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Discussion on Run-in shed?

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Mary Persons
New Member
Username: unity

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 - 5:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I moved my horse home this summer from where I've been boarding her and I need to build a shelter for her before the cold winter season starts. I'm considering just a run-in shed for her as she has always been an "outside" horse. Any tips from anyone? I live in NE Minnesota where the winds/temps can get down to -20 to -40 easily in Jan/Feb. She is my only horse, (so far) and I am not sure how big it needs to be, what materials, etc (other than what the sales people recommend). Thoughts/ideas much appreciated. Thanks.
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Leilani
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Username: leilani

Post Number: 314
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 - 6:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Mary,

The Horse.com has a very good article on run-in sheds. Logon to thehorse.com, topic search, Farm/Facility Mgmt, then scroll down to "Hazard Free Home". Hope this helps. Leilani
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Martha E. Mitchell
Member
Username: mitma

Post Number: 113
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 - 7:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hey Mary!
Last year, I was in a hurry to get shelter up for my first horse (I now have eight!) and I opted to buy a "prefab" structure... I had attended my state's EQUINE EXTRAVAGANZA in late October and had seen several on display... there really are several manufacturers of these types of "portable" buildings; particularly in the East, there seem to be a number that originate from Amish builders in PA... Since I live in VA, the delivery was reasonable... Find out if there's any type of "Equine Event" happening soon in your area, then you can check out the marketplace in person. Also, do a web search on "portable horse barns/shed-row barns/run-in-sheds, etc..." Some of the larger companies that I saw on display and talked to included www.eberlybarns.net and www.horizonstructures.com. For my initial structure, I went with a smaller, somewhat local person and got something I was pleased with... a shed-row structure comprised of 2 stalls, 1 small storage area, and a small run-in area; the stalls are 12'x12' (the whole structure is 20'x48')... Since my herd has grown almost exponentially, I recently added an adjoining structure (12'x30') which has another run-in area (12'x18') and storage (12'x12'), but really, I've still only got enough space for 6-7 horses max (not all eight are on my property). I purchased that from Groffdale Barns, www.groffdalebarns.com, and I LOVED them!!! Keep in mind, if you can afford it, put something up now that's larger than you need... that you can grow into as needed (it's just more efficient). Since horses are herd animals, it's always so much nicer for them to have another companion (I know, it can be something other than an equine, BUT!!!) Oh, and BTW, certain entities, i.e., the Bureau of Land Management, require minimum "shelter" sizes of 12'x12'... if, like me, you ever adopt a BLM mustang, this may be relevant. Anyway, good luck in your endeavor!!!
Martha
P.S. Here's a picture of my place!
Shed-row style structures
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2114
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 - 8:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Beautiful, Martha. I am suitably and justifiably covetous.
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Melissa Boschwitz
Member
Username: amara

Post Number: 370
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 - 8:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

martha, you have room for two more? we're jealous!...

mary, the only thing i would say is definately plan for larger than just one horse... you'll have more soon, and sooner rather than later i think!..(i mean really, do you want your horse to go a whole winter without a buddy to snuggle up with if its cold?... or two or three????)

also, i like a shed that actually has a 4th side, esp. in the colder climates.. when i lived up in CT i had a shed with a smaller 4th side, and every so often on those really cold blustery days even my "i love the cold" little pony would get behind it...sometimes the wind would blow from odd directions and i liked the idea of having all the bases (or sides!) covered...

good luck... i'm hoping to get mine home soon...
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 1226
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 - 9:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mary, I also come from the blustery midwest and suggest you face the lean-to to the south, so in the winter the horses are out of the north wind and the sun shines in there during the day.

Before we had our permanent lean-to built I had one of those portable amish ones. They are built very well, BUT one night we had a terrible storm and the wind picked it right up and blew it on top of the fence ! YES we had it anchored...4 anchors 4 ft. in the ground! and the shed itself weighed a couple tons. When we had the builder build the permanent one I told him I wanted it to be able to hold up to tornadic winds.

Perks that are nice is an auto waterer so you don't have to deal with frozen buckets, electricity for a fan in the summer, and flood lights on the front and sides so you can light up the pasture if needed. My portable shed was 12w x 24 long and held my 3 horses comfortably. When I had the permanent one built I made it bigger, it is 12w x 36 long you can never have too much room.
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Angie J.
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Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1324
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 - 10:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mary,

I am from Southern MN, and I still remember those awful windchills! (isn't much better in the U.P. of MI, but more trees to block the wind)

I suggest first of all thinking like a realator: Location is everything!

Pick a higher spot, because after the winter wind chills and snow storms, then comes the MUD. So make sure you have drainage.

Then, I'd build or have built, the most solid structure you can afford. If you start out with a 12 x 12 open run in like Martha's lovely set up above, you can easily add another stall, take a wall out, or enclose it totally later on. For one horse, you could almost enclose it this year, leave 4' min, doorway. 6' wide would be better.

