all.... unclip them.

I did the same with goats when feeding, it works well, and needs very little equipment or infrastructure.
 

Pinewood Ridge

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I should have said, I put on waterproof, breathable sheets when its raining below 50. Heavy blankets are below 30. And when its going to be teens at night, I put both on my big guys (Warmbloods) if its edging toward zero.

I don't want horses with wet backs, regardless. Have your horses ever had rain rot?
 

Alaskan

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One got rain rot, but only once. It was an incredible summer of constant rain. That summer was impressive, they were in a well drained, slightly slopped pasture, and still got some foot rot as well.

The rain rot healed up fast though when I used that Schreiner's herbal spray on it.

I have had one Thoroughbred x quarter horse.. that horse acted like a 3/4 Thoroughbred. :rolleyes: But I still never blanketed him. He did need extra feed all winter.
 

Alaskan

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Oh... I can hit -20F...but rarely. I can sit in the negative teens for a week or 2, but we are usually around zero F and warmer.
 
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