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Run-in designs

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  • Run-in designs

    I am looking to build a run-in shelter for one of my fields. I want something big enough that 2 horses will be able to get in no matter what, maybe 3 if they play nice. I have 2 horses per field, one field already has a constructed shelter, an overhang from the barn. The other I need to build something before winter, now I just bring them in for any inclement weather. They have some tree shade but we get lots of snow.

    I was thinking 14 by 36, top of hill, opening facing opposite direction from the way weather approaches. Board and batten with metal roof, sloping toward the back. Is that ridiculous? Too small? My dad has some 12 by 24 and I know I want it bigger and deeper than that. He also has 16 by 48 and I don't think I need quite THAT much space. Should I do 16 by 36?

    I plan on lining with plywood -- is that reasonable? I don't want to deal with having to reinforce warping liner boards.

    How high? Is 12 feet short side (back) overkill or is 10 sufficient? What would that make the front of a normal pitch? It would be nice to be able to drive the tractor in but I could probably do that easily with 10 feet short side. It is easier to have too much space rather than regret it later but I don't want to be ridiculous either.

    I'd like to feed hay out of the elements -- have you built in some kind of feeder to reduce waste?

    Thanks for any insight!

  • #2
    Why don't you send a pm to 2ndyrgal?

    She has several nice ones in her pastures. She can tell you how they built theirs.
    When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


    • #3
      Mine is 12' x 24' and about 7 1/2' high at the back, 10'-something at the lowest point in front. It's tall enough so I can back the tractor in and drop a round bale if I want. If I fed squares out there on a regular basis I would have added hay racks along the back wall. I've got three in that paddock that share nicely most of the time. The roof is metal, and the siding and inside kick boards are rough-cut oak. The oak shrunk some, but being in KY I don't need it to block all the wind so I didn't bother with battens. A huge bundle of "outs" was only $125, so that's what I used for both siding and kickboards.

      As for pitch, define "normal". Here a 4/12 is pretty common. That's 4 feet of rise in 12 feet of run. So if the back is 12 ft and the building is 12 ft deep, the front would be 16 feet tall (overkill IMO).

      If you use plywood for kickboards, make sure it's treated ($$$). I'm of the opinion that run-in sheds shouldn't be too deep so that a horse doesn't get trapped in there by another dominant horse, so 12-14' is deep enough for me.


      • #4
        Originally posted by shakeytails View Post
        Mine is 12' x 24' and about 7 1/2' high at the back, 10'-something at the lowest point in front. It's tall enough so I can back the tractor in and drop a round bale if I want. If I fed squares out there on a regular basis I would have added hay racks along the back wall. I've got three in that paddock that share nicely most of the time. The roof is metal, and the siding and inside kick boards are rough-cut oak. The oak shrunk some, but being in KY I don't need it to block all the wind so I didn't bother with battens. A huge bundle of "outs" was only $125, so that's what I used for both siding and kickboards.

        As for pitch, define "normal". Here a 4/12 is pretty common. That's 4 feet of rise in 12 feet of run. So if the back is 12 ft and the building is 12 ft deep, the front would be 16 feet tall (overkill IMO).

        If you use plywood for kickboards, make sure it's treated ($$$). I'm of the opinion that run-in sheds shouldn't be too deep so that a horse doesn't get trapped in there by another dominant horse, so 12-14' is deep enough for me.
        I will add to all that good information that we make ours out of metal, 12'x27' , the height at the back is 8', 2/12 roof slope and use 3/4 plywood to line them 4' high.
        They are on skids and chained down in each corner into 3' deep concrete filled holes, the chain dropped in there.
        If we need to move them, just unbolt or cut the chain and drag them away.

        We don't like the sheds to be any deeper than 12' because here, that is as far as the winter sun gets in there and that helps kill many bugs and keep it warm, any deeper may stay damp and moldy in there.

        Here we are building some, so you can see how we make them:

        Last edited by Bluey; Jul. 8, 2011, 04:50 PM.


        • Original Poster

          Hmm, interesting thoughts, thanks! Glad to know that they may not need to be so high, that will save on lumber costs. I am a little gun-shy because my pony reared and scalped himself on the front of a run-in once so I think in my mind I was exaggerating what is needed.

