Exploring Agricultural Equipment

Run-In Shelters Vs. Box Stalls For Horses: Pros And Cons

There's much debate on which style of shelter is best for horses—run-in shelters or box stalls—but the safest course of action is always choosing the style that best suits your needs and the needs of your horses. Run-in shelters are roofed units with three walls and an open front that allows your horses to move in and out at will. Box stalls are enclosed individual stalls that can be implemented in an existing run-in shelter or barn. Both styles are available as pre-manufactured shelters, though box stalls require some installation. Below are the advantages and disadvantages of run-in shelters when compared to box stalls.  


Less Expensive

For horse owners, one of the biggest advantages of run-in shelters is that they are more affordable and easier to install when compared to box stalls. The main reason for this is that fewer materials are required to build run-in shelters vs. box stalls. Additionally, run-in shelters can be easily purchased as pre-manufactured units if a horse owner would prefer not to build their own, while box stalls will require some kind of installation on the owner's part  

Better Ventilation

There are also several advantages for the horses with a run-in shelter. Because of the open front and vented sides, they allow for much better airflow, a common problem in enclosed barns with box stalls where a buildup of moisture and harmful gases can negatively affect the horses' health.  

Promotes Socialization

Additionally, run-in shelters promote group contact and socialization with other horses. A study conducted by England's Nottingham Trent University found that open-style shelters and paddocks where horses have physical and auditory contact with other horses create less stress and a better metabolism than when the horses are isolated in individual stalls. Studies like this are changing the way people think about sheltering their animals.  


Less Protection From Weather

In climates with very harsh conditions like extreme summer heat or winters with a lot of snowfall and subzero temperatures, box shelters provide much better insulation and protection from the elements than run-in shelters. With only three sides, run-in shelters can't keep snow, wind, and sun completely out of the enclosure.

Less Protection From Other Animals

Another disadvantage of not having a fully enclosed space is that it can be difficult to protect your horses from other animals including other horses. If you need to separate your animals from predators or keep sick horses away from healthy horses, run-in shelters aren't as useful as box stalls.

For more information contact a company like Lincoln Sand & Rock.