Stalls in a barn

Stalls in a barn

When evaluating horse properties, horse shelters are often overlooked. Acreage, fencing, and arenas can quickly distract buyers. Yet, what’s the purpose of your own horse property, if your horse doesn’t feel at home? Shelters provide protection from the sun, rain, and snow.  The two most common types of shelter are stalls and run-in sheds. So we decided to compare them both:



Stalls can provide a completely isolated environment from the various weather elements. Barns with stalls are popular because when the weather elements imped, the barn doors can be closed off. Barns usually also offer wash stalls, feed rooms, haylofts, and tack rooms.

Barns can lack ventilation though. There should always be space between the stall wall and ceiling to promote air circulation and prevent condensation. Without proper ventilation, ammonia, dust, and moisture can create an unhealthy environment for your horses.

Stalls should be a minimum of 12′ x 12′ for large horses and 10′ x 12′ for ponies. The flooring of the stall is critical. For various flooring, mats and shavings may be required. Mats can be used for additional cushion on flooring such as concrete, asphalt, or compact gravel. Shavings are a common choice because they are easy to clean, absorb urine, and come in a variety of different types.


Run-in Sheds

Run-in sheds are a common choice for pasture shelters. They are three-sided structures often placed strategically to protect the horses from wind and rain. For horses that are turned out full time, they can seek the shelter when they need it.   Also, depending on the size of the shed, multiple horses can fit into one run-in.

Run-in shed

Run-in shed

The placement of the shed-in is crucial. Run-ins must be placed in a well-drained area where run-off cannot erode the land under the shed. Sheds can become a hazard if a horse can get their leg caught between the ground and the shed.

By Anna Hellman

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