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Shed design - windows all around for visibility or one solid wall for shade?

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  • Shed design - windows all around for visibility or one solid wall for shade?

    My run-in shed will have one west-facing wall. Should I make that wall solid, for shade?

    When I built my barn, for the other two horses, I made sure each wall had some kind of opening in it, so the horses had a 360 degree view. I was afraid that otherwise, they would be reluctant to use it (being the born claustrophobes that they are). But the way this barn is oriented, the afternoon sun doesn't hit the west side of it full-on.

    If I put a window in the west-facing wall of this shed, it'll be directly in the path of the blazing afternoon summer sun. I can't change the orientation of this shed.

    The shed has only three sides, and I will put a window in the south and east walls. Also, there is a two foot gap between the top of the shed wall and the roof, so there should be plenty of ventilation.

    WWYD? Leave the west wall solid, or put in a window so the horse could see out?
    I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

  • #2
    You do not need windows in any of the walls. The vast majority of run-ins here in the Northern hemisphere have the open side facing south and solid walls on the west, north and east sides. And our horses do go into them. I have a 12'x24' run-in with a the south side being 12'wide. Yes this is "odd but it's a run-in that was built onto an exiting barn and I knew better than to have the open side facing to the west. Anyway, the open side is covered with a shade cloth tarp which makes the interior of the run-in really dark. This keeps the flies out as they prefer daylight. The north end of the run-in, another 12' wide wall, does have a dutch door. Which I can close during bad weather but I keep it open most of the time and it's also covered with a shade cloth tarp. The run-in is dark but has great ventilation because of having open doorways at both ends. The horses learned how to push past the traps in just a day and come and go easily.

    If you feel you must have windows for your run-in then I suggest you get some shade cloth (on-line) and cover the OPEN windows with the cloth. The horses can see thru it, and air will move thru it but it keeps the sun out.



    • Original Poster

      Hmm. Maybe I'll just do a window in the east-facing wall, then, and let it go at that.

      I'm glad you mentioned shade cloth - after I get the thing built, I thought I'd look into putting up shade cloth. I see it at my nursery (the plant kind) but I don't know anyone local using it for horses. Seems like a good idea to me.

      Flies are the other reason I'd like to have solid wall(s). I understand the big ones are sight predators - which seems to be true, since all the Wipe in the world doesn't faze them. I've noticed the other horses go into their barn and stand very still when it's time for the B-52 flies to start cruising.

      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


      • #4
        Our "weather" comes from the west and north, so those walls are full height, with a gap allowing air flow at the top. The east wall is 5' high and the shed is open on the south side.
        You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


        • Original Poster

          The direction of our weather kind of depends on where the hurricane makes landfall. Of course, that's in summer and fall.

          In winter, it never really gets cold enough here to be a problem for horses.

          Shade and fly protection are my main concerns.
          I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


          • #6
            I would not put windows in any of the walls.

            They are not necessary. If the horses need the shed, they will go into it. Keeping it darker is actually good for fly control as flies don't like it.

            Plus, what if a horse kicks the window? If you aren't going to put glass in them, then your horses will not have wind protection from that side.

            My parents keep horses 24/7, 2 to a field, 12 by 24 or bigger sheds opening to the south. The horses love them and do use them to get away from the flies and sun.


            • Original Poster

              Good. No windows it is then. Easier for me.

              In my climate, I don't have glass or shutters on my barn windows. They're only 2x3, just there for ventilation (since the barn walls go all the way to the roof). They're set above kicking height.

              The horses can stand out of the wind if they want. But it's a very rare day when it's actually cold enough for them to want to get out of the wind. Heat is our big problem, not cold.
              I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show


              • #8
                using lexan panels works pretty well for allowing light and viewing without the dangers or glass.
                If i'm posting on Coth, it's either raining so I can't ride or it's night time and I can't sleep.


                • #9
                  I have never seen a run-in shed with windows in it, because most are no more than 12' or so deep and the whole front is open.

                  There is a trade-off with getting enough light in there and leaving run-in sheds dark enough that flies don't like to it in there that much.

                  Now, we did add a long window to our cattle working shed, because when we process cattle thru the chute, branding produces smoke and the window provides air flow to whisk that smoke away, that otherwise would hang in the shed.
                  But that is not a run in shed for animals to get out of the weather and is 20' deep.

                  We did build one run-in shed for a neighbor with the idea of using part of it with panels to store a little hay in a corner and we did add a people's walk-in door in that back corner, that had a window in the door itself.
                  He uses it for his goat shed.


                  • #10
                    You could tint the windows

                    Maybe add a sunroof while you're at it for ventilation

                    Good luck with your decision!
                    Don't squat with your spurs on.


                    • #11
                      Shade Cloth Panels

                      the first time I bought shade cloth I just bought the fabric and attached my own grommets. I did learn though that the grommets can tear out unless the edges are bound with a reinforcement tape and the grommets are on that tape. Now I buy my pre-fab panels from Farmtek.


                      I suggest using the 70% or 80% sunblock mesh. this is an excellent way to darken the interiors of your barns which will nearly eliminate flies in the barn. All types of flies are daylight critters which is why they avoid dark interiors.



                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by chicamuxen1 View Post
                        the first time I bought shade cloth I just bought the fabric and attached my own grommets. I did learn though that the grommets can tear out unless the edges are bound with a reinforcement tape and the grommets are on that tape. Now I buy my pre-fab panels from Farmtek.

                        I had no idea anyone made such a thing. Thanks for the link!
                        I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show