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Home > Horses > 7 DIY Horse Shelters You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

7 DIY Horse Shelters You Can Build Today (With Pictures)

friese horse outside its shelter

All equine owners know that keeping horses is not a small commitment. Horses require special care that can get very pricey sometimes. If you need to add a horse shelter to your setup, you might’ve already scoured for premade options and found yourself dissatisfied with the costs.

You probably know by now that they don’t run cheap. If you are a skilled craftsman, you can whip up one of these DIY horse shelters in no time. Let’s take a look at these plans to see what style and experience level fits your circumstances.


The 7 DIY Horse Shelters

1. Economy Round Run-In Shed Shelter Barn

Economy Round Run-In Shed Shelter Barn
Image Credit: Dutchhollowacres
Materials: 8—round or 4’ x 4’ pressure-treated posts, 3—¾-inch plywood sheets, 3—52” x 16’ cattle panels, 12’ x 16’ heavy-duty tarp, 1 box of 2-inch screws, Box of fence staples, 30—11” UV black cable ties, 100—8” UV black cable ties, Can of fence or barn paint
Tools: A second person, Paintbrush, Spade, Hammer
Complexity: Basic

The Economy Round Run-In Shed Shelter Barn is an ideal choice if you’re running low on cash. This shelter is a perfect option for temporary situations, such as inclement weather. The entire finished design measures 20’ x 25’.

The maker claims it was a one-person job, so you don’t have to worry if you have no helping hands. It’s simple and inexpensive—and big enough for a few horses to seek refuge. Here are the project details.

2. My Outdoor Plans Horse Shelter Plans

My Outdoor Plans Horse Shelter Plans
Image Credit: myoutdoorplans
Materials: 2—4’ x 4’ pieces of lumber, 8—2’ x 4’ pieces of lumber, 2—2’ x 4’ pieces of lumber, 30—2’ x 4’ pieces of lumber, 1—2’ x 10’ piece of lumber, 2—2’ x 6’ pieces of lumber, 500—2½-inch screws, 200—1⅝-inch screws
Tools: Hammer, Tape measure, Framing square, Level, Miter saw, Drill machinery, Screwdriver, Sander, Safety gloves, Safety glasses
Complexity: Intermediate

The My Outdoor Plans Horse Shelter Plans are thorough and easy to follow. This shelter measures 10 by 14 feet once it is fully built. This structure is both secure and functional, and you can customize the cosmetics if you choose.

There are downloadable plans that offer alternative options for the overall design, too. So, make sure you check them out before committing to one shelter.

3. How-To Specialist Horse Run-In Shed

How-To Specialist Horse Run-In Shed
Image Credit: howtospecialist
Materials: 10—2’ x 6’ pieces of lumber, 8—3/4” plywood, 3—2’ x 6’ pieces of lumber, 2—1’ x 8’ pieces of lumber, 4—1’ x 8’ pieces of lumber, 14—T1-11 ⅝-inch siding, 300 square foot tar paper, 300 square feet shingles, 2½-inch screws, 3½-inch screws, 1⅝-inch screws, 2-inch brad nails, Wood filler, Wood glue, Stain or paint
Tools: Safety gloves, Glasses, Miter saw, Jigsaw, Chalk line, Tape measure, Spirit level, Carpentry pencil, Drill machinery, Drill bits
Complexity: Advanced

The How-To Specialist Horse Run-In shelter is a sturdy, functional design that will protect your horses without question. It has a simple slanted roof design with a support beam in the center of the frame.

There are a few different options that you can select for the overall aesthetics, so check out the one you love most before you buy the supplies to build it. Since it’s wooden, you can paint or stain the exterior for weatherproofing or cosmetic purposes.

