Field shelters or sheds are reaching new heights lately, probably due to the advantages they offer in comparison to stabling horses in stalls. These advantages come down to two main blocks: financial (lower installation cost, less labour expenses and cheaper attention of animals) and horses’ wellbeing(better air circulation, more freedom, greater possibilities of exercising, improved sociability and better mental health). The disadvantages of field shelters are that animals have longer hair, they are dirtier, may possibly have worms and potential injuries or illnesses might be detected later.
Horses are animals that have no problems living outdoors; you only have to protect them against extreme weather. Too much heat, together with flies and other insects, or cold rain and strong winds upset horses and can even be bad for them. Field shelters are a good solution, but they must have the appropriate structural features and size: they must serve to protect the animals; it is not enough for them to be a mere shed or roof.
Usually, shelters are built with an open front wall, though it may also be partly closed so as to offer more protection against extreme weather. When it is completely open, life is easier for the animals, especially when they need to avoid or escape from more dominant or kicking neighbours. It is only reasonable to place the rear wall towards the cardinal point from where the coldest winds come, usually the north; i.e., with the back towards the north.
The dimensions of the shelter depend on the number of animals it is intended for; as a guide, we may say that 6 m long by 3.5 m deep, with a minimum height of 2.5 m are the most common measures for 3‑4 horses. If the roof is made of metal plate, it is convenient to add some type of insulation (sandwich plate) because the noise of the rain on the metal roof might prevent the animals from entering, which would render your investment useless. It is also advisable to build shelters on elevated areas so they do not become waterlogged, and it is a very good idea to do so on a concrete floor, to prevent ground sliding and to avoid them becoming a foul-smelling, unhealthy bog and make them easier to clean.
LUPA supplies field shelters from several manufacturers, all of proven quality, with different dimensions and possibilities, but different building features.
The shelters that we generically call LG are a low-cost model delivered in kit form with instructions, to be installed by the client. These shelters are modular; i.e. units can be added until the desired length is attained, and they can be either 3.18 m deep or 4.18 m deep. Once the desired depth has been chosen, and combining the different units, we can obtain the desired length. These shelters are excellent value for money, with 90 x 90 mm galvanized metal posts (3 mm thick), fitted with metal plates to fix them to the floor. The outside chosen by LUPA consists of class-3 pressure-treated Douglas timber boards, 32 mm thick (they can also be purchased 19 mm thick for other types of livestock, or made of 42-mm-thick tongue and groove boards if more strength is desired). The single pitched metal roof simulates burgundy or grey tiles, with an anti-condensation coating. The shelter includes all the necessary nuts and bolts for its assembly.
The second type of shelter, G+H, is of a higher quality and has a wider range of options. It is actually a variation of the outdoor stalls, where we eliminate the front wall. They are easy to install and they simply need a concrete floor to which the galvanized steel framework and the roof’s structure will be fixed, though it is advisable to hire specialized workers if you do not have the professional tools required to build the shelter correctly. As with outdoor stalls, we offer shelters made of recycled plastic boards and anti-expansion profiles, or tropical hardwood.
Finally, we would like to highlight two very practical shelters, but that are only sold in the specific sizes we offer: the mobile shelter on skiis, which is 3 x 3.5 m, delivered in kit form to be installed by the client and built on a base on which it can slide so it can be moved from one place to another; and the double shelter with hay rack, where horses will be able to be protected from bad weather and will have access to hay that will be kept in perfect conditions, without getting wet nor being trampled and mixed with mud.
If you wish to receive more information about the different models and possibilities or find the prices of the most demanded sizes, click the following link: Field shelters.
For more information or to ask for an estimate, please contact us.