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3 Important Design Considerations For Your Metal Horse Shelter

Metal buildings are becoming more and more popular on horse properties throughout the country. A metal horse shelter can be constructed in a matter of days, and the finished product is both durable and safe. If you are thinking about investing in a metal horse shelter, there are some important design considerations to keep in mind. Accounting for these elements as you design your horse shelter will ensure that your finished barn is functional and efficient over time.

1. Doors

Any good horse shelter will feature multiple doors. You will need doors that allow you to access the barn, as well as doors for each stall. You may also need a door that allows you to access hay storage or a tack room within your horse shelter. The design and location of these doors will have a direct impact on the overall functionality of your barn. Be sure that you have at least two primary exit doors so that you will have multiple ways to exit the horse shelter in the event of an emergency.

Dutch doors make an excellent choice for stall doors. The top moves independently of the bottom on a Dutch door, allowing you to control the amount of exposure each of your horses has to the main shelter. The height of your doors will also be important. If you are planning to be able to ride out from your shelter, you will need doors that are tall enough to accommodate a mounted rider.

2. Windows and Vents

Adequate ventilation is essential in any horse shelter. A barn that doesn't have good ventilation can pose a serious risk to the health of your horses. A lack of ventilation causes horse shelters to become unnaturally dusty and damp. This can contribute to the development of serious respiratory illness in horses and can even cause premature death. Poor ventilation can also cause the ambient temperature within your horse shelter to rise to unsafe levels.

Windows and vents are the most common design features used to provide ventilation in a horse shelter. Be sure that you incorporate both windows and vents into the design of each area within your horse shelter. Ample windows and vents will promote proper ventilation and ensure that your barn remains a safe and healthy place for your horses to reside.

3. Stall Size

Many factors will come into play when determining how big you should make each stall within your barn. The most important factor to consider is the size of your horses. Some breeds are much larger in size than others. For example, draft horse breeds are much larger than Arabians and other pleasure breeds. The ideal stall will allow your horse to lay in a fully reclined position without touching any of the outer walls. It's always better to design your stalls slightly larger than you think you need to ensure maximum versatility.

You will also want to consider whether or not your stalls will be equipped with run-outs. A run-out is essentially an outdoor extension of the stall. Horses that don't receive daily exercise or that are new to a sheltered environment can benefit from the expanded space a run-out offers. You can choose to have the run-out be fully accessible at all times or design your stalls to feature a gate between the indoor space and the outdoor run-out to limit access.

A lot of planning and preparation must go into the construction of a metal horse shelter. Be sure that you are taking all factors into consideration as you design your next horse shelter to ensure your barn is safe and comfortable.