My 4 horses have access to 2 stalls that are 12 x 14, each has a 4' doorway. Most of the time all 4 are in one stall, or 3 are in, 1 almost in. They've worked it out and get along, but ideally for 4 I'd like a wider doorway. Yes, I do have a total of 4 stalls now, but for many years had 3 sided leaky shed and as many as 6 horses. They were all fine, except the freaky winter that we had minus 70 degree windchills!!!!
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Martha E. Mitchell
Member
Username: mitma

Post Number: 114
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, Aug 16, 2007 - 11:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly and Melissa,
Thanks! And, BTW, when I got my second building, I was also kind of wanting a run-in portion where I could close off (either partially or completely) that fourth side/opening, so, my newer building has a SLIDING barn door which can close off any portion of the opening... it has two grilled areas for ventilation, so I could actually "lock" horses inside or, what I had in mind when I ordered it, was the possibility of also storing round bales of hay or whatever for a period of time...

Now Diane,
OMG!!! You have sent me into a dither... The issue of these little portable Amish buildings being carried off in a strong wind like Dorothy and Toto in the Wizard of Oz has certainly concerned me in the past... But I talked to so many people who said they just didn't see it happening/hadn't heard of it happening... and, I must admit, I don't even have mine anchored yet per say, but the "overhang" portion was actually built on site and those 5 posts visible are actually placed into the ground several feet... (even as I type there's a thunderstorm blowing over us with wind gusts of 40+mph!!!) I'm taking a deep breath... we have the fence guys coming next week (hopefully) and I'll get them to help us place anchors at the four corners using ?pile drivers (like when they put fence posts in) with CEMENT in the base of the holes!

Anyway Mary,
Definitely keep in mind things like electricity and water sources... I still don't have any electricity in yet (but I am talking to the electrician everyday!) and it really hurt me/my horses recently when my mustang mare got severely heat stressed/colicked on the day we had 100F with 80% humidity... FANS can be a horse's life saver when there's no breeze blowing! Also, another one of my horse "issues" was when I was out in the dark (yes, I had plenty of flashlights and portable lanterns) trying to examine another one of my horses (who ran through/over the fence...) for any serious injuries... that night I would have given anything for a lighted stall! Good Luck!

Martha

Newer building
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 1228
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Friday, Aug 17, 2007 - 7:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Martha I had to BEG my husband to put the anchors in for the portable, he said no way was a 2 ton shed going to blow away! The anchors were bent and broke. The poor horses were locked in it that night on their fat diet...thankfully no one was hurt, but they were very shook up.

The next day I called the builder!
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 393
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Friday, Aug 17, 2007 - 10:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Very nice Martha! I also recommend building for as many horses as your property will allow!

Here's what my husband is building for me (we can't have very many horses on the land we're currently on).

From left to right - 12x24 hay storage, 6' wide miscellaneous area, 12x12 tack room, then 3 12x12 stalls. There's a 12' overhang/get ready area along the entire front. I designed it and am assisting in the building. I think it will be perfect for our current set-up. I can see it from all the windows on 2 sides of our house and it's only a few steps away.
front
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2118
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Friday, Aug 17, 2007 - 1:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

You women are so fortunate to have such lovely shelters. Wow . . .
cp . . . the roof on yours looks like many of the porch roofs I saw on CA homes . . . What do you do if it rains?

Seriously . . . it's gonna be excellent.
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Ilona A
Member
Username: ilona

Post Number: 675
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, Aug 17, 2007 - 7:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have to add about wind blowing shelters.
Mine were clearly not sufficiently anchored and a I came outside last winter to find one of my my steel 24 X 12 plywood-lined run in shelters hanging from a 30ft power line. The power company had to come out with cranes etc to get it down and not electrocute anyone in the process. The replacement has been put 4 ft into the ground with concrete anchors.
In addition be sure to have the bed/floor build up at least 6" higher than the surrounding ground so as to ensure it stays dry when all around is wet, snow covered or turns to mud. South Facing is most important for warmth and dryness. I would also add a generous supply of agricultural lime to the floor soil so that in the event it gets wet it will dry out more quickly
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2120
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Friday, Aug 17, 2007 - 8:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

While we're on the subject:

I have 8-9 paddocks/pastures . . . and will have no more than four horses per paddock. I need shelters for each paddock. I am using ElectroBraid which is excellent, but it precludes me using shelters that can sit on a fence line and be used by two different paddocks.

I am not a builder. I have been searching for months to find what will be affordable and sturdy and safe for the horses. If you were going to build more than one or two shelters, how would you do it? My neighbor came over today to tell me about some garage/carport covers he has seen for sale for 700 dollars . . . but I don't know that they would be sturdy or safe for horses.

I know there are professional builders who can build dream shelters, but I can't do that because of the number of needed shelters.

I have searched Google so many times . . . keep coming up empty.

Thank you.
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 1233
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Friday, Aug 17, 2007 - 9:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly my neighbor down the road put up one of those tunnel shaped carport type shelter. It cost them around $200 at Menards I believe. It appears to be about 12 wide by 18' long it has zippers at both ends so they can close an end or keep it open.

I have to say after my 2 ton steel and wood portable took off in the wind, I thought it would last about a month....they are not as wind prone as I am...they have more trees for wind breaks and sit lower than we do. They put it up about 2 years ago and I have to say it has held up well considering our weather. They rotate their pasture so they have a swinging gate inside so they can separate the horses or rotate. Which I think would work as far as a fence row also.

