Prepare Horse Shelters Now for Winter

Now is a good time for horse owners to address housing options for their horses if they plan to keep them outside during the winter.

Tom Guthrie, Michigan State University Extension educator, says that portable, open-front sheds are the most common shelter options for horses kept outside during the winter months. The MidWest Plan Service Horse Facilities Handbook recommends providing 150 square feet of roofed area for each mature horse.

Choose a shed location that allows for convenience in handling your horses. When selecting a location, consider the shed's proximity to other buildings. Factor in traffic lanes and feeding areas. Will you have the ability to observe the horses from the location? Will manure clean out be easy? Will wet areas be a problem? Will there be a place to stack up snow in the winter?

The open side of the shelter should face either south or east, in most cases, to protect horses from prevailing winds, and it's advisable to use a windbreak to provide some relief from wind and blowing snow. 

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