Run-In Shed Rundown

A good run-in shed, whether simple or elaborate, should follow some basic design concepts.

Run-in Shed Rundown
The main appeal of the run-in concept is the horse’s freedom to move about at will without human interference. | Photo: Keith Larson

A good run-in shed, whether simple or elaborate, should follow some basic design concepts.

When I moved to Kentucky in 2005 I had great plans to build the perfect horse barn on our new property. I envisioned a structure with lots of masonry and large timbers to match what was all around me. After all, beautiful horse farms were part of what drew us to the Bluegrass in the first place.

My, how things change. In our case functional and flexible won over these loftier plans, but we couldn’t be happier with the result. Let’s face it: What does a horse really need? Beautiful barns are a monument to horses’ human caretakers rather than to the horses themselves. Wild horses were nomadic creatures of the steppes and windblown plains, superbly suited to extreme temperatures and weather. Subsequent domestication has developed an animal more suited to human endeavor, but still not far removed from his ancestors.

Horses tolerate heat and cold much better than their human handlers. However, in most climates horses do need to have shelter available from wind, precipitation, and sun. Inevitably, inclement weather blows in while you are not at the farm. Blankets that were too hot on horses earlier in the day can become soaked inside and out. If the horse is clipped for competition or other athletic endeavors, the natural defensive barrier of winter hair coat has been removed. Clearly, these horses do need a little help from their friends; a run-in shed could be that

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Written by:

David Preston, president of Preston Construction Group, specializes in unique commercial and equine projects. A horse owner and sportsman, he has built and remodeled several barns in Kentucky and Illinois ranging from development of complete Thoroughbred farms to small horse barns.

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