Run In Sheds vs. Horse Stalls: Which Is the Better Shelter For Your Horses?

Should You Use a Run-In Shelter or Stalls?

While many horse owners board their horses at local luxury stables, there's a special delight in keeping horses at home. Choosing the right structure for sheltering them ensures that they stay happy and safe while owners enjoy the convenience of having these companions nearby. Stalls and run-in sheds are among the most common types of housing for horses. Each has benefits and drawbacks that can make one or the other a better bet for a specific horse owner's circumstances. If you're thinking about building a horse shelter on your equestrian property, read on to learn some pros and cons of stalls versus run-in sheds.

Stalls for Horses

Stalls provide a sheltered accommodation where each horse can get their own personal space. This secured place can be a great fit for horses who need to be separated from others or need extra supervision. They can be a great fit in many set-ups, as long as the pros and cons are considered.

Pro: Owners Can Regulate Feeding

Some horses have a hard time self-regulating feeding. Others require specialized diets that may not be the same as other horses' on the property. With a barn stall, it is easy to see what the horse is eating and ensure that they are getting the proper diet.

Pro: Stalls Make Horses Easily Accessible

People who want quick and easy access to their horses on a regular basis can appreciate this aspect of a barn stall. There is no need to dash out into the paddock to catch a horse who may have other ideas about how they wish to spend their afternoon.

And, like any other animal, horses sometimes get sick. Being able to stay in a horse stall is a comfort for both horse and owner when this occurs. Sick horses can be separated from others to ensure that illnesses don't spread. The vet will have easy access to give them the medical care they need. And, they can be protected from other horses and have the peace and quiet they need to heal.

Con: Horses Need Exercise Every Day

When horses spend their time in stalls, they need to be taken out daily to get exercise. They are large animals that require the ability to run off energy, and proper exercise is essential to avoid health problems. Time in their stalls can also lead to boredom, which can, in turn, lead to behavior problems.

Owners who have the time for daily exercise (not to mention mucking stalls while the horses are out) can find that these requirements are not hard to manage. However, it could lead to more work than anticipated for many horse lovers.

Run-In Sheds for Horses

Run-in sheds give horses freedom to decide where they wish to be and access to ample exercise. The set-up is simple: a large shed opens up onto a paddock that horses can freely access throughout the day. While this freedom is a wonderful thing for horses and owners alike, there are also potential complications to be aware of.

Pro: Less Work for Owners

When horses stay in run-in sheds, owners have much less work to do. Horses can spend their time out in the paddock, which means less time mucking out stalls for you. They get as much exercise as they need because they spend the day roaming in the outdoors. Owners spend less time on maintenance, allowing them to spend more time feeding and enjoying their horses.

Pro: Horses Get More Enrichment

Which Horse Shelter Should You Use?Horses are intelligent and curious animals. In a stall, they often do not have as much activity and exercise as they need. With a run-in shed, they have more space to explore. This increases their chances to entertain themselves throughout the day. Horses are happier and less prone to acting out than horses who spend their time in stalls.

Out in the paddock, they can range around to find the best grass, run to get exercise, and check out everything of interest. They can interact with other horses to keep from getting lonely or bored.

Con: Less Protection from the Weather

During times of the year when poor weather is likely, a run-in shed may not provide enough protection. Cold winter weather and heavy rains can be unpleasant or even dangerous for horses.

Because sheds are typically portable, they might not provide the strength and protection of brick-and-mortar set-ups. Owners will have to watch weather conditions to ensure their horses are protected, safe, and warm.

Ensuring That Horses Have the Right Space for Them

Horses are highly individual, and different ones will thrive in different conditions. Sometimes, a horse's needs will vary from one part of the year to another. Some horse owners opt for a run-in shed during the most temperate times of year but use horse stalls during rainy, colder weather. Building a custom luxury stable perfect for the horses one plans to keep can be an exciting endeavor. By assessing a horse's needs and available space, horse owners can figure out the best way to keep their horse happy and safe.

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