your opinion on horse shelter

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your opinion on horse shelter

This is a discussion on your opinion on horse shelter within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    09-18-2010, 09:08 PM
your opinion on horse shelter

Here's the thing. I live in southern Alberta and I'm bording my horse with no specific horse shelter, lots of trees though and great wind breaks so the wind is never bad (the wind in town could be blowing 20 miles and out there is just a whisp). If I want a horse shelter I have to build it out of my pocket ($500.00 - $3000.00).

What do you guys think? Do I need to have a specific horse shelter or would all the mature trees (the pasture and paddocks are surrounded) and the 10-12' high wind breaks on three sides of a paddock good enough? He's a Percheron/CanadianX (Canadians are supposed to be known for their long winter coats) and before I bought him he was kept out in lease land - where I'm assuming there wasn't even a wind break for him.

Just asking for your opinions.
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    09-18-2010, 11:35 PM
Green Broke
I like having a shelter available to my horses. I don't think you as a boarder should have to provide the shelter either..... That's kind of asinine.
    09-18-2010, 11:49 PM
Originally Posted by ShutUpJoe    
I like having a shelter available to my horses. I don't think you as a boarder should have to provide the shelter either..... That's kind of asinine.

Exactly. I do like allowing my horse to make her own choice, but I also like being able to make it for her once in a while in really bad weather. If it does concern you though I would find a different place to board that already has shelter, instead of building where you are now. Good luck!
    09-19-2010, 12:05 AM
Actually most of the Canadians I know (which is a lot, over 70) have very surprisingly short coats in the winter, way shorter than most other breeds I've seen, just it's extremely dense so length isn't necessary.

The mares (and any foals they might have) spend their winters in a roughly 5 acre pasture that is heavily wooded at one end. It's their natural environment and they are never brought inside, save to have their foals weaned.

The others (of various ages, mares and geldings) all have lean-to shelter, but prefer the trees, or each other for warmth. In winter all the horses get free choice hay in abundance, that is key to their warmth and well being.

The only really worrying weather for horses is when its exceedingly hot, or when its a combination of very cold weather and wet. Also horses who are alone are at far greater risk of exposure than those in a herd.
    09-19-2010, 12:13 AM
I know it doesn't get nearly so cold down here as it does up there, but all my horses are outside 24/7 all year around with nothing more than a few trees to hide in/under and they all do just fine throughout the winter.
    09-19-2010, 12:33 AM
Living in Wyoming, we get lots of snow and cold getting down to -40F.... Cold enough to freeze the breath on the horses whiskers and eyelashes. My horses have a lean to, but usually refuse to use it, mainly use the buildings for wind breaks. All three are outside 24/7 and have no issues at all . I just feed more hay when its REALLY cold.
    09-19-2010, 12:46 AM
I don't have a 'barn' persay, just a three-sided lean too. Honestly, I think my horses use it for more shade in the summer than for warmth in the winter. They have lots a trees and take their pick.

But a bunch of trees is just fine for a horse. After all, that's all the wild horses have. =)

Personally, I prefer mine have a shelter just becuase they're spoiled and I feel better lol.
    09-19-2010, 02:23 AM
Originally Posted by ChevyPrincess    
I don't have a 'barn' persay, just a three-sided lean too. Honestly, I think my horses use it for more shade in the summer than for warmth in the winter. They have lots a trees and take their pick.
That is similar to my set-up. We have a three sided "barn" that the horses can go in and out of at will. They are usually out in the snow and rain getting wet and stand in the shelter mostly in the summer to get away from the flies!
    09-19-2010, 02:27 AM
Trees should be more than enough.
Like Wyoming, we get down to -30s and 40s and the horses still stand out in the middle of the open even though they have a lean to. If you can rig up a cheap one and it will help your peace of mind, go for it. Your horse should be fine though. Give him some extra calories and keep an eye on him for weight loss/shivering if it is wet and windy.
    09-19-2010, 12:43 PM
Thanks guys, you all have been great help.
We plan on moving and building our own acreage in 3yrs anyway, then I'd def. Build a shelter then, like some of you stated, he can make his own choice. I've just been pulled in different directions with this - the boarders are pushing more to putting one up, and the husband is asking 'Why does he need one, when half the horses we see on the way to the farm don't have one?' I guess the human part of me feels sorry for him.
Besides on the really cold days I could feed him more calories (as some of you suggested), and if it gets REALLY cold I guess I could blanket him for a bit.

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