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.