need advice for designing a good run-in shelter - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-17-2013, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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need advice for designing a good run-in shelter

We're about to take the plunge and get our own horses again. We have about 1 acre good pasture, with an additional 1/2 acre that I'm going to disc and drag ad use for training, and we've made a flat spot for a shelter. But now the big debate: what kind of shelter?

I know I want a 3-sided run-in shed. I also want a roof overhang off the front for a "covered porch" for them to stand outside and enjoy shade and cover from rain.

How big should it be for 2 horses? I've been thinking 12x24. My logic has been that a stall is about 12x10, so for 2 horses, it should be twice that. That way, if they need to be fed separately, we can turn both halves into stalls and it will be the right size.

I'm now thinking that's overkill. If a horse is injured and needs to be isolated, or needs to be fed separately, only that horse needs to be stalled up in the shelter. The other one would be happy outside under the roof. I remember when I was a kid, our horses had a shed about 12x12, and in the summertime, all 5 would pile in there happy as could be and swish flies.

Can you guys give some recommendations for a good size for a shelter for 2 horses? How big should the 3-sided section be. How much covered area out front. What should be the minimum height of trusses and gables to avoid anyone hitting their head if they get fruity?

Any good ideas for what to do with the ground in the shed to keep it from getting muddy in Washington in the Wintertime? It's going in a well-drained area. We're thinking of putting a base of drainage-rock underneath a layer of packed soil.

It would be great if you could include any pictures of a simple shed that works well for you to give me some ideas.

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post #2 of 11 Old 06-17-2013, 12:35 PM
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Welcome to Tote-A-Shed | Loafing Sheds

This is the kind of shed we normally see out here, and it works very well. It can be divided into "stalls" if needed and can be pretty much any size you want to make it. I like 12 X 16 for 1 horse and 12 X 32 for 2, that makes them nice and roomy so no kicking or fussing because they're too close together.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-18-2013, 06:36 PM
Green Broke
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I just put up a 3 sided loafing shed for my horses in november and ended up getting a kit from Noble Panels.
I like the 12x24 for 2 horses, and I did build a 2 rail wood divider in mine to separate them during feeding since one chases the other off the feed. I also did this for what you are thinking of, easily convert 1 to a makeshift stall for lameness or illness recovery.

Make sure you research the predominate wind patterns in your are so you get the best protection available.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-19-2013, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Karliejaye, I see you're in Oregon. If you're on the wet side, how dry did it stay in there during the Winter? Do you have overhand over the front to keep things extra dry or just the plain 3-sided shelter? And did you use a local supplier in Portland for Noble Panels?
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-19-2013, 01:53 AM
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Main wind-up and weather direction is important to know. Overhang is nice, depending on other facilities you have. It can serve for saddling, grooming etc. Have the floor higher than the surrounding area, so water doesn't creep in. Raingutters! Most important when you have to deal with rain often. How do I know? Having my row of ten stalls flooded after a t-storm.
I'd go for stall size per horse, so you can create two box stalls with panels for example, when needed. I'd also put pea gravel in front to avoid mud. Or concrete.
Plan for some form of lighting.
And keep in mind, you'll have to get there several times a day, rain or shine, often with a heavy load.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-19-2013, 08:13 PM
Green Broke
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Freia, I used to be on the wet side, I'm now in a place that gets 6-7 inches, so I didn't have to worry about that, sorry.

What I remember from building the barn in Eugene (I was young, so everything is vague) was putting gravel down to a bit higher than surrounding soil, grading it away, and putting stall mats with shavings over that. And still having to dig french drains.
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-19-2013, 08:37 PM
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I have one horse and two smaller donkeys and they have a space of about 16x 20 right now. Its kind of like a three sided run in, except it is one end of the barn that is gated off and they can come and go out the 8 door as they please.
My barn has a nice overhang with traditional stall doors opening to the overhang, but letting them go in and out of the back is working better for now.
(I have other smaller animals using the stall doors to come and go, but eventually it will be changed.)

I was here for two years before I had my barn built, so was able to really pay attention to the weather patterns and rain run off. I sited my barn so the stall doors on the overhang side, and the big door the horse is using now is away from the brunt of the winter winds. Yet in the summer the breeze blows through the long length of the barn.

Anyway, because of the thought I put into the wind direction before it was built, I find the big door opening that the horse and donkeys use rarely ever get rain or snow into it and I dont have to worry about someone running into while playing, or kicking out and hitting the support posts of the over hang.
A simple gate is all that is needed to close someone/or all in and I can divide the space however I need.

We don't get quite the amount of rain that Eugene does (Go Ducks!!) but not far from it, surprisingly. Spring and fall here are very wet, muddy, and boggy, similar to the wet side there... and so far things are working very well.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-19-2013, 08:47 PM
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It's best to not have corners in which a dominant horse can trap a beta: only one side open is iffy, unless it's long enough to provide an escape route.

The same for fencing: fence off the corners to avoid entrapment.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-19-2013, 08:54 PM
Green Broke
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I have a 14x14, 3 1/2 sided run-in shed, and it's awesome! It's strategically facing South East, so the bitter West wind is at it's back. I have a gate clasped open, so it can be closed off if an emergency... all wood interior, with metal exterior (Home Depot) which came in the colors of our home (beige w/forest green trim)...I got all of the ideas from the terrific book, "Horse Keeping On A Small Acreage" by Cherry Hill. Best of luck :)
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-24-2013, 06:54 PM
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I cannot post pics from my phone onto this forum we have a 10x20. We are in NW Wa & Wa state has a 200sqf rule. Anything over 200sqf you need a permit for. Technicaly even a "covered porch".

We have 2 buildings from Miller Barns, out of Burlington. We really like him. Small company, rest to deal with, makes great buildings. His website is he delivers too Posted via Mobile Device
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