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Our horses have had very poor, temporary excuses for shelters the last couple years, since we moved their track down into the woods. Hubby finally got to mill some lumber last month, though, and we got their new, permanent shelter put in place. It’s beautiful, spacious, sits up on a sandy, well-drained hill so it stays dry, and we built the wood sides to give lots of wind break. When we first put it up, they seemed to approve. Based on the marks in the sand, they spent quite a bit of time in it for a few days. Last night, we had our first downpour. At chore time this morning, hubby was shocked to find them all standing at the bottom of the hill, in a muddy mess, soaking wet, and far from their shelter. The stinkers! You can give a horse shelter, but you can’t make him use it!

Nonetheless, I’m still proud of it. We used one of those garage kits we had elsewhere on the Farm, disassembled it, moved it back into the woods, and reassembled it. Then, we attached wood studs to the steel studs, so we could have something easier to screw in to. Next, we put up siding. We ran out of lumber, so he has to mill another log, but we will finish the second side and then ad trim. I think it turned out nice, and only took about two and a half days to complete so far once the lumber was milled.

Klaus Karbaumer says 2017-11-18 12:51:55 (CST)

Danielle, it is my experience that horses have a pretty different view of bad weather from the one we humans have. My horses have the choice to go into the barn or the tornado shelter in the attached shed on the side, but it seems they go in there only when flies or other flying pests bother them. Then they'll do it especially on hot days. They'll find a windbreak somewhere, but not in the barn on rainy or snowy days.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

NoraWI says 2017-11-18 16:26:59 (CST)

I'm with Klaus on this. Mine will go into the open sided barn for shade on a hot day or when the flies are especially bothersome. In winter I feed them there so they go in when it is dinner time. However, on rainy and snowy days, they prefer to be outside in the pasture.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Redgate says 2017-11-18 17:22:43 (CST)

That's also been my experience. It just always makes me shake my head when we forget that horses have their own ideas. All animals, for that matter. My LGDs are the same way. We like to show horse/animal lovers who are all about "if your cold, they're cold!" How our horses will stand in the snow, with inches of snow on their backs, because they are so well insulated it doesn't melt. They aren't that cold after all. Most people are shocked, as they just never considered it.

I have a neighbor who is a total newbie to horses. She just jumped in, purchased 5, and is already scared of them. They were well trained, broke, and quite mannerly (and she paid a pretty penny for each one) when first purchased, but as happens all too often, they are becoming real handfuls because she wants to treat them so "nice." The problem is, she isn't at all open to advice. She wants to do it her way. She knows people who had horses and she is an expert as a result. She is worried sick about the weather, so she is building a complete row of stalls, so each horse has its own, complete with heaters and fans. She plans to only have them on turnout when the weather is nice out. This excludes snow, rain, ice, mist, flies, mosquitoes, heat, and cold. Seriously, this is her plan. Meanwhile, the horses are becoming unhandleable, hyper and full of energy, and she plans to pen them up more to control them. This is a mess waiting to happen! I just hope her and her child survive it. She has decided we are cruel for letting our horses play and romp and nip/kick at each other, or "force" them to be outside with no blankets and such.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

K.C. Fox says 2017-11-19 00:40:04 (CST)

My horses and mules don't go in the barn without I halter them and lead them in they stand in a waterhole in the summer when the flies are bad, or on a hill top without shelter. They seem to get along good without my help all year long. seems we mess up there way when we build them pens and shelter.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

G.D.Rose says 2017-11-19 07:07:13 (CST)

I had the same experience, built a windbreak for mine. 20 ft by 20 ft and 8 ft tall in a v shape for north and west winds. They only use for east and south winds. Will stand behind a roll of round bales that’s only 5 ft tall for the cold snowy north winds, but the 4H calves like it.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

Dan in Illinois says 2017-11-19 07:42:29 (CST)

Redgate I'm curious to see how your shelter holds up. My percherons seem to use everything for a scratching post so things get bent or moved etc because they are so big. Thinking I need to build with at least 6" posts.

1 year ago via Forums | Front Porch Forum

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