Depending on your wind situation, and if you are looking for something to last a few years until you can get something permanent...it has worked well for them. I believe they come with an anchor kit.
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Ilona A
Member
Username: ilona

Post Number: 677
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Friday, Aug 17, 2007 - 11:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly,
A friend of mine here in NM used to procure horses for, and too, run, the equine program for the Cleveland Mounted Police (I only say this to give credibility) suggested that I put up the steel dome shaped car-ports as shelters. He mentioned that they cost about $700 installed and are designed for both wind and snow-load. I wish I had met him before I put in my shelters...he would have saved me many, many thousands of dollars that I could have used elsewhere. I know that there are a lot of companies that offer them...do be sure to check that the price includes installation.
In Sedona I actually designed and build my own 2 stall set-up using local labor, wood from Home depot and siding from a place that sold run-overs. You could check for local timber yards. I now have a connection at the local saw mill and get my lumber at about 1/4 cost of Home-Depot. I would call around the different residences/farmers in your area and ask for help. As women we tend to have better luck at actually getting it. I have become quite shameless in asking for advice. Some-one recently asked me how I had made contact and established a working relationship with a particular person and I responded "I'm desperate and I've got b--ls" Its true, and guess what...it gets thing done .
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jos
Member
Username: paardex

Post Number: 364
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, Aug 18, 2007 - 2:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly,I've seen many big stables/shelters devided for different groups of horses with electric fencing.Perhaps this would enable you to build one shed for two paddocks?
Jos
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2121
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Saturday, Aug 18, 2007 - 8:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Diane, I can't believe the fabric on the tunnel cover hasn't torn or been ripped by the horses! That's one of the things I picture if I got one of those.

I checked out three of the garage covers yesterday (three different places were selling them) and only one had the edges folded so they couldn't cut a horse. The poles that hold up the roof are square aluminum (do you galvanize aluminum?) with the post connected to the roof fitting over a smaller posts that is attached to a base (which is metal pipe.) The ones I saw are not tall enough for horses, and I need a wind break, too, which would mean trying to find the best place to add 3/4" plywood for a wall or walls. The roof was 12x18x5, I think . . . and I don't know if it can be made taller, but it seems it would have to be taller for trucks or RVs.
I rotate my horses until I find good combinations, and then I really don't change the combinations for turnout. For the most part, I have few injuries (sometimes there are surface bites and kicks, but nothing awful).

My concerns:
Rearing and playing inside the shelter
Running a submissive horse into a shelter. Is there space for him to turn around and get out safely?
Rubbing. Horses love to rub on posts. Will the posts hold up?
Wind -- The ad SAY the shelters will withstand 90mph winds and 30lb snow load.

The garage roofs I saw sit on 8 posts, four on each side. They are spaced 5 feet apart. If I board up the sides, then it seems like a trap for an underdog kind of horse who could get trapped in the back unless I left it as a tunnel, in which case they could play "run through the tunnel and back again." If I board up two short sides and one long side there are two freestanding square aluminum posts on one long side. Do you think that would be safe for the horses coming and going and rubbing?

Ilona, I hear what you are saying about asking for help.

Jos, I need a wind block, and the cross fences in the pastures run north to south. If I use the cross fencing as a divider in a shelter, one side of the shelter will have to be open to the West and not only does much of the winter weather come from that direction, but the sun is brutal in the summer, and it would shine all the way into the shelter. Thank you. I appreciate all of the suggestions. I have gone over the combinations in my mind thousands of times. I took the number of one of the garage dealers and also e-mailed to www.eshstructures.com (Mennonites) whom we met with last fall, but whose buildings were more than we could afford at the time. They do custom work . .. maybe they can help me figure something out if I buy in bulk ;-).

I need to do more investigation.
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Ilona A
Member
Username: ilona

Post Number: 678
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Saturday, Aug 18, 2007 - 9:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly,
Those 'car port' shelters that I am thinking of have dome siding that covers the sides except for 3' from the ground...perfect for ventilation. They have the same design for RV's which are very tall and easily accommodate even the most obnoxious rearing horse. I too had a concern about one horse being trapped in a shelter when there is an 'argument' so to speak. The RV larger type shelter is significantly wider and may solve this problem. You do want to be careful about adding siding as some of the designs will not hold up to wind bracing if sidings are present and block wind flow. The result will be shelters all over your paddocks in ways you had not planned.
I eventually want to develop a small boarding facility on my property and using these shelters makes it financially feasible. I have to have my property start to support itself at some point. I don't want to be working this hard until I am 500 years old.
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 3090
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Aug 18, 2007 - 1:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

For wind breaks we used the shade material that is sold for green houses. We bought a huge roll of it very reasonably. It is a good 6' high, and the stuff we bought is tan in color. We attached it to the top rail (pipe) of our fencing with the large, plastic twist ties they use for snow fencing, etc. We've had it up for 2 yrs with no one tearing it down yet.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2123
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Saturday, Aug 18, 2007 - 6:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sara, I know what you mean. We used green landscaping/greenhouse material in CA. I We put it up along the pipe panel stalls in the barn since the barn was an "open" barn with just a roof. I scavanged it from out in the paddocks where the previous ranch manager had used it as a roof spanning telephone poles . . . All the grommets had ripped out, though, due to the wind. What is your wind like there in UT? Maybe I could use the portable garage roofs and put the landscaping material up along the sides?
(We may be inventing some new design here . . . Just want it to be safe.) Can anyone think of pitfalls with this idea?
Am thinking maybe this kind of roof would be safest? Have asked for quote. It is freestanding and needs to be set in two-foot square cement pillars. Set up is done by the property owner. Maybe pipe panels along the sides with the greenhouse material attached?

alumawoodcarport
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 3091
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Aug 18, 2007 - 8:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly, in "high desert" 20 mph is considered a normal evening breeze! If there are storms north of us it's not uncommon for us to hive winds in the 50's, or at least gusts that high. We used to have those aluminium field gates. I was sometimes unable to open the gate, hold it open and lead a horse through by myself.

