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Moon09
Oct. 24, 2009, 11:01 PM
I live in New York state and I am going to be bringing my horses home but I have a question on shelter. I am trying to find out what the law is for shelter in the pasture. I live on a main road and will be seen by lots of people. What I would like to do is to use my very thick pine trees as their shelter. I would cut all the lower branches on one side so they can get completely in and out of the weather but really want to make sure that I am not aking for trouble not having a standard run in shed for them. Any advice on NY laws or where to find them would be great.

Thanks

Cloverbarley
Oct. 24, 2009, 11:12 PM
Sorry I don't know what the laws are regarding this but what a blooming good idea! Sounds like the perfect type of shelter for horses; it's totally natural but will give excellent protection from the elements.

The time and money I have spent on building large field shelters for all of my fields has been a lot, and you know, the horses here hardly ever use them. They far prefer to stand along the hedgerows and trees at the fencelines. I only have the shelters there because that's what people like to see when they first come. They don't have to be here too long to see that the horses rarely use them.

If I was you I would go down to your local township office and see what the regulations are.

wsmoak
Oct. 24, 2009, 11:19 PM
If you're building something there will be standards and permits to deal with.

Are you saying you think there are laws that define what kind of shelter you *must* provide for a horse?

ttldr1
Oct. 24, 2009, 11:20 PM
Best advice is to check with the department of agriculture to see what the shelter requirements are. Some states only require a wind break (i.e. a tree line where they can get away from the wind, your trees would qualify in this case) whereas other require an actual 3 sided shed where they can get out of the rain/snow as well as getting out of the wind.

dmalbone
Oct. 24, 2009, 11:31 PM
I PERSONALLY would say that regardless of what the law requires as a bare bones minimum I would be building an actual shelter, especially for New York winters. I can't imagine leaving my ponies out without one in Indiana. Now if they're kept inside at night or in the worst weather that's one thing, but if they're living outside it's my opinion they need a 3-sided shelter.

dmalbone
Oct. 24, 2009, 11:34 PM
I reread and maybe I misunderstood the first time. Would you be, in essence, making a 3 sided shelter out of your pines? Or would they be completely bare on the bottom where they only had shelter overhead?

SMF11
Oct. 24, 2009, 11:40 PM
I think a windbreak might be enough legally, but I would urge you to consider getting a run-in. Unlike Cloverbarley's horses, mine actually DO use the run-ins, especially when it rains. I have one horse that literally will RUN into the shed when the rain starts.

Plus NY weather, as you know, will have things like ice storms, blizzards, freezing rain . . . and I'm not convinced pine trees will protect your horses as well as a shed. However, if you plan on blanketing, or bringing into stalls in terrible weather then that's another thing.

SMF11
Oct. 25, 2009, 12:02 AM
If you're building something there will be standards and permits to deal wiith.

Not for a run-in shed.

cheryl ann
Oct. 25, 2009, 07:39 AM
My two horses have a small pine stand and a large (and most importantly, deep) shelter. In New York, especially western/southern New York, this really is the most beneficial way to go.

They use both, but no pine stand will totally protect from torrential downpours, horizontal freezing rains, big snows and the like. And in the summer, a good, deep and fairly dim shelter will protect very well against insects, as most flies do not like going into darker places. My shelter doors are themselves 'sheltered' by a 15'w x 30'w lean-to which opens at a right angle to the main shelter itself, and four benefits are that 1) No harsh weather directly enters the shelter, 2) I can slide the doors shut if it is so bad outside that it is dangerous for them to go out (ice storms and the like), 3) The shelter is large enough that they can live inside there for a few days if they have to (2 horses inside a 30'w x 40'd shelter), and 4) I hardly ever get any flies at all in there. I would never house more than two horses in a run-in this size. I guess in essence it would be building a small barn.

Build it out of wood rather than metal (so it helps with the heat in summer). Mine is tile block, but that's because it is half of the existing barn. It's lined in wood, 'cept for the back walls. Inside, there is still the center divider wall from the two previous large stalls, but no stall fronts. That way, it does give each one a bit of privacy to eat their oats. Many times when I come to feed in the morning, they are both laying down in the same 'stall'. Way sweet!

It is very well-bedded in the 'stall' area, especially in cold weather. I have banked the back walls in topsoil (I use a peatmoss/topsoil bedding mix, and peatmoss/shavings bedding mix in winter because the topsoil freezes) and I put in several bales of straw during the coldest parts of winter, so they can burrow down and make their 'nests'. It really is super super cozy. I've taken a break and layed down in there myself next to the 'kids' while they were napping.

Hope this helps.

GoForAGallop
Oct. 25, 2009, 07:48 AM
Not for a run-in shed.

Yes there will be. Any "permanent" shelter is going to require permits. If you put the shed on runners so that it is technically moveable, you should be fine.



Are you saying you think there are laws that define what kind of shelter you *must* provide for a horse?

Where are you living that there are NOT laws about what sort of shelter you have to provide for animals? That is a pretty common thing.

chai
Oct. 25, 2009, 09:10 AM
There is an email address at this site where you may find the specific requirements for keeping horses:
http://www.agmkt.state.ny.us/NYSHHAP/horsehealth.html

Your town may have local regulations as well, so you should check at your town hall. The Board of Health writes the regulations in the town where I live, but other towns in MA have no regs.

I know some horses do just fine with a wind break, but I would sleep better during cold, wet, snowy New York winter nights knowing my horses had waterproof, windproof shelter. Our town has zoning regulations that require a foundation for any structure larger than 10 x 12, so you may want to check your local building codes.

