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wguisbert54 08-11-2012 09:06 AM

Flooring for a run-in shed
I am building a horse facility for my daughter on 9 acres. It will have 6 stall barn with all the bells and whistles. I am not a horse person, so I read and consult with local horse people as much as I can, but am still looking for more opinions on the issue of the type of flooring for the run-in shed.

The shed will be 30X12 and fully open on one side with an extended roof over the front. It will sit on a somewhat sloped field at the crest of a small hill. The soil has a fair amount of shale, so I believe there is good drainage. I plan for a nelson 760 horse waterer for the whole pasture 25-50 feet away.

I plan to have the horses (perhaps a pony or donkey) in pasture as much as possible.

The field has a total south facing with no shade. I am in south central Pa., so we at times get both hot and cold weather. I have no concept of how much the horses will use the shed for shade or to simply get out of the wind.

The builder is planning for a concrete floor, but I am skeptical to the degree that it will be advantageous for cleaning purposes, as will the horses be in it that much that there will be that much to clean? My thought was to just leave it as dirt with no bedding at all, as we have stalls in the barn for extended housing of the animals.

Thanks for your thoughts!

PaintHorseMares 08-11-2012 09:12 AM

Horses that are out 24x7 typically prefer to be out. Our mares use their shelter (10x30) only to get in the shade when the bugs are bad in the summer and when it's around freezing and raining in the winter. Ours is dirt and that is what I would suggest.
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Iseul 08-11-2012 09:20 AM

Don't spend the money on concrete unless you're making a wash-rack somewhere on the farm. Cconcrete gets slippery and it's hard on their joints when they're standing on it with no padding. Go ahead and leave it dirt flooring, because it'll be much more "cushy" than concrete, even if it gets dry and hard at some points.
The horses are going to need a bit of shade it some trees in the field or under that run-in. If there aren't trees to provide shade, I'd ensure that there'd be a decent amount of shade under the run-in.
I, personally, think dirt's easier to clean than concrete..I've cleaned on both and it's actually a lot different to try and scoop poop off concrete as opposed to dirt. Unless you want to hose off and let concrete dry, it's a bad idea. With dirt it can be scooped into a pile and tossed out. If they pee, all you have to do is toss a scoop of poop on it and it'll soak it right up, and then out to the manure pile or such. I would advise to clean it at least once a day. We had to clean ours in the morning and evening with 5 horses who just loved to stand in there, but it was fine once in the evening with a different herd of 3 horses, who all would rather be outside grazing.
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ThatDraftGirl 08-11-2012 10:24 AM

Cn you come be my dad ad buid me an equine facility? Please?

Dirt floor aremy vote, or you can put rubber mats down... But dirt woud be better...

Failbhe 08-11-2012 10:45 AM

We have two run-in sheds (two different pastures) - one was a shed that was on the property already that we converted, and had gravel, and the other one we built and it's just a dirt floor, though we spread straw in both the shelters.

Some horses will like the shed and stand in it a lot, and some don't and hardly use it. Even the horses that don't like to be IN the shed, still use it as a windbreak in harsh weather.

Chevaux 08-11-2012 10:58 AM

My run in shed is pole construction with dirt floor and open front facing south (our typical winter winds come from the north west where we are). I also feel dirt is safer and easier on the horses. I do not put bedding in mine and clean up isn't a great hardship. The horses make use of the shelter -- they like to come in to shelter from hard driven rain and to get away from the bugs in the summer; during the winter they'll use it to get away from strong cold winds (they go in the barn over night in the winter).

PaintHorseMares 08-11-2012 11:25 AM


Originally Posted by Failbhe (Post 1640604)
Even the horses that don't like to be IN the shed, still use it as a windbreak in harsh weather.

Yes...unless it is near freezing (where they will go in), they'll stand right outside the shelter and use it is a wind break.
At least in the US, you want the open side facing south or southeast to block the winter weather.
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Failbhe 08-11-2012 12:22 PM

yeah the direction it faces is pretty important too - ours faces East, because there is a thick treeline in that direction that breaks the wind.

smrobs 08-11-2012 01:49 PM

I agree, stick with a dirt floor. Concrete is just too dangerous and too hard on them. If you did go with concrete, you'd have to have some sort of non-slip padding on top of it with plenty of bedding...which would be a pain in the butt to keep contained on a windy day.

As for the direction it should face, it should face away from the prevailing winter winds. For example, here in Texas, our winter winds usually come from the my open faced barn faces the south.

cakemom 08-11-2012 01:53 PM

Mine must be weirdos, they stand in their stalls all te time with the doors open.
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