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post #1 of 16 Old 05-13-2017, 02:54 PM Thread Starter
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horse shelter

when I get a horse, I am going to leave them out grazing all the time, and just have a shelter, and a shed for tack and feed, and any other equipment.
how should I build a shelter? I just wanted to do a three sided shelter with enough space to fit a horse comfortably, and maybe enough room for two horses. I looked up some things, and one thing I found was using palettes to make a shelter. would that be a good idea? or would those be unsafe?

and does a three sided shelter need bedding like a barn stall does? and should I keep the water bucket and food inside the shelter? if you are leaving a horse out to graze all the time, do they even need food? can they just live off the grass?
I'm really new to horses, I just started lessons, so I don't know anything. XD
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-13-2017, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
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I am really new to horses, but I do know that I want to do something with horses in the future. I'm only 13, but I am planning extensively. I cant wait to get my own horse when I move out!
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-13-2017, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nobleandpure View Post
when I get a horse, I am going to leave them out grazing all the time, and just have a shelter, and a shed for tack and feed, and any other equipment.
how should I build a shelter? I just wanted to do a three sided shelter with enough space to fit a horse comfortably, and maybe enough room for two horses. I looked up some things, and one thing I found was using palettes to make a shelter. would that be a good idea? or would those be unsafe?

and does a three sided shelter need bedding like a barn stall does? and should I keep the water bucket and food inside the shelter? if you are leaving a horse out to graze all the time, do they even need food? can they just live off the grass?
I'm really new to horses, I just started lessons, so I don't know anything. XD
Lol, no need to rush. You just started lessons, you'll figure things out eventually and learn alot.

I've never heard of a building a shelter with pallets before, so can't comment there, but can help you with other questions:

If you plan on adding a gate to your three sided shelter so you could use it to stall horses every once and a while, I would add bedding such as sawdust or shavings, so that it will be comfy for the horses when they are stalled, and will help absorb their pee.
You can put water buckets in there if you want, especially if you plan to stall them in there at any time, but if not, it may just be easier to have one big water trough out in the pasture.
It depends on the horse if they can live solely off grass. Some easy keepers can, but realistically not every horse is an easy keeper. Most people supplement a horse's diet of grass with hay. A grass hay blend is pretty good stuff. Some horses may need grain to supplement their diet, others don't. It depends on the indivdual.
Also, if you ever plan on keeping a horse in a field with a shelter, make sure to get it company! Horses are herd animals and it is stressful for them to live on their own. Another horse, a pony, or even a donkey can give the horses the security of a small "herd."
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-13-2017, 11:38 PM
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I'd say the most important thing is to carefully observe where most of your nasty weather comes from and build the opening away from that direction, otherwise you won't have a shelter. Probably also choose a somewhat elevated position so melt- and rain water runs away from it and not into it, and horses won't be standing in the mud. Avoid choke points so horses can exit quickly if need be without injuring themselves. You never know what may spook them while they are in there. Otherwise the structure only has to withstand the environment. If horses have a clear way of egress, they won't run into the walls and testing them. It'd also be a good location for your salt block as it can get quite hot when exposed to the sun.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-14-2017, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobleandpure View Post
when I get a horse, I am going to leave them out grazing all the time, and just have a shelter, and a shed for tack and feed, and any other equipment.
how should I build a shelter? I just wanted to do a three sided shelter with enough space to fit a horse comfortably, and maybe enough room for two horses.I recommend having room for at least two horses and an enclosed area at one end for tack and feed.

I looked up some things, and one thing I found was using palettes to make a shelter. would that be a good idea? or would those be unsafe? Pallets are great for many things, but there are easier products to work with than those. I would keep looking at your options.

and does a three sided shelter need bedding like a barn stall does? If you can choose a spot with good natural drainage your shed's floor will require very little maintenance and no bedding.

and should I keep the water bucket and food inside the shelter? I do not recommend feeding or watering inside the shed. Outside, horses get along better and they don't mind weather.

if you are leaving a horse out to graze all the time, do they even need food? can they just live off the grass? It depends on your climate and what kind of grass(es) you have. And what you do with your horse, meaning what kind and how much work will he do.


