Horses need adequate shelter from the weather even if you live in a mild climate. Horse shelters must be built safe and sturdy to withstand the abuse it will take from the horses. A three-sided shelter is the most economical and easiest shelter to build. Learn how to build a horse shelter by following these steps.
- Skill level:
Find a flat, level area to build the shelter. The area should be high and not prone to flooding or standing water. Water should run away from the shelter, not towards it.
Determine what direction the open side of the shelter should face. The north and west winds are the strongest in most areas, so the back of the shelter should face these directions.
Determine how tall you will need to make the shelter. It should be big enough that the tallest horse can walk in, throw his head up, and not hit the roof.
Know how many horses are sharing this shelter. One horse can use a 12 by 12 foot shelter, but a bigger shelter is need if more horses are in the pasture. Make the shelter no more than 12 to 14 feet deep. Add the additional space in width, not depth. If you have a pasture with many horses, consider building more than one shelter.
Dig four holes for the corner posts. Use strong, sturdy posts for the corners. Dig the holes at least four feet deep, adding cement in the bottom of the holes to secure the posts before refilling with dirt.
Use 2-by-4 lumber to build a frame on three sides of the shelter. A minimum consists of a board along the top, one along the bottom and one midway on the sides of the shelter. More boards should be used on the roof to hold roofing material.
Cover the roof with with plywood and shingles or tin. Tin is the most economical and easiest material to use.
Get thick plywood or use planks for the inside of the shelter. You can use tin or planks on the outside as long as the inside is covered from the floor to at least midway up the shed with thick plywood. Horses can kick through tin, severely injuring a leg. The plywood may split and planks can break, but it will prevent the leg from going through to the tin.