Horses are very rewarding and enjoyable pets. They make excellent companions, whether for professional riding or just recreation. However, owning a horse comes with many responsibilities. Horse ownership is a long-term commitment requiring time, effort and expense.
Horse owners have a responsibility to ensure their horses have their basic requirements met to keep them happy and healthy. This includes food, water, exercise, company, appropriate health care, and of course, shelter.
Appropriate shelter for horses is important to protect them from the extremes of rain, wind and sun. Although trees and walk-in sheds make good shelters for horses, equine sheds are an excellent way to provide everything your horse may need.
Before making the decision to get a horse, there are many factors to take into consideration, such as:
- Space – Horses need a lot of space. There should be enough space for them to walk and run around, unless exercised daily. There should also be enough space for appropriate shelter that is large enough for all horses to use.
- Cost – Horses are expensive. Although they can graze, they still need additional feed. As well as plenty of food, they also require medication, tools, water and shelter.
- Companionship – Horses are very social and can get lonely. Having at least two horses is a good idea to ensure they don’t get lonely.
What to Consider Before Building an Equine Shed
Once you have made the decision to purchase a horse, you need to make sure you have appropriate shelter ready for its arrival. A stable is a great addition to provide what your horse will need. A horse stable is a type of equine shed that is divided into separate stalls to house animals individually. However, before building a stable there are some factors to consider, including:
- Size – Equine sheds are available in a number of sizes to suit most needs. The size you choose will depend on your needs, your budget and the amount of space available.
- Position – Before choosing a stable, it’s important to understand how to choose the best location. Factors such as the wind direction, water flow and terrain are important.
- Ventilation – Good ventilation is essential for your horse’s health. In Australia it can get very hot, this can stress the horses if they don’t have good ventilation.
- Ceiling – The height of your stable is important for the safety of the horses. Horses can get excited or frightened which may result in them standing up on their hind legs. As a result, it’s important to ensure the ceiling height is at least four metres high.
- Floor – The flooring is another factor to consider. Concrete is a popular choice as it’s affordable, durable, easy to clean and reduces the risk of skid accidents.
- Light – Lighting is very important in a stable. Horses left in the dark for too long will get stressed and bored. Natural lighting is the best where possible.
- Drainage – A stable needs to offer a good drainage system to move waste and ensure it stays clean and fresh at all times.
- Storage – It’s important not to forget about storage space in your stable. To avoid carrying everything back and forth, a space for hay, feed, tools and bedding will make things much more convenient.
Horses are excellent pets and companions. However, there are a lot of costs involved when owning a horse. Equine sheds provide a great way to ensure your horses have the shelter they need which will keep them safe, happy and healthy.