I'm really new to horses, I just started lessons, so I don't know anything. XD
You're a thinker and planner, it seems. I like those traits. Have fun learning and planning, but most important: what you are getting to do with horses now and as you go along in life.

I tried "dark green" hoping you'd be able to see where my answers were easily, but at least on my monitor there is little difference between the dark green and the black. Oooops.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-14-2017, 01:44 AM
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I don't use my shelters as stalls , so no gates or bedding. or feed or water in my shelters
They are purely for, well, shelter, and I rather have horse lie down in the open, then perhaps get cast
I do have barn with stalls. Face the shelter away from where the coldest and strongest wind comes from. Stake them down.I have seen quite a few blown over. Line the inside halfway up with planking. Use metal on the outside and the roof
the idea of turnout, is for a horse to have freedom of movement
I guess I can see that if you have no barn,thus stalls and tack room, you might be looking for more of a combo, with that shelter also serving as a stall, if need be
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-14-2017, 01:49 AM
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Mine are something like this, without the tack room. They are also lined with planking half way up and metal clad
The one in the mare and foal field, is much larger, and is built as a pole barn structure, thus firmly anchored into the ground


https://www.homehardware.ca/en/index...-tack-room.htm
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-14-2017, 08:27 AM
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I've seen this idea of a "pallet barn" before....
Not hard as "walls" are already formed, but does need some tweaking to make it a better weather environment...
For those who never heard of this...

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/pallet-shed-plans/
Pallet barn/sheds still take materials to finish it correctly, work to prepare and money.
They work and if you know someone with a abundance of extra pallets you can do so many nice projects with them concerning horses and other livestock.
For me, you talk about a 3-sided shelter not quite a barn so no...I would not be bedding the thing.
If the horses will not be forced to remain inside but come & go at will...save the $$ and energy of mucking. Of course it needs cleaning out if they poop inside, but they are not stalled.
Being they are not stalled in it I also would not be hanging their water buckets inside it either but get a trough, a large one outside near your water source {hose} so you never run out of water. Depending upon # of horses, figuring 15 gallons of water per day per horse is a safe size, or automatic waterer float device works on smaller capacity troughs!
I would think of making my storage area/building not be inside my pasture either. Horses will pick at it knowing food is inside and they want it, period. Chew it and try to gain entrance...which can be a disaster.
Placing your 3-sided shelter correctly to best benefit the animals is crucial. It is to shelter from rain and inclement weather so should face a certain direction, also to capture a cooling breeze and warming sun. When you get to this point in time speak with your local ag. department who can offer assistance answering the "how do I do...." questions.
For storing of feed, hay, saddles and miscellaneous equipment... I would probably buy a premade large shed, fully enclosed and weather-tite construction and pretty rodent proofed too.
For me, if not dedicated stalls for feeding, I would do a fence that can support hanging fence feeders or buckets spaced far enough apart for each horse to eat in peace and not have another stealing their food...tie them during feeding or make feed stalls with gates that you can put a "door/chain" across to restrict entrance or departure so everyone eats without being pestered makes for a happier herd.

You live in Virginia...better plan on feeding hay, having freezing temperatures with snow and ice is part of your climate.
Sounds great to just have your horses "graze year round" all the time but it is unrealistic, unpractical and not happening in your state. You also need a large amount of land to just graze on and sustain the needs of the horses when grass is not growing... usually from September to late April.
That's acreage, many many acres if no hay is to be fed and must be accessible through possible deep snow and ice so the animals not starve.

You have much time to plan and figure out what you want, how you want to get it accomplished and start collecting information to make the dreams become a reality.
Enjoy the dreams...
Enjoy the planning...
Enjoy the reality when dreams and planning come true.
....

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-14-2017, 12:32 PM
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I use pallets for storing square bales on, but would not use them to build a shelter
I have seen where there are plans , with people having done so.
I just find them not solid enough .and can see potential wreaks
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-14-2017, 02:38 PM
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I have a 3 sided shelterms for my 2, it is 10x20 with rubber mats for dry footing. I clean it regularly to keep the poo from building up. I only used steel on the sides and roof because of lack of funds. But this summer I'm going to get foam or something put under the roof to minimize noise and help keep it cool and some wood on the sides to help it to stay put in high winds and to keep them from kicking through the sides. I built it on skids so it could be moved.
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