- 4-by-4 posts
- Power tools
- Roofing nails
- Aluminum siding
- Measuring string
- Post hole digger
Owning horses can be a huge undertaking, requiring a great deal of time, dedication and money. Surprisingly, though, it is not necessary to spend a fortune when it comes to building a horse shelter. In general, horses are hardy animals that nature designed to take the elements. They need very little in the way of shelter. Most horses do very well with nothing more than a windbreak during the winter, no matter how cold. But, a shelter with a roof and three walls does provide more adequate shelter from inclement weather. Follow these guidelines for constructing a shelter.
Begin by choosing the location for your shelter. It needs to be high and dry. Make sure that it is not in a spot that collects water or is in a flood zone.
Build your "pad." This is a raised area of sand where you will build your shelter. Bring in sand to a depth of at least 18 inches, and then stake out your corners. Use a measuring string to make sure that your lines are straight between posts. You will need a 4-by-4 post for every 12 feet of length and width.
Dig your post holes. They need to be a minimum of 24 inches, and the posts you set in them need to be secured with concrete that will cure for at least 72 hours. Your 4-by-4s need to be sufficient length that 2 feet of their length can be buried and you still have enough post to build on.
Frame your shelter. Using 2-by-4s, attach a ground rail, a midline rail, and a top rail to your shelter. Then apply your lumber to the roof of your shelter. Remember, the closer together and more lumber you use on your roof, the sturdier it will be.
Fill in the framing of your shelter. You will use lumber from the ground to a minimum of 4 feet in height, to prevent the horse from kicking through any siding you may use on your shelter. Once you have filled in the framework to your shelter, you can apply your siding.
Roof your shelter with the aluminum siding sheets. Make sure that you use roofing nails and do the best job you are able, as this roof must take the wind and weather for years to come. Allow the siding to overhang the front of your barn by about 12 inches, to prevent any runoff from rain falling directly into your shelter.
TIPS AND WARNINGS
- TIP : Use the best materials you can afford, and take the time to do the job right the first time around. If you do a rushed job, you will spend more time and money doing maintenance than you did on the original construction.
- WARNING : Always use caution when using power tools. Follow the directions and use safety gear where recommended.