The Practical Farm
Give Them Shelter: Run-In Sheds
The drastically changing Canadian temperatures can be hard on ani
By: The Practical Farm |
The drastically changing Canadian temperatures can be hard on animals. Cold rain and strong winds can make it difficult for horses to keep warm and the summer sun can be brutal and relentless. You do not want to keep your horses in stalls all day because of the weather and your horses don’t want to be in the stalls all day either. Run-in sheds offer protection against wind, harsh rain, summer sun and snow. System Fencing carries a wide variety of run in sheds to help get your horses through the stormy weather and climate changes while also providing you with a peace of mind that they have a form of shelter when you are away from home.
Run-in sheds should be located in an area that is most convenient for you, in order to monitor and maintain it appropriately. Ideally, in an area that provides good drainage so that the horses are not standing in mud and water. Putting the shed in a low spot or at the bottom of a hill is not recommended because heavy rain can easily accumulate and eliminate the purpose of the run-in shed. Either have it on a slope so the water drains away from the shed or level the ground with gravel and stone dust. Similarly, position the shed so that the open face is opposite the side of the coming winds. If placed the other way, it will offer minimal shelter on windy, rainy days.
Virtually any material can be used as the perimeter outside of the shed, including wood, metal or barn board. Metal siding requires little maintenance as they are unaffected by rot and are simple to sanitize and clean. However, the issue with metal siding, especially tin is that horses can easily kick through it and hurt their legs, resulting in more serious injuries. If you were to go with metal sidings, it is recommended to line the inside with minimum ¾-inch plywood at least half way up the walls. Also, cement blocks and stone walls are very sturdy and safe if the edges are not sharp. This material is also easy to clean and disinfect as well as aesthetically appealing in any paddock.
Of equal importance, it has been proven that a 100-square foot per horse is the optimal size for a shed. However, in our experience most people go with a run in size of 10’x20’. This size is usually suitable for two to eight horses. The minimum height inside the shed should be seven feet at the back and eight feet at the front. You want to make sure there is more than enough space for your horses to take shelter in. The run-in sheds MUST be anchored into the ground. Wind can always come from the opposite direction and up-end the shed.
A run-in shed has multiple benefits for not only your animals but for you as well. As the weather changes, they require less time turning out and rounding up horses. They offer protection from wind, heavy rain, snow and the summer sun. While reducing wind velocity, it allows the horses to work less to stay warm. Lastly, your horses have more freedom in the paddocks and can rely on you less to provide shelter and warmth. Run-in sheds leave you with the satisfaction that your horses are safe outside when you are not home.
You love your horses and want them to be as safe and comfortable as possible at all times. Providing a run-in shed can help them feel secure in the field when it is not possible to bring them inside. They bring shelter, warmth and sense of relief for you and your horses. Visit systemfence.com for more details on the sheds available or call our office at 866.662.0881 and speak to one of our knowledgeable sales associates.