          Do you get a lot of snow, Bluey? I was worried that 12' wouldn't be deep enough in a really deep snow. In our old 12' run-ins the first few feet can be taken up with drifts, a big horse would not do so well in what's left at the back. Of course I have a barn and stalls so perhaps not a huge issue, they could come in if needed.

          Is the 2/12 pitch sufficient for snow to slide off easily? 4/12 is typical for a house but I believe we've used 2/12 for sheds in WV on the family farm, I get more snow here though.

          The moveable idea is super cool, btw.


          • #6
            If you have lots of snow and rain, you can add a bit to the front, generally about 2-3 feet out there like a V helps send much of the wrap around snow to the front, not under there.

            In a very bad heavy snow blowing blizzard, depending on the drifting, all bets are off what may work.


            • #7
              The most important thing is to site properly, especially regarding wind. If this isn't done, it's not going to be shelter.


              • #8
                Had two Begians on 24 turnout at last farm and they had 10' x 20' run in with 8' at back wall. plenty room for pair - we are in Ontario and get plenty snow.
                If you go too high with the roof there will no shade at times duing the day. We did not feed or water inside shelter as found that all they would do is pull hay to use as bedding. Resist temptation to add skylight or too much south window as summer days can become sauna like for temps inside. The front had approx 2' over hang, they had plenty room inside and was cozy enough that on a cold day was pleasant. If wanting more horses add length not depth so one horse cannot corner another.


                • #9
                  We have a 14 x 25 run in shed. It is split into TWO run in areas plus a storage area. There is plenty of room in either run in area for at least 3 horses. And ours are big--17+ hands. We built them big enough we can also put 1/3-1/2 of a round bale feeder in one corner to put round bales in during the winter.

                  10' roof should be plenty. 8 does get a bit short.
                  Depending on the size of your tractor, with any ROP, etc, 10' should be ok. But might want to measure said tractor to be sure. Then add some extra for when the manure/mud/ect builds up.

                  We don't use plywood to line ours. If it gets kicked thru you have to replace the whole sheet. And you really need pretty thick plywood to be safe. We use 2x6, 8, 10's set in vertically with angle iron on the top and screwed (not nailed) to the cross members. Never had one warp, at least not the point it would need replaced. If you do horizontal you will have to deal with the warping. And if one gets broken it is a real pain to replace. The vertical ones are easier to put in and easier to replace if needed. And stronger.

                  I would put a picture in but I don't know how!!!


                  • #10
                    We make the middle support where a 4'x8" sheet of 3/4 plywood can be screwed on tight, because if we have any way for stuff to get in that space, they do.
                    We can have a problem with yellow jackets, so anything we build has to be closed up tight and the plywood sheet does, while individual boards may warp and let the wasps in there.
                    Nothing like moving a shed and thousands of wasps come out of any place they had entered to make nests, inside pipes, etc.

                    You may not have to worry about that where you are.


                    • #11
                      My double run-in is 16' X 32', plenty of room for 2 and comfy for 3.

                      I placed it right up against the fence so I can feed them in bad weather. The front is open, just a fenceline, and the back is solid. The sides are closed in 1/2 way (8' closed, 8' open) this helps protect from weather as the shed faces East. My other sheds face South which is better for my area but just didn't work for this paddock.

                      It's big enough I can fit a round bale and holder inside for the winter.

                      I compromised on what was the best direction, place and convenience but am pleased with the result.

                      Just make sure you make it deep enough that they can get out of the sun and driving rain.
                      You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


                      • #12
                        One reason we went 12' deep is that our sheds are portable and that width is all we can sneak down highways, any more is illegal without special permits.

                        Our permanent cattle working shed is 18' deep by 60' long and if a shed is tall enough in front, then that is a good depth also.

                        We use sheet metal that comes in 3' by any length, so we have to make our sheds in multiples of 3'.


                        • #13
                          We make ours just like Bluey does. 12' deep and framed on the bottom so they are movable. We also use the square metal tubing to frame, sheet metal exterior and wood panels inside. Great minds must think alike here in Texas...