That material is good for shade and rain barrier, also.
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Lee
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Username: paul303

Post Number: 943
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Aug 18, 2007 - 10:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly, did you look into Quonsets? They can sometimes be economical while providing a clear span interior.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2125
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Saturday, Aug 18, 2007 - 11:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

No, Lee, I really haven't. Have you seen them used for horses? I think they can be left open like a tunnel. My main concerns are head clearance and sturdiness if they get kicked at or leaned on. Angie and Brian sent me a link to a company that makes free-standing shelters, and they only have metal on the top half of the walls. The outside and inside bottom 4 feet are thick plywood. All of the shelters I see here in Kansas are metal buildings all the way to the ground, and I know that horses get kicking and playing and nail pop out and metal tears and cuts. In fact, the vet was telling me about a horse he had to put down because it had kicked through a metal wall of a barn and cut it's leg beyond repair.
I will try to find more information on the quonsets.
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 32
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 10:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

So here in northern Colorado we engineer for sustained winds of 100mph with gusts at 120mph. For run-in shelters, my $0.02 is that orientation is as important as structure. Face the back or (better) a back corner into the prevailing wind. Anything can blow away if you let the wind work at it enough. Luckily for me, that's west northwest. My horses seem to prefer run-ins with only 2 walls (makes it easier to get in and out I guess. I extend one of those walls out from the roof as a windbreak.

For me, facing them south/southeast lets them catch sun in the winter, and happens to let me see into most of them from the house/stableyard, since I'm a compulsive checker-upper.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2127
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 10:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Elizabeth, thank you.

Do you have a picture of your shelters? Is the roof on four posts so that one post just stands alone?

The direction you face your shelters is what I will have to do with mine, but it won't be easy for me to see into them from the house since my house is west of all the pastures.
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 33
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 11:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Holly,

The footprint of the shed is restricted by my urge to avoid pulling building permits. As you can see, I saved some money on posts by using boards bolted together instead.

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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2128
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 1:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I like it, Elizabeth. I wouldn't have pictured it that way unless you had sent the photo. Thank you.

What is on the other side of that smooth plywood? Are the studs exposed on the other side, or is it alsy covered by plywood? How deep are the poles set into the ground and did you use cement? Did you prepare the ground inside the shed and raise it up? How old is your shed?

What would you estimate as the cost for me to build something like that today? I like the idea that some horses (the lower ones in the heirarchy) can still get some protection from the wind even if the boss horses are inside the shelter.
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2129
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 1:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just received an e-mail from a representative of the company that makes the alumawood carports pictured above. He said that they aren't designed to be enclosed.
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 34
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 2:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Holly,

The shed in the picture is a new one, but I have several of various ages.

I put siding on the outside-- our weather is pretty extreme out here, even if exposed studs were safe. We get a lot of sand and crap in the wind from time to time. There is tin flashing around the posts to prevent the resident gerbils from eating them.

I'd like to add fill inside the sheds-- you can see where there are gaps between the siding and the ground, which seem dangerous over time, especially if anyone lies down in there. The "posts" are in concrete (though some of the older sheds don't have that) and are 3' in the ground.

I have some horses that won't use the sheds, but like the wall. They also bask against it when it's cold, and go to the far side for shade. For some reason, they seem to like the layout better than a typical shed. They also like to gallop around it, which bothers me but is fun for them apparently!

Hard to say on costs, because materials vary so much regionally. I can try to dig up my "plans" for these so you could estimate it. I'm sure you could build comparable structures cheaper than I did, if you had some time to look for used or alternative materials. I also had to pay for labor.

- Elizabeth
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 35
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 2:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

BTW, the reason to check on enclosing tunnels is wind shear. I'm not an engineer, but have learned something about this issue (because we have big wind, and I'm building a big barn/arena).

When you add walls to something that's essentially a pole barn, you typically transfer a lot of wind stress to the roof and roof trusses. If they aren't engineered to handle that, well, in my case my roof blows to Kansas (useful for you, Holly!).

Makes sense, I guess, since you're adding surface with significant wind resistance. Also bear in mind that things like Quonsets and car ports weren't designed with horses in mind. By the time you made them safe for and safe from horses, you may find you built another shed! Why I ended up just rolling my own, in the end.....
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2130
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 2:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Elizabeth, thank you, again.

I do know about the CO wind having lived in Elizabeth for a year and having visited Sara and David in Bennett last October, I think it was. All I know is that it was terribly windy and a bit nippy when I was there. Came home to KS with CO grit in my teeth. ;-)

I really am aware of all of these issues, but keep hoping against hope that there will be an easy way for me to get what I need for my horses and in order to open our boarding business. Right now (with the two stalls under the Maple tree) I can bring all of my guys into shade during the day. I have waterproof winter blankets for everyone, too, but don't like to leave them on all the time, and tried to use them only when I had no choice for some of the horses that were not able to get shelter from the wind and sleet last year.

