Oklahoma Equine Run-In Shed

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Animal Arts run-in shed winter

This is a shed designed for winter by Animal Arts.

Question for Animal Arts

Do you have any suggestions on the best kind of horse run-in shed to build for Oklahoma weather? Could be cold, tornadoes, snow, ice...we get just about everything.

I'm planning to build and wanted to get some input on anything I should be on the lookout for.

Answer from Animal Arts

Oklahoma might be the most difficult climate to build in because of the weather extremes you mention! But there are some rules of thumb that will make your run in shed a better structure for your horses, even in an extreme climate:

• Orient the structure so the opening faces south or up to 15 degrees off south toward the east. Give the shed a long overhang on the south side. What this will do is block the high and harsh summer sun, but let in the low winter sun for warming when the horses will need it.

• A shed that faces south will naturally have its solid side facing north, and this is great for blocking harsh winter winds.

• The shed will get to be a million degrees in summer if you don’t plan ahead. We recommend using a “cool” roofing material that’s designed to reflect sun. Reflective metal is better than asphalt shingles. Place a reflective barrier on the underside of the roof facing up as well to prevent the sun from turning the shed into a baking oven. A typical reflective barrier looks like a sheet of bubble wrap with aluminum foil attached to one side of it, and it would be available at any hardware store.

• Use very sturdy post bases for the post framing for the shed. You should sink them 4 feet into the ground or so. Use hurricane clips to attach the roof members to the top of the walls of the shed. These measures will help keep the shed from blowing away to Oz in a microburst or other mildly severe weather event. A large tornado will damage anything, so there’s not much to do about that except hope for the best.

• Beyond the basics above, be sure the shed is sized to be large enough to keep your horses out of the weather. A 12' by 12' shed can accommodate one to two horses. As horse numbers increase, run-in shed dimensions should increase by 12 feet per horse. Shed size also depends on the size of the horses using it.

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