                          • #14
                            What a great thread -- and timely for me as well, since I need to have one built in a new pasture for this winter.

                            But can we hear from folks living in snowy areas? We can get ALOT of snow here, so the roof must be sturdy.

                            I will be having someone else build them, (not a horsey person), so does anyone have an actual plan/blueprint that they like?

                            And I will NOT be feeding hay in mine....they can go outside to eat.


                            • #15
                              Oh, but we get plenty of snow here too, when we are not in a drought.
                              This was a drift under our main barn, after 6" of blowing snow in a blizzard:


                              We have corrected that now with some plastic door strips in that opening, that keeps the wrap around effect from happening, so now the snow blows by.

                              In sheds, you may avoid that problem with placing them right or adding a small overhang to them.
                              Our sheds are rated high enough to support as large snow load on them as we may get here.
                              We ran the specs thru the metal company engineer, just to be sure.
                              They do that free, if you buy the materials from them.


                              • #16
                                Just went to Amazon.com and bought a used book full of plans for horse shelters -- from simple run-in shelters to fancy barns w/arenas. Used, with S&H: $7.50.

                                I LOVE Amazon!

                                Bluey, it's not uncommon for us to have 3-4ft. of snow on the ground all winter...I've had berms or drifts as high as 16ft! I think the record snowfall in my area for a winter was something like 48 ft. It started snowing the last week in Oct. and we didn't see the ground again till the 1st week in May. But that IS abit extreme for here.

                                Of course, my plan is to make the pitch angled enough so the snow just slides off, so that will help.

                                Luckily, I live in a valley with pine trees all around my property, so wind is not really a problem most of the time (thank goodness).


                                • #17
                                  I don't know where we would put 48' of snow, oh my!

                                  We would definitely not be in a drought if we got that in the winters.

                                  The most snow we had here was 72" in 1982-83 winter and it started the second week of December and we didn't see the ground for almost 2 months.
                                  We bulldozed the main feed roads and at the end the sides were as tall as the dozer.

                                  With that much snow around, are you sure you want to build wimpy little sheds?
                                  I think you need the Taj-Mahal of sheds, very deep and high and super strong, so the snow doesn't collapse the roof or sides in.
                                  May consider a pitched roof, not all one slope.

                                  Maybe go drive around and see what is working for others in your area?

                                  I see people getting by with little fabric covered sheds in other places.
                                  They don't even anchor them down, or too good.
                                  Those would not last one good blow around here.


                                  • #18
                                    I would make sure the shed is at least 16' deep or make it 12' deep with a 6-12' overhang. At one time, our 2 horses had access to a 12x24 area of our barn that we set up like a run in. That area was hot in the summer time, wet during rain, and snow covered in the winter. Eventually we added a 6" overhang. The 6' overhand made the area tolerable. My neighbor has a 10" overhang for the side of her barn that she uses as a run in. Her area is much cooler in the summer and drier in the storms. My 6' overhang is adequate, but her 10' is much better.

                                    Try to make sure the run in is tall enough to stay cool, if you get hot weather in the summer. We once had a run in with a low metal roof. It was like an oven in the summertime.

                                    If you just have two horses together and the run in is at least 24" long and 16' wide, I don't think they will pin each other in corners. Our two are happy together. Only when a 3rd horse is added to the mix do we have bickering and pinning one in a corner.


                                    • #19
                                      I love where my horse lives but she has no shelter- other than Oak trees (We don't have snow but do have rain). She's an OTTB who does not grow much of a coat. Night time temps in winter can be in the high 20's- low 30's. I am considering buying a metal carport (appears to be the cheapest option) that could be used by my Mare as well as a fellow boarders horse. We would fence off a portion of the pasture for the two. I would just feel better if I knew that she had a shelter to go into if she wants to. I'm thinking of 12 -14 feet wide and 24-36 long. Anyone ever used a carport?


                                      • #20
                                        Mukluk, I would be afraid of a metal carport. Many of them don't look very sturdy. I would be more inclined to get a prefab run in shed or to have a local construction person put up a 2 or 3 sided shed.