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Planning for breeze in run-in for hot summer - solar fan? Openings?

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  • Planning for breeze in run-in for hot summer - solar fan? Openings?

    Has anyone installed a solar fan in your run-in roof area? Opinions?

    We are getting ready to start our run-in. Our winds come from the West/Northwest and RIP up the hill. We plan on putting the back of the run-in facing West, may angle it slightly. The pluses - in winter, the horses will get total blockage of wind inside and in summer, relief from sun. But it will block the summer breeze. Two ideas I had were 1) solar fan for summer. Panel in roof. or 2) Either fold down openings or windows in back of run-in. Window with grill would enable me to open in summer for breeze. Closing in winter would also allow sun to shine in for warmth.

    Other idea - extend run-in roof (which will be 8 to 10 foot on the East side across front of run-in) around right hand corner. Will provide shade in summer but they can be standing in the breeze. Thoughts? Share what you have done.

  • #2
    What are your dimensions?

    Do you also have a barn- or is this the main shelter?

    What seasons are we talking about? - where you live makes a difference in how we regard summer and winter.

    I tend to think horses appreciate protection from heat/flies more than they do protection from cold winds.

    Off the top of my head I think making that west wall open is important for summer comfort. I would make one part of the wall a sliding barn door style- so that in the summer you could open the shed to the breeze- and in the winter close it up. I might also use stout pipe gate panel across the interior of that opening so that the door is protected when it's closed.


    • Original Poster

      Thanks PlainandTall - we are in northern VA. Hot humid summers. Dimensions will be 36 wide by 12-16 deep. The far left 12x12 will be an enclosed stall w/dutch door. We will have a 4-stall center aisle barn that will be built a few months later so I will be field boarding off of this run in/shed combo from April-June or so. But this run in will later serve as the main run-in shed for the large pasture we are putting it in and I plan on connecting 2 smaller paddocks w/gates that can be opened or closed for pasture management or just more room to run.

      I should add that our lot is sloped facing a line of mountains. The wind is terrible and comes ripping up the hill. So wind protection is really important. It's windier on our lot than the surrounding flatter areas. Which is why I want to take advantage of that breeze in summer!


      • #4
        We have kind of the same thing at our new farm, on the top of the highest local ridge, except our winds come from the South and Southwest. We have hot humid summers too.

        If this winter ever ends (!!!!), we'll be expanding our run in shed and building a small barn. Both are going to be pole buildings. We are planning on making drop down windows along the entire back of our run in shed, and probably in the stalls of the barn too. That way we can have tons of ventilation in the summer but close it up in the winter.

        I rented one barn a while back that had the top half of all the exterior walls on the barn that propped up to allow more ventilation. It was great except when the wind would come through too strong, their setup would allow the braces to drop and the windows would slam down. I'm thinking drop down windows would be better in that we could set up hooks to hold them down and off course up solid in the winter. I'm even toying with the idea of using some kind of translucent panels in frames for the drop downs to maybe concentrate the sun into heat for the winter--kind of passive solar gain.

        The other thing we are considering doing is a monitor roof for even more ventilation and letting the hot air escape upwards. It adds on to the expense a bit, though. My other idea was a Clerestory type roof like in a lot of contemporary houses, but have either sliding windows or small drop downs to allow hot air out as it rises--so basically a shed roof on one side of the center beam, with another shed roof on the other side that comes into the center beam a foot or so lower.

        Good luck with your building. It's exciting, isn't it?



        • #5
          We have about the same sized run in and are planning drop down "windows". We have to make some modifications to the framing of the openings to keep the beaver from destroying it, probably sheet metal corners, the ones used for drywall corners, or similar.
          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
          Incredible Invisible


          • #6
            Are you sure your summer breezes come from the same direction as your storms?



            • #7
              A neighbor has a double stall run in built by the Amish that has a dutch door in the back that opens for air. Seems to help.

              Come summer don't forget bees and wasps like to build nests in the run ins so remember to keep an eye open for nests.

              I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.