When it comes to finding a shelter for your horses and livestock animals, it’s best to keep it simple. While it’s important to keep them sheltered and protected, it’s most beneficial to provide animals with the ability to move freely in and out of a structure that offers sufficient ventilation and cross breeze. Learn more about the best livestock shelter options for healthy and happy horses at home.
Why a Barn Isn’t Always the Best Shelter Option
When you picture a home for your horses, you probably expect they’ll need a large barn or enclosed stable to retreat to for sleep and shelter. And while these units are great for sheltering livestock after hours, they’re not adequate to keep animals out of the heat and sun during the daytime. In fact, constantly confining your horse in a stall such as this can be detrimental to their physical and mental health.
Barns can easily become stuffy and unsanitary. Low ventilation exposes horses to dust and bacteria from their feces, feed, and bedding which leads to mucus and respiratory inflammation. Such confinement can have a negative impact on your equine’s colon and intestinal health because of their limited mobility much of the day. Even confining ponies can cause negative effects during growth and development, increase the risk of injury, decrease performance, and more.
Even if your animals spend a lot of time outside their barn or stall, an expensive barn or enclosed structure isn’t always necessary. Horses, for example, naturally enjoy wide open spaces, and they tolerate both heat and cold fairly well. In fact, equine expert Nancy Ambrosiano explains, “Horses conserve body heat efficiently and, therefore, need less shelter than we think they do.” (Source: The Horse) These animals typically just take shelter from strong winds or for shade.
The Best Livestock Shelter Options for Equine
Horses benefit from well-ventilated, open-style structures that provide just enough shade and shelter when necessary without confining them. They need spacious and comfortable environments during their downtime. For an affordable and practical livestock shelter solution, corral shelters and run-in sheds provide a shady spot during the day for your horses. These shelters are versatile enough to house horses, livestock, or even bulk hay or field equipment.
A corral shelter transforms corral panels into a shaded feeding or resting area for your horses. This versatile item consists of a fabric cover which goes over an all-steel frame. The frame then attaches to most panel tube profiles (round, square, oval) with its unique brackets for added shade and shelter in a snap.
PRO TIP: For added protection against strong winds or inclement weather, add an enclosure kit to your corral shelter. An enclosure kit includes one end panel and three side panels for more shade and shelter for your animals. This easy-to-install kit fits a standard 12 x 5 ft. corral panel or gate.
- 1 5/8 in. / 42 mm all-steel frame with a premium powder-coated finish resists and corrosion.
- Available with triple-layer 9 oz. polyethylene or 14.5 oz. and 21.5 oz. PVC covers.
- 1 3/8 in. / 34 mm all-steel frame with a premium powder-coated finish resists rust and corrosion.
- 5 oz. Triple-Layer woven polyethylene cover available in multiple colors.
Run In Sheds
Run-in sheds provide an even more open-style shelter for your horses and animals. These spacious structures consist of a completely covered frame with open ends on both sides. This allows your horses and other livestock to easily enter, leave, and rest in their shelter without feeling too cramped or confined. Run-in sheds are available in peak and round styles to help shed the elements.