I really like your improvisation and if you can let me know what materials I need, I will investigate costs. A friend in CO told me that she built a shelter in WY with "call" lumber and the help of a couple of the men who worked for her. It cost her 125 dollars total. I am not thinking I will get out of it that cheaply, but the quotes I've been given are $4000 per 12x24 shelter . . . that includes materials and labor. I just can't do that. By the way . . . good luck on your barn arena . . . and I hope you get an opportunity to meet with the other CO HA members when they have their next get-together.
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 37
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 4:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Is it an option just to put up 2 walls at a rightish (or oblique) angle under the trees? If the goal is just to get them an inexpensive weather screen, do you need to go to the expense of sheds? (Plus it will weed out the prince(ss) boarders-- I've been in that business, and it's good to have some prissy protection!)
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2131
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Sunday, Aug 19, 2007 - 5:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

No trees.

I think I'd like a roof, too, especially since I have a few old guys that really shouldn't get wet AND cold.

Not planning on any princess or prince-type boarders. Will have boarding applications for people to fill out and agreements for them to sign before I will consider boarding their horses. Just don't want the hassle of having irresponsible or rebellious or prissy types. I'm too old and grumpy to deal with that."
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Sara Miller
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Username: sdms

Post Number: 107
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 12:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sorry I'm late to this discussion. Holly, I decided this was a more appropriate place for the pictures rather than trying to take horse pictures with shed background.

We're not quite done with it but getting closer and it's at least usable! The total shed is 48 long by 12 deep. It's 12' high at the front and 8' high at the back. The corner posts and support posts are 6x6 and the kick panels on the interior of the horse side are 2x12x12 rough sawn lumber. The posts are 4 feet in the ground and are tamped but do not have concrete. The outside is steel siding and the roof has shingles to match the house. We had the shingles left over from building the house and thought it would look nice on the shed. The next two sheds will have steel roofs since we're out of shingles and they're costly AND they're a huge pain to put on.


The braces at the top that you see from front to back and side to side will come out when we're done. AND the piece of plywood on the inside will come out when we can replace the board we broke!







The total cost was about $3200 because we built it ourselves. We got a deal on the plywood for the roof and we didn't have to buy the shingles. If we'd paid for all of that I think the total would have been close to $4000. The next two sheds will be the same height but 16 x 12. I'm guestimating they'll cost about $1750 each to build.

As for the plywood, if there is any commercial construction going on in your area you might check with them to see if they have any 3/4 plywood they no longer need. We got 21 pieces for $10 a piece. We had to go through and take out all the screws and nails but it was in good shape overall.

I really like Elizabeth's idea of the wall without the roof. I think we may try to incorporate that into the next two. I'd also like to have a two sided structure but out here you never know which direction the wind will blow from so we'll probably stick to three sides.
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2145
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Really beautiful, Sara. When I think back over the past four years, I can see how your heart's desires are coming true, too . . . and I'm so happy for you.

Question:
Is it less expensive to build one 48 foot long shed rather than two 24 foot long sheds?

My cross fencing is three strands of Electro Braid that runs North to South. I am wondering if I can run the Electro Braid between a center wall composed of plywood on either side of the Electro Braid.

I can see problems with doing that . . . the horses in separate paddocks may end up kicking thw wall if they are all in the shed together . . .
Also, the horses would be able to go around to the outside back and side of the shed, so I wouldn't want metal to be on the bottom half where one of them could kick and dent it or pop the screws or slice a leg, and is that more expensive? I mean, to use plywood instead of metal?

There is some remodeling going on around here, and there was a Super Wal-Mart just built here in Wellington . . . and I hear a big hotel is going up opposite it (and, as you know, since Sedgewick County turned down the Casino, it is going to be built just a mile or two north of us) . . . so I will keep my eyes open for commercial building and will ask about getting the used plywood. Thank you for that hint.
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Sara Miller
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Username: sdms

Post Number: 109
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 2:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you, so much, Holly. When I think back over the past 4 years to the many changes for both of us my head spins!

I think that two 24 x 12 sheds would be more expensive but probably not by a whole lot depending on how you build them. We paid about $700 or $800 for the steel for the whole building. A 4 x 8 piece of exterior 3/4 plywood runs about $24 so you might be looking at just a little more money. We cut the bottom of our steel to the exact bottom of the wood frame then built the dirt up above the bottom of both to try to prevent injuries. We will, of course, have to keep an eye on the dirt over time in case it blows or is dug away.

If you built two and put the Electro Braid in between you'd definitely want to leave enough room for you to get in to do repairs on the sheds and fence.

Here's a thought. How about building a 12 x 48 foot shed that is split by the fence? With hot-wire they make a type of splice that allows you to stop at a point, go underground, then start again. Is it possible to do something like that with Electro Braid? Take the fence to the back inside wall of the shed to keep the pastures separated then go under the back wall to continue?
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Elizabeth Kaufman
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Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 41
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 4:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Or you could drill big holes in the back of the shed and make a short section of "conduit" out of pvc inset to the holes to prevent the electrobraid from fraying where it passes through the shed wall. You could use duct tape or silicon caulk to soften the cut edges of pvc. Why go under when you can go through!

