I never thought I would be a farmer, but it turns out I’m good at taking care of horses.

I love taking care of my horses so I decided to build them a shelter. The way that I feel when they are safe and sound is something that doesn’t have a price tag on it.

Some Safety Considerations For You And Your Horses

gray scale photo of horse

Be careful when you build it if you’re using recycled materials- they might have sharp nails in them.  Even though they are relatively inexpensive, utility poles and telephone poles can pose a risk to you and your horse’s health.

There are serious health risks from the chemicals used to preserve wood (creosote, pentachlorophenol, and arsenicals for older poles).

They may have had to be removed from service because the poles are rotten in their middle.

This could reduce their useful lives. While used lumber and sheet metal can be safe, durable, and clean, it could also be contaminated with staples, nails, and sharp edges. When salvaging materials, it is important to be careful and picky (Source).

Let’s Get Building

It’s been 5 months since we built the shelter and not one horse has gotten sick or injured, which is something amazing for me because before thanks to the rain they kept getting sick and it was hard for me to take care of them properly while also working full time.

I have always loved animals so being able to take care of these horses while being able to provide for my family makes me happier than anything else in this world.

There are a lot of ways you can go about making a DIY horse shelter. One simple way is to use an existing structure, such as a run-in shed or a barn, and modify it to suit the needs of your horse.

If you’re not comfortable with that, or if you don’t have those structures available, you can build a simple shelter just for your horse.

A few things to keep in mind would be the climate you live in, where the shelter will go, and how much time and money you want to spend on it.

Some materials that might help are treated pine or cedar 2x4s for framing, plywood for walls if they’ll be exposed to weather, galvanized nails or screws for wood construction so you won’t have to worry about them rusting out over time, and a tarp as the first line of defense against water.

Check out some of my favorite plans to get a sense of what you want to build.

Then you can figure how much lumber you need to order and what tools you’ll need to have on hand:

13 DIY Horse Shelter Plans

#1. DIY Lean Barn Shelter for Horses or Cattle

#2. Simple 2 Horse Stall For Under $1700

#3. Quick Field Shelter For Horses

#4. DIY Run In Shed

#5. DIY Horse Shelter Shade Kit

#6. Building a Horse Shelter

#7. DIY Cheap Easy Shelter

#8. Horse Shelter Made Out of Pallets

#9. DIY Winter Shelter For Horses

#10. Simple Build It Yourself Livestock Shelters

#11. DIY Horse Shelter 

#12. DIY Horse Run-In Shelters

#13. DIY Affordable Horse Shelter

Tools and materials required for DIY horse shelter

Tools and materials required for DIY horse shelter

  • Tape measure
  • Circular saw
  • Plywood sheets
  • Construction adhesive
  • Caulking gun
  • Hammer
  • Nails or screws
  • Paint or sealant (optional)

How to build a simple horse shelter from scratch

1. Lay your groundwork

The first step is to lay out your groundwork, which means you have to clear the area where you are going to build your shelter before continuing with any further steps. Once this is done, you can proceed to the next step.

2. Measure the ground

Once the area has been cleared out, you need to measure out how large you want your shelter. You will need to make sure that when you put it together, later on, the two sides are connected in a way that you can walk through it without any problems.

After getting the measurements, decide where you want the entrance and exit to be.

3. Frame your shelter

brown horse on green grass hill

The next step is framing your shelter. This means you will be putting up the walls and roof of your shelter. Make sure that when framing, you leave an opening for the entrance and exit.

Once the frame is in place, you can then start covering it with the appropriate material.

4. Cover the shelter

Now that the frame is in place, you will need to cover it with an appropriate material. This can be anything from plywood, metal, or even plastic. If you are using wood, make sure that you use a type of weatherproof paint or sealant to protect it from the elements.

5. Add the finishing touches

brown and white horse

The final step is to add any finishing touches you may want to your shelter. This can include things like a door, window, or even a ramp. Make sure that everything is securely in place before using your new horse shelter.

Congratulations! You have now successfully built your horse shelter from scratch. Be sure to enjoy using it for many years to come.

For modifying an existing structure into a DIY horse shelter

running white horse

If you do not want to build a shelter from scratch, you can always modify an existing structure into a horse shelter. The following are the steps to doing this:

Decide on the type of structure you want to use

The first step is to decide on the type of structure you want to use for your horse shelter. You can choose from a variety of different structures, including but not limited to: sheds, garages, metal buildings, and abandoned houses.

Once you have selected the type of structure you want to turn into a shelter, move on to the next step.

Clear out the structure

After selecting the appropriately sized structure, you will then need to clear out the inside of it. This means taking out all of the contents of the structure and getting rid of them.

Reinforce the structure

The next step is to reinforce the structure. This can be done in a variety of ways, but typically it means adding additional beams or supports to the structure to make sure that it can withstand the weight of a horse.

Add an entrance and exit

The next step is to add an entrance and exit to the shelter. This can be done in a variety of ways, but typically it means cutting a hole in one of the sides of the structure.

Cover the shelter

Now that the structure is ready, you will need to cover it with appropriate material. This can be anything from plywood, metal, or even plastic. If you are using wood, make sure that you use a type of weatherproof paint or sealant to protect it from the elements.

Add the finishing touches

The final step is to add any finishing touches you may want to your shelter. This can include things like a door, window, or even a ramp. Make sure that everything is securely in place before using your new horse shelter.

Congratulations! You have now successfully converted an existing structure into a horse shelter.

Care and maintenance of horse shelter

brown and white horse on stable

  • It’s a good idea to place the shelter in an area with good drainage. If it is possible, you should put gravel or stones around the bottom of the walls so that water can flow away from your shelter after it rains.
  • Another option for keeping your shelter properly drained is to raise it on legs about 6″ off of the ground. This will help get it out of puddles and running water during heavy rainstorms too.
  • Add enough bedding so that all surfaces are covered by at least 2 ft of bedding. This will provide insulation against cold wind and weather, protect against injury if your horse hits his/her leg on a sharp piece of lumber sticking up through your floor, and make the shelter more comfortable overall.
  • Inspect your shelter regularly for any damage that may have occurred, and repair/replace as necessary.
  • Keep an eye on the roof to make sure that it’s not sagging or leaking. If it is, you’ll need to replace the roofing material.

Benefits of DIY horse shelter

Cost-effective

Building a DIY horse shelter can be a very cost-effective option, especially if you are using recycled materials.

Personalized

You can build a shelter that is tailored to the specific needs of your horses.

Durable

A well-constructed shelter will last for many years.

Safe

A shelter will protect your horses from the elements and help to keep them safe from predators.

Easy to maintain

A DIY horse shelter is easy to maintain and does not require a lot of upkeep.

Conclusion

A DIY horse shelter is a great way to provide your horse with a warm, dry place to sleep and protect him from the elements. It’s important to build your shelter correctly so that it is safe and properly drained.

By following these instructions, you can create a sturdy, weatherproof shelter for your horse that will last for many years.