4. Corral Panel Cover

DIY Affordable Horse Shelter
Image By: cowgirlmagazine
Corral panels (x3-4), cattle panels (x3-4), heavy duty tarp (x1), t-posts (x4), zip ties
Tools: A second person
Complexity: Basic

One of the simplest shelters you can build for your horse is a corral panel cover. Corral panels are great because the materials are easy to buy, easy to assemble, and very versatile. Corral panels can be used to create a covered stall or to create a simple run-in. These plans allow you to build a cover for your panels using a tarp, some panels, and zip ties. No tools are required. Anyone can build this shelter. If you already have some corral panels lying around, you can save some serious money. This is one of the easiest shelters to build on your own because most of the pieces come preassembled, all you have to do is put it all together.

5. Customizable Run-In

DIY Customizable Run-In
Image By: cowgirlmagazine
Exterior screws (3”), rafter clips (x30), metal roofing, metal side panels, 2x10x10 (x2), 2x10x12 (x2), 2x10x20 (x2), 2x4x10 (x32), 2x6x12 (x16), 2x8x10 (x58), 6x6x10 (x5), bags of concrete (x25), metal screws
Tools: Drill, Impact driver, Circular saw, Miter saw, Hammer
Complexity: Advanced

These plans offer you a solid base to create a durable run-in that is highly customizable. You can easily swap the metal side panels with siding or planks. You can choose to install the gutter or not. You can add a middle section and a gate to create a stall. The options are truly up to you. The downside is that this build is pricey and requires a good amount of construction knowledge to customize and finish. There is a handy video that will help walk through this build step by step.

6. Add a Lean-To to Shed or Barn

2×4 framing lumber, 2×6 framing lumber, 1×4 furring strips, 4×4 posts (x3-5), roofing material, your choice of siding, foundation blocks, or concrete, nails, screws
Tools: Hammer, Drill, Circular saw, Miter saw
Complexity: Intermediate

You can add a lean-to for your horses onto almost any existing structure. This idea is perfect for anyone that has a feed shed, barn, or garage in their pasture. With some posts and some lumber, you can attach a lean-to to the side of your existing structure. This has multiple benefits. It prevents you from having to build an entirely new free-standing structure which saves cost. It also allows you to have a run-in for your horses without having to leave the barn open all the time. This lean-to is very versatile, and it gives you a lot of leeway to adjust it to fit a variety of different structures.

7. Simple Pallet Lean-To

DIY Simple Pallet Lean-To
Image By: mountainskyranchllc
Materials: Metal roofing, 2x4x10 (x6), pallets (x12), 2x6x8 (x2), nails
Tools: Circular saw, Hammer
Complexity: Basic

Not every lean-to shelter has to be an expensive and elaborate project. You can build an effective lean-to with some basic boards and some used pallets. This simple lean-to is built out of recycled pallets. That significantly reduces the cost of this build because it is easy to find free pallets or pallets for as little as $5. The three walls of this structure are made from pallet wood, while the frame and the roof are made from new materials. Almost anyone can manage to put together this lean-to, making it perfect for people with basic skills or a tight budget.

new horse shoe divider

Do Horses Need a Shelter?

Yes. Horses should have some sort of shelter that they can go in and out of as they please. Many of these shelters are called run-ins because they allow horses to run into them when they want to. Horses don’t like standing in the rain, and they would much prefer to be able to get under cover during stormy weather.

Horses also like to have a shady area to relax in when it is hot outside. In many cases, large shady trees are enough, but if you have a pasture without trees, you should definitely consider providing some basic shelter for your equines.

You do not need to build an elaborate barn for them. A simple lean-to or tarp cover is more than enough to keep your horses dry in the rain and shaded during the heat of the day.


Final Thoughts

Carrying out your very own DIY project for your horse shelter doesn’t have to be a huge expense. With some research, planning, and hard-working—you can produce a result you’re proud of. You might have to put in some elbow grease to get the job done, but that’s part of the fun.

Plus, it saves you so much from buying and hauling the shelter, which can quickly rack up the cost. If you’re up for the challenge, pick a design of your choice and get to nailing.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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