I bought a run-in from this company in Jamaica, VT. It came pre-assembled and they dropped in on the gravel/stone dust pad I had prepared. It has lasted beautifully through ten New England summers and winters and it still looks as good as new inside and out. It was reasonably priced, and the company often has monthly specials or closeouts. Here's the link:
http://www.jamaicacottageshop.com/

SMF11
Oct. 25, 2009, 09:23 AM
Yes there will be. Any "permanent" shelter is going to require permits. If you put the shed on runners so that it is technically moveable, you should be fine.

This permit discussion is probably moot, since that is not what the OP asked about. However, in case anyone reading is considering a run-in, I will say that whether or not it needs a permit will be determined by your local zoning code. You can find out if you need a permit by asking the Building Dept.

That said, I do live in NY, I do have run-in sheds (and I work in the land use/zoning/planning area) and no, I do not need a permit. Run-ins are *not* considered permanent. And rightly so -- I just moved one shed 500 feet to a different field, so even without runners, they can be moved.

msj
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:11 AM
Uh, your pine trees are going to continue to grow and your sheltered area will eventually be above where it would be any advantage to your horses.

Others have said to check with the Ag dept of NY. You will probably also need to check with your local town as to any zoning restrictions. Since it's a 'natural' shelter, you're probably OK but I sure wouldn't want to count on it sheltering your horses for many years.

I know in my town (Mendon), shelter is not required as per our Humane Society. At least it wasn't a few yrs ago. But if you do decide to put up a loafing shed, it must be 100' from any property line or road or you need a variance.

msj
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:15 AM
Not for a run-in shed.

Uh, run-in sheds in my area are considered to be housing and therefore must be 100' from property lines and roadways or you need a variance.

SMF11
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:25 AM
Uh, run-in sheds in my area are considered to be housing and therefore must be 100' from property lines and roadways or you need a variance.

Yes, but being 100 feet from a property line is very different than requiring a permit from a building department. Worth noting, but generally not a big deal in a horse pasture.

MistyBlue
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:29 AM
Where I am in CT our town has pretty strict permit rules.
A 3 sided structure is exempt from building permits though...unless you're putting it on a solid foundation. Without a solid foundation (conrete frost wall or pad) then if it only has 3 sides it's not considered an actual building in this town so no need for a permit to build but it is considered a structure and will be subject to set back rules. So I can put one up on my property at any time without town hall's say so, but my neighbors may have valid complaints it's it's too close to the property line, street or wetlands.
If it has four sides, it's a building and as long as it's over 10x10 in size it not only requires permits and falls under set backs, but it *must* have a solid foundation too. Even if the building itself is a pole barn, the owner must have a solid foundation poured somewhere in it so it's also subject to property taxes. If it has 3 sides it can be 50x100 and not need a building permit or foundation.
Animal shelter laws are determined by state usually, what type of actual shelter and whether it requires permits or not is usually determined by town and zoning.

Moon09
Oct. 25, 2009, 11:41 AM
I reread and maybe I misunderstood the first time. Would you be, in essence, making a 3 sided shelter out of your pines? Or would they be completely bare on the bottom where they only had shelter overhead?

I will make them into a 3 sided shelter. I will only cut one side off the bottom

msj
Oct. 25, 2009, 01:17 PM
Yes, but being 100 feet from a property line is very different than requiring a permit from a building department. Worth noting, but generally not a big deal in a horse pasture.

I don't know if a permit is needed here for a run-in shed or not as I didn't pursue a run-in in the one pasture I wanted to put one. I talked to the building officer and he and I both agreed that even without a variance (and I'd definitely NEED a variance), I'd probably NOT get permission to add a run-in to that particular pasture because zoning regulations changed. Right now I'd have to have a 25 acre farm to put up the barn and indoor I have on my 5 acres. So, if I need to use that pasture, I'll just run some fencing from my outdoor ring to it. My indoor opens to my outdoor ring(outdoor ring is fenced) therefore, if it got nasty and the horses were out in that pasture, they could run back up indoors. And believe me, they would as they are wimps. My other large pastures are easily accessible to the barn where they can run back into stalls.

MistyBlue
Oct. 25, 2009, 01:48 PM
Oh I'd love to have an indoor that also doubles as turnout shelter. :yes: Yeah, probably not the best way to keep your indoor footing perfectly groomed but if it's a private use only indoor for one person the footing isn't getting a ton of abuse anyways.

msj
Oct. 25, 2009, 03:41 PM
Oh I'd love to have an indoor that also doubles as turnout shelter. :yes: Yeah, probably not the best way to keep your indoor footing perfectly groomed but if it's a private use only indoor for one person the footing isn't getting a ton of abuse anyways.

Definitely a private facility and even though I don't ride anymore, I still drag the indoor about once/wk in the summer and probably 2-3 times/wk in the winter because I use it for turnout so the horses can have a good roll in the sand and have some good footing to have a nice gallop if they want.

The indoor opens directly to the outdoor so just running about 60' of fence from the edge of the outdoor to the pasture in question shouldn't be a big problem. :) Of course to do this I will make it about a 20' wide alleyway so no one gets stuck and can't get away. Course with the 2 old coots I have, I don't think that will be a problem. They are so attached to each other it's down right funny.

But this is totally off the topic. Sorry OP. :)

nightsong
Oct. 25, 2009, 05:35 PM
Just want to point out that whether shelter is required, what kind, AND rules for shelters can vary very widely by area. And to point out that shelter from freezing rain is the only really important kind, and trees won't DO that.