A shared shed is nice, because the horses may use it more if they can see each other, and it saves two walls.
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Sara Miller
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Username: sdms

Post Number: 110
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 7:42 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Elizabeth...that's a great idea!
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2148
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 8:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

ElectroBraid is high tensile fence, so the conduit idea would work, but I am not sure if having the electri rope as the dividing wall between the two halves of the shelter is the best choice. Either way, whether it is a solid center wall or ElectroBraid, someone is going to get run into it at some point . . . and ElectroBraid is supposed to be like the ropes around a boxing ring . . . the horses bounce off of it. I'd rather not test that theory, though . . . so that's why I wondered about having plywood with a space between the two sheets so the ElectroBraid can be "covered" in that area.
Still waiting on the Esh guys to give me a call. Maybe they will have some ideas, too, although whatever they say, I'm gonna ask about extending a wind break like you have Elizabeth. I really like that.
MARY . . . you are the one who started this discussion. Have you come to any conclusions?
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Julie Masner
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Username: juliem

Post Number: 247
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 9:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have an emotional issue about putting electrified fence in a stall or run in. To me, that should be a place a horse feels safe and comfortable. Remember an electric fence works on the principle of fear--not physical restraint. Do you want "fear factor" in their shelter? The presence of an electric fence on one wall would seem to me to make the horses less comfortable hanging out there. I have nothing to back this up--as I said, it's an emotional thing. You can bury a piece of pvc pipe and run an insulated wire through it and connect to your fence front and back. All you need to do is carry the charge--you don't need to run each individual strand through. You don't even have to bury the pipe that deep. I have a 12 by 24 run in and separated the halves with a panel (like you used under the trees). My hot wire runs up to one side, underground across the front and connects to the fence on the other side. No scary wire inside at all. Give us enough time and we'll have some really credible facility construction ideas and can write our own book!
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2149
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 10:21 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Julie, I agree, and I when I picture electric as the dividing wall, I picture the dominant horse by the "safe" wall and the other horses standing outside the shed because they don't want to be run into the electric rope. No, I can't run it underground or even run a connecting wire underground. You'd have to understand how ElectroBraid works. Any end post will have to be braced or be a telephone pole-sized post set deeply in order to take the tension of the high tensile rope.
I'm having a tough enough time getting all the posts in, I would have to drill more post holes than I already am drilling, and I'd have to get more monster posts to be end posts. This fence has a 25 year guarantee, but I have to connect it according to manufacturer directions or I may void the guarantee.
Yep, we'll come up with something amazing soon enough.
Thank you for all your thoughts and hints.
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Elizabeth Kaufman
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Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 42
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 10:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Julie,

Interesting perspective. I never thought of it that way. I like the idea of a "hot" divider, because less dominant horses can rest without worrying about someone coming over the panel. I have a herd of very dominant mares (and a young stallion). I have learned with many broken fences at my place that a well-maintained hot barrier keeps my lot much more peaceful. They seem to figure out quickly that the fence won't pounce, and it keeps them from pressuring it or harassing someone on the other side. I hope they aren't afraid of it, but now will have to watch to see.
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Elizabeth Kaufman
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Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 44
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 10:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Ok, guys-- now I feel like a grinch who grills my horses!

Cheap posts-- I have a friend who bought those nifty pvc sleeves for t-posts. They are made for electric tape, with insulators and everything. I hate t-posts, but these are safe, solid and could be made cheaply for electrobraid-- a length of pvc pipe, end caps (for the top), insulators and drywall screws (to attach them to the pvc) and silicon caulk to stick everything together (including my fingers), and because I use it for everything, even bee hives (don't ask-- very very bad idea).

If you wanted to run electrobraid through a solid divider wall, I'd suggest extending the pvc conduit so that that electrobraid wouldn't get damaged or snagged if the wall shifted. You could set the wall between some of the sheathed t-post things described above.
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Sara Miller
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Username: sdms

Post Number: 111
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 21, 2007 - 11:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly, how many strands of Electro Braid are there in your fence between the pastures? Do you have a picture you could post of the location you'd like to build the sheds? I think that would help with my brain-storming.
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2151
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 22, 2007 - 12:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Will try to get some pics tomorrow, Sara.

Elizabeth, don't feel mean . . .
The reason I am particularly sensitive to having electric exposed in the shed is that I've used electric for 30 years . . . and most recently, here in KS, I had a large run-in under the front roof of our barn and used electric to keep the horses from going all the way into the barn, so the electric (3 strands of temporary electric "string") was, in effect, the back wall of the run-in. One of the horses was pushed through it, and the horses were often getting stung on it, which created quite a ruckus and a stampede out of the shelter on more than one occasion. I know horses rub on wood and lean on it and sometimes chew on it, but I'd rather have that then the explosions that come from one of them getting stung on it either by getting pushed into it or because he was just careless.
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jos
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Username: paardex

Post Number: 370
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 22, 2007 - 10:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Julie I can understand your feelings about horses not feeling safe like that, I felt the same way. But I've seen many many stables like that since and the horses seemed totally comfortable with it. I must say they were big stables for groups of young horses[like 10 by 20 meters for a group of yearlings]I must add all the older horses like a group of mares or even mares with foals had a divider from wood or metal up to 1.20 m and an electric line above it.
Holly perhaps it is an age thing a group of young horses [esp male] create ruckus[nice word!] from time to time no matter what.
Jos
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Sara Miller
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Username: sdms

Post Number: 112
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 22, 2007 - 2:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm not sure that I completely agree with the "fear" theory for why electrified fences work. My horses all know what the hot wire is and all of them can be seen regularly grazing or playing right up next to it, however, they no long stick their heads through the fence to get the "better" weeds on the other side.

