4 Things To Consider When Designing A Horse Run-In Shelter

Whether used for recreational purposes or for emotional support, your horse is most likely a part of your family. Therefore, you will want to keep this family member safe, secure, healthy, and happy at all times. Your house is not an ideal space for your horse, but building a shelter on your property can be beneficial. Not only will it provide them a safe space all of their own, but your horse will also feel more secure and content in their own run-in shelter. Considering many horses die because of cardiac arrest related to heat stroke, a shelter is also important for protecting your horse from the rising temperatures and intense glare of the sun. When you are ready to design and build a run-in shelter for your horse, here are a few important factors to keep in mind.


No matter what type of shelter you are constructing, the underlying ground needs to provide a level, sturdy foundation. Before you begin the process of building your run-in shelter, make sure to inspect your property to find the best site to begin construction.

If you do not have any level areas on your property, make sure to hire landscapers or excavators to level an area large enough for your horse shelter. The ground should be level around the exterior of the horse shelter, too.

Level ground is not your only concern when choosing the right site location for your horse shelter. Consider how much sun and wind the site will receive, as well. Even though it will have a roof for sun protection and walls of wind protection, you do not want the shelter to be in the direct line of sun and wind exposure.


After determining a location for the shelter and preparing the site, you need to determine the size and shape of your shelter's frame. In most cases, you will want the shelter to be wider in size than in depth. This will ensure your horse or horses have enough space to move freely and comfortably, facing the entrance to the shelter.

The opening entrance of the shelter should be wide and open, too. Your horses need to have plenty of space to enter and exit the shelter comfortably and with ease.

Too many horses in one large shelter can still become crowded and uncomfortable. If you have many horses, you may want to consider constructing multiple smaller run-in shelters instead of one larger shelter.

Once you have the size established, you can begin the construction of your shelter's frame. Placing the back-corner posts is an ideal place to start the framing process.


The design and materials used in the construction of your run-in's roof will also make an impact on the shelter's security and your horse's comfort. Make sure to choose a material that is strong enough to handle heavy weight that may accumulate when it is snowing or raining.

The roof also needs to be designed in a way that offers a slight slope, ensuring the rain and melted snow/ice flow off the roof in the back. Sloping the roof where moisture runs off the back will also help you create a taller opening. This allows taller horses better access into the shelter.


If you feel you lack the knowledge and ability to design and construct a run-in shelter on your own, a variety of pre-fabricated run-in shelters are available to purchase and install on your property.

If you are considering one of these pre-fabricated run-in shelters, you will still need to choose a size and overall design style. Also, you will need to prepare the site on your property for the placement of the pre-fab run-in shelter.

Whether you want to design and construct the shelter from the ground up or purchase one already built, a run-in shelter is a great investment for your horse's physical and emotional health. Contact a company like Rarin' To Go Corrals to learn more.