Stuffy, muggy barns are just as uncomfortable for our horses as they are for us, especially during the warmest parts of the year. To combat this, many owners work to improve airflow in their barns and structures to ensure their horses breathe quality air and keep them comfortable.
Last week we asked how you keep fresh air flowing through the barns or other buildings on your farm. More than 750 people responded, and we’ve tallied the results.
Of the 760 respondents, 417 (55%) said their barns have doors and windows that open to let fresh air in. Another 206 individuals (27%) said they use fans to help circulate air, while 77 people (10%) said they use another method to keep fresh air flowing. The remaining 60 respondents (8%) said they do not have barns or other buildings on their property.
Additionally, more than 80 readers left comments about how they keep fresh air circulating in their buildings.
Several readers described how their barns are configured to promote airflow:
- “My barn is fairly open with fans, which helps.”
- “The front and back of my stalls are open, and fans are on during hot weather.”
- “My barn is so old that it practically is outside.”
- “My barns are constructed with high roofs, deep overhangs, and open eaves. Stalls have two doors and a runout.”
- “My shedrow barn with Dutch doors and windows in every stall allows a nice breeze in summer.”
- “My barn has an ‘open air’ design. A roof provides shade and shelter, but the structure is open on all sides.”
- “Our boarding stable has a fairly open architecture, plus each stall has an outdoor run.”
- “A roof cupola and overhead door allow constant airflow.”
- “I have a steel building with both ends open.”
- “My beautiful bank barn has windows and doors that stay open whenever needed.”
- “I board, but the hallway design allows ‘breezes’ all year.”
- “We have an open barns with windows, ridge vents, and fans.”
- “We have a mare motel: four pens under a free-span roof. There’s naturally free-flowing air!”
- “We rely on natural air flow of prevailing winds in a shedrow-style barn.”
- “My barn is old and open to the outdoors.”
- “My barn only has one wall and a roof—natural ventilation!”
- “Our barn is built to take advantage of prevailing winds and we have fans for less windy days.”
Other respondents discussed their use of fans:
- “Each stall has its own ceiling fan for use in the Florida heat.”
- “I have an overhead exhaust fan.”
- “Our barns have greenhouse-type tube fans that circulate fresh air all year.”
Some said they use a combination of the methods listed:
- “We have a combination of fans, open stall windows, high ceilings, and large doors.”
- “I have fans and the stall door open to circulate air. He can exit anytime he wants.”
- “All three: a fan, doors, and windows.”
- “I use huge industrial fans hung in an open-type barn, There are no solid walls—we use pipe panels.”
- “I use doors, windows, and fans at different times of the day.”
- “The stall doors always open and there are ceiling fans in the stalls. Spoiled horses!”
- “Fans run in each stall, the doors open wide, and there’s always clean bedding.”
- “In addition to the doors and windows I have open vents placed above each stall door.”
- “I have fans, doors, and windows in the barn and I keep my horse inside as little as possible inside.”
- “We have windows and doors that open for fresh air and fans to help circulate air, especially when it’s humid.”
And others said their horses spend more time outside than indoors:
- “I keep my horses in the pasture unless there’s extremely inclement weather. But my barn is open on two sides and I use fans.”
- “My horses are turned out all the time.”
- “I live in Southern California. My horses live in covered 24-foot by 24-foot pipe corrals, outside in the fresh air.”
- “My hoses love their turnout sheds. There’s lots of fresh air!”
- “My horses have a paddock, a shed, and large shade trees.”
- “I only have three-sided run-in sheds, so my horses always have fresh air.”
This week we want to know: If you could design (or redesign) something on your horse property, what would be the first thing that you would work on? Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com/polls.
The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.