I can, however, see the potential for a horse getting run into it or accidentally bumping it in a smaller space.

The electrified fence debate is probably best left for another thread, though. Back to the sheds...
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Leilani
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Username: leilani

Post Number: 326
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 22, 2007 - 3:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Years ago I boarded at a large ranch and outside of the barn/corral they had a large out-building (only a metal roof) that was 50x25. I swear everything was in there, a '58 jeep, tool boxes, farrier stuff, picnic table, a lot of crap. Whenever it rained you would find 10-12 horses crammed in there every which way. It used to really bother me, but no one every got hurt and to this day I don't know why.
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2152
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 22, 2007 - 7:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just typed a message and tried to upload four photos and the site gave me a weird message about something wrong with the "skin" and having to report it to the administrator . . . which I did . . . and when I tried to recapture the page, it had wiped out everything I did . . . and I don't want to take the time to reload all the photos . . . so will try to work up the energy to do it later . . . (sigh).

In the meantime, Leilani, don't you just hate that? Maybe I should just put up t-posts, barbed wire, and a huge 50 sq foot building and just let everyone fend for him/herself.
***************************************
Mary Persons, did you come to a decision about a shed for your horse(s)?
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Administration
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Username: admin

Post Number: 788
Registered: 12-1997
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 10:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

This is a test

test photo
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Administration
Board Administrator
Username: admin

Post Number: 789
Registered: 12-1997
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 10:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Holly,
I uploaded the image above without problems so I think the page is OK. Usually when you get such error messages the page has become corrupted by dropping packets at one of the transfers while traveling on the internet before reaching our server. Please try again and if problems persist it may be because your browser has cached a corrupted page, so you may have to empty your browsers temporary file cache.
Lisa Allen
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2154
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 12:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Okay . . . here it goes:
First pic: Looking at cross fence from two of the gates.
Will have to post this one separately as the site won't let me add it . . . even after I've downsized it four times.


Second pic: From the backside of the pasture looking toward the gates.
xfence1

Thirds pic: With the "arena" behind the camera, looking east down the center aisle between the two rows of paddocks/pastures. The aisle "T's" in front of the last bigger pasture, and the top of the "T" joins with a 15' wide exercise track that encircles the property.
xfence2

Fourth pic: Standing at the outside perimeter of the largest pasture looking back toward the other paddocks/pastures and house/barn. (Lots of post holes still to drill.)
xfence3
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Sara Miller
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Username: sdms

Post Number: 113
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 12:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wow, Holly! Your place sure has changed a lot since I was there! Now that I have pictures I'll see what I can come up with. I'll run it by David, too, since he's the construction guy.

~Sara
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2155
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 1:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Standing in center aisle at gate post looking north along cross fence.
xfence
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2156
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 1:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know it looks lots different from when we got here last summer, but it seems that many days, I'm just treading water. Today is one of those days . . .
I'm thankful for your willingness to be creative on my behalf. It's just taking so long to get so that this place can be viable . . . I need to get it making money for me, and I feel kinda lost today.
Hugs to you and to others who have given ideas and anecdotes.
I'm still looking forward to hearing from Mary about her shed.
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jos
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Username: paardex

Post Number: 371
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 1:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly now I understand why you need sheds! I envisaged forest and hills [stupid to think the whole of your big country would be like that!]
I think the work that is already done looks very organized and professional so please keep on going[just take a day of to be sad today] I am sure you will arrive at your goal.
Jos
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2157
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 2:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you, jos . . . for your sweet words.
Just wait until you get to Ilona's! I hope you have a day flight with no clouds so you can see the changes in the land from the East Coast to the Western United States! Oh, it's so amazing. You can even see the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains, and the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains (I'm on Prairie land just heading into the Great Plains). There is so much to see. I think where you are is more like our eastern seaboard or New England and upstate New York . . . lots of hills and forests and streams. Not so out here on the Plains . . . but we can see the sunsets and sunrises . . . like huge red balls with pink and lavender clouds in the morning and at night.
Gets pretty hot here in the summer, and there is often a strong wind. It's great to have the wind in the summer when it is 100 degrees F, but not great in the winter when the temperature is in the teens. That's why the horses really need a roof and a good windbreak.
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Leilani
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Username: leilani

Post Number: 327
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 3:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly, Your property is really nice. You should have no problems making money. Leilani
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Julie Masner
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Username: juliem

Post Number: 253
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 8:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

OK Holly, how about this. For the twelve feet or so that your electrified fence must go through the run-in, you run each individual strand through flexible tubing--like hose--or even sections of hose. That way, the strands are not "hot" to the touch. Then, you can use a panel or boards as a divider for a physical barrier that they won't push through. Because the fence itself is insulated, it won't matter if it touches the divider. What do you think?
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2159
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Thursday, Aug 23, 2007 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Brilliant, Julie, and that may be what I'll have to do. I guess I'm trying to figure . . . if I have to sandwich the ElectroBraid through a double center wall . . . that means I'll have to have support posts for the wall . . . so would it be better to just have two smaller sheds or one large one that spans two paddocks?
At the feed store this afternoon, I saw one of the fellows who helped shore up our barn. He and another fellow have been building a house all summer, but are beginning to finish up . . . and he said it would probably be another month before they'll be free to start something new. They had given us the quote of $4000 for each 12x24 shed . . . I don't know if that is the "going" price, but I'd like to try to do it for less.
Maybe the two fellows can just put up some roofs on corner posts for me, and I can try to get some "call lumber" and used plywood to finish the sides myself.
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Sara Miller
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Username: sdms

Post Number: 115
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, Aug 24, 2007 - 12:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly, I'm starting to think you might be better off to build two sheds instead of a single and leave enough room to physically get in between if need be. With putting up a barrier on each side of the Electro Braid with support posts you start raising your cost, anyway. Add that to the hassle of getting to the fence if you have to and I think you're going to end up wishing you'd done it differently.

