Hot Barns in the Summer: Readers Share Cooling Tips

More than 550 readers of responded to a poll asking, "How do you keep your barn cool during the summer?"

results of poll on barns in the hot summer

Results were as follows: 

  • Fans: 72.96% (402)
  • Open doors and windows: 72.96% (402)
  • My barn does not require extra cooling--it is properly ventilated: 17.97% (99)
  • Misters: 5.08% (28)

Readers shared what they do to cool their barns in the summer in the comments below.

Results of weekly polls from are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter. Published every week, this e-newsletter 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 using the form above or on our e-newsletter page.  

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  • Siting is critical. Trees/other buildings can concentrate the breeze and cool the air.
  • don't have one
  • keeping the lights off!
  • Good ventilation, ceiling & box fans, shade trees
  • doors on every side of the barn make it easy to ventilate and stay cool
  • Trees
  • I don't hve a barn. My horses are on pasture as nature intended 24/7
  • My barn is well ventilated, but not really cool.
  • This is South Florida! Summer is a challenge from April to November!
  • lots of moving air
  • Rarely needs to be cooled in this part of the country - nights are always cool.
  • Mostly they stay out,but when stalled my horses are cooler with wood shavings than straw.
  • mostly in the evening when the horses are inside
  • We live in Florida. The barn is a very open style.
  • We have two run-in sheds - each facing a different direction - for SHADE at all times
  • Lights out, doors shut on the sunny side, breezy side doors open, horses out at night.
  • my horses (in FL) are turned out 24/7 with lots of trees and automatic waterers.
  • keeping doors closed on the sunny side of the barn, stall gates or guards and completely open night
  • our barn is an old tabacco barn, sits on a small hill and the nice breeze blows west to east thru th
  • open widows and doors for air flow.
  • trees! my barn is snugged up under a stand of tall shade trees with a nice winter mix of evergreens
  • my barn is insulated very well, keep sunlight out stays very cool. use fans as needed
  • if it gets very hot i will hose my horses off with cool water
  • i have run-in sheds so they stay cooler anyway
  • We installed a temperature controlled swamp cooler
  • ceiling fans
  • Roof on barn is made specifically for livestock (barn is actually old greenhouse) stays nice, cool
  • horses are out 24/7 have 3 sided lean
  • Wetting isle floors down and clearing all cobwebs
  • Spray down the sand
  • Large commercial fan in aisleway & both ends of barn open,cupolo venting, 1/2 barred stalls
  • hose floors; turn on fans!
  • I have a huge fan in the upper level of my barn blowing air out. My horse is in the lower level.
  • I shade the windows in my barn as flies do not seem to like darkness as much as light
  • No enclosed parts of my barn, only 2 walls
  • Tree
  • Spray down walls & floor with water before horses are brought in for the day
  • The barn was built to catch breezes
  • Open on sides, under trees
  • I would build my different next time, not enough ventilation!
  • I leave both ends of our barn open, that seems to produce plenty of airflow.
  • In hot muggy Florida we use center aisle overhead fans,a heavy duty and a 20" fan for each stall
  • I have a pipe-rail mare motel and the horses come and go 24/7 from that to a large corral. No coolin
  • Horses look forward to being stalled during the day out of the heat!
  • Horses are out w/run-ins most of the year...
  • We are in Houston Texas
  • Big cedars shade barn. Also has a good cross breeze through stalls.
  • paddock access stalls with fans
  • thankfully, my barn is well-ventilated, and usually has a breeze blowing through the hallway.
  • Very open and properly oriented to catch breezes
  • In Phx, AZ, have Cushings mare, use everything I can to help her!
  • cinder block walls
  • Cool them off when coming in from pasture by using a spray bottle to squirt cold water on them.
  • Winter in Australia is very mild so my donkeys are turned out all year.
  • Fans also keep the bugs off my horses.
  • I don't use a barn just a roof for shade I am in California
  • Fans, but in the run in's horses are not stalled
  • Door and windows are always open
  • they only go in if they want to
  • Fans in indiviual stalls & exhaust fan in roof of barn.
  • Industrial fans on timers!
  • We used to not have to cool are barn as it was below ground on three sides and stayed naturally cool
  • Don't have a barn
  • I open or close windows to block the direct sun as it moves around during the day
  • night turn-out
  • horses in run-ins with fans
  • My barn is an old field stone barn... cool in the summer, warmer in the winter. Lucky I guess.
  • A barn and stall is a human invention for the solitary confinement of a herd animal
  • One end of the barn is shaded by a huge Maple tree.
  • My old style dairy barn with the hayloft and high roof is incredibly cool.
  • Our barn also has exhust fans that run year round.
  • Horses stay in the pasture and not the barn.
  • Turn out at night
  • no electricity to it yet, so open doors is the only way other than leaving them out.
  • My barn is well ventilated but when temp is 100+ & humid I try to provide more options

About the Author

Megan Arszman

Megan Arszman received a Bachelor of Science In print journalism and equine science from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., and loves combining her love of horses, photography, and writing. In her “free time,” when she’s not busy working as a horse show secretary or riding her American Quarter Horses on her parents’ Indiana farm, she’s training and competing her Pembroke Welsh Corgi and Swedish Vallhund in dog agility and running.

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