Sheds for horses

For domesticated horses access to shelter is important. Recent research from the Michigan State University (USA) has shown this, and also that the design of the shelter is important.
More than fifty horses were observed for a year. It was monitored whether the horses were near a shelter during various weather conditions. The horses sought shelter mostly during cold, windy and rainy weather. The shelter was also used as a windbreaker.
Also during very warm and sunny weather the shelter was used more. Here a breed effect was observed. Arabian horses seek shelter more often during cold weather, while cold-blooded breeds use the shelter during warm weather.
Some of the horses sought shelter next to the shed rather than in it. This could be due to the presence of other horses in the shed, but it also gives the horse a better view on the surroundings. For a flight animal like a horse this is very important.
The researchers therefore recommend having another look at the traditional model of sheds (three closed walls). A design with multiple openings in the walls may suit the horse’s needs better. Such a design may also be cooler in the summer.