Still haven't run it by David. He got horizontal for about 30 seconds before I could get the computer on to show him the pictures and that was the end of that! I'll try again tomorrow.
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Sara Miller
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Username: sdms

Post Number: 116
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Friday, Aug 24, 2007 - 12:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mary, are you out there? Have you come to any conclusions about your shed plans? Especially now that you're going to have two horses to protect from the elements! I'd love to hear (or read, I guess it is!).
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 3095
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Friday, Aug 24, 2007 - 12:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly, if you'll go to www.NorthernTool.com, or it you get their catalogue, they have run-in shelters that provide wind/sun/rain protection. they say they are quick to assemble and take down and it can be done with basic hand tools. A 20' x 12' x 8'h is $399. You can get them 10'h also. We have a larger version with a zip up back on it to cover our motorhome. We've had it 3 or more years and have had no problems with it, even though we had lots of snow on winter, and have frequent high winds. They might be worth looking at.
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Mary Persons
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Username: unity

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, Aug 25, 2007 - 10:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I think we're going to build a 3-sided shelter,with an overhang. I've been told over and over by many different (local) horse owners, that except in severe weather, they almost never use them, preferring to be outside. I did blanket my Rosie last winter as the winds were so bitter cold and the barn she was boarded at didn't have much for shelter. She did fine, though. Now that we went out and bought her a new companion, we'll definitely have to make it big enough for two! We brought home a mare and she and Rosie hit it off immediately; already they seem to have bonded.
One more question; in cold climates such as mine (Northern Minn), what do you use for flooring? Dirt? Sawdust? Straw? And is metal the best material for the outside?
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Holly Wood
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Username: hwood

Post Number: 2175
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Saturday, Aug 25, 2007 - 11:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mary, I really don't like to have metal down to the ground on the outside of a free-standing shed that horses can rub against, kick at, get pushed into . . .
http://http://www.livestock-shelters.com/
Try this link which was sent to me by fellow member Angie in the UP of Michigan. I like the design because of the wood on the outside bottom half. Think it is much safer for horses. No popped screws or nails floating around the pasture, and no severed tendons or cuts from kicking metal.
Congrats on your horse's new buddy. Glad they are enjoying one another.
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Angie J.
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Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1341
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 - 10:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mary,

Dirt if fine if the drainage is good. What we used to do when all we had was a 3 sided shed was every couple of years we'd end up adding dirt to the "floor" because it'd get dug out in certain areas. We used to store hay on pallets in the back of it, with plastic on the ground and on the pallets. Just in case you haven't thought of hay storage yet.

We also raised 3 foals in that old shed, and they were fine with tons of straw for bedding. (it kept leaking no matter how many times we patched the roof) That old 3 sided shed got more "remodeling configurations" than Dolly Parton has had plastic surgery!

I agree with Holly about the metal all the way down and we do have that on the outside of the barn where they stand. I've had some cuts where edges came loose because they stand under the over hang. Metal it a pain to try to pound back down and keep attached. Of course horses will manage to get hurt no matter what sometimes. One of ours gets slivers in her neck from rubbing on the top of the nice wood stall wall. So need metal over the wood, but not totally metal, lol!

They'll be fine, and after this first winter, you'll know if you have to make changes.

Where are you in N. MN? How far past the cities? I haven't been up there in years but hoping to stay at a resort with my brother & his wife there next summer. I'll have to check with him as to where this was again.
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Sara Miller
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Username: sdms

Post Number: 122
Registered: 4-2006
Posted on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 - 11:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Holly and Angie, I like the sheds with the wood on the bottom of the outside. I may have to look at that for the next two. I'd think you'd still have to build the dirt up around the bottom of the outside and keep an eye on it to be sure horses didn't get feet caught under it. You know they're going to manage to hurt themselves no matter how well we think we've protected them!

Here's the corrected link, too. Yours had too many http's, Holly.

http://www.livestock-shelters.com/
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Martha E. Mitchell
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Username: mitma

Post Number: 118
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Sunday, Aug 26, 2007 - 3:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Mary,
You might want to consider trying to "pack" the floor of the shed with suitable drainage material... in different areas of the country, there are different names given to the material... we used a mixture of clay and road fill sand (the really course stuff that drains well), because it was cheaper than "crusher run" or stone/granite dust??? and we used a tamper machine to pack it in... then we put stall mats in... the reason is that I didn't want to have to (hopefully) ever mess with the floor again and I figured if we ever have a "communicable disease" issue, it would make it easy to clean the area by wiping it down with bleach, etc... I know that, ideally, no one wants to have to muck out a run-in shed area, but I really haven't found any way around it at this point... Also, I put a small amount of shavings on top of the mats, because it makes it easier to muck out the area (but you don't have to)... Good Luck!
Martha
P.S. Ditto what Holly, Angie, and Sara say regarding wood vs. metal on the bottom half of the structure!
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