We have an "in- floor" heat system and boiler. The heat lines are actually in the ceiling though because we opted not to have cement in the horse stalls. Went this route because it is a closed system and does not blow any air or intake air from the outside. It is really odd and I know of noone who has anything like it. The plumbers and electricians who did the install had never done it that way before. (As a side note, the barn ceiling is 11ft tall and covered with tin. There is a thick layer of blown in insulation on top of the tin and a large crawl space between the ceiling and the barn roof.) Iit works amazingly well and 100% evenly throughout. This way I can control box fans for each horse. Dust is somewhat reduced because there isn't a heat blower coming on constantly.
As far as adding heat to a barn, any portable space heater, milk house heater, or propane shop heat should never be left unattended. If the horses are outside and the owner is willing to risk the building, that would be their call and those items might work.
You can buy heat tape for the pipes. Or they could install one of those Reznor heaters if you have gas available. I think electric radiant hanging heaters would also be an option.
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