Need ideas for instant shade

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Well-Known Member
Nov 30, 2002
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Got a problem: There is no shade in this run in. These two girls don't have a lick of good sense and refuse to stay in their nice cool airy stalls in their run in unless I close the stall doors on them inside which I don't want to do. I want it open for more air flow and they hate being locked up so that's why we built this for them in the first place. This little barn is insullated and well vented and nice and comfortable but yet, they insist on standing outside during the heat of the day. I put their food in there and plenty of hay but soon as they are done with it, out they go to stand in the sun to melt and burn. They don't use their pool much to play in either anymore.


I have one of these things but figured the first bit of wind and over it will go


Only other thing I can think of is to tie them up in the main barn isleway with hay nets but then I'd have to sit there and baby sit them for hours so that's not an option or to get an awning to attach on their barn? I don't know. If I can't come up with something I'll just have to lock them in during the heat of the day and let them be mad. I'd rather them be mad than have a heat stroke standing in the sun.

Any ideas for instant shade?

Thank you.

PS this is a winter picture and they are not hairy
Before my barn was built, I stretched a blue tarp between the windbreak and a couple t-posts. It worked great for my little mare, she wasn't bothered one bit by it flapping in the wind. It was just one of those cheap blue tarp, so only lasted the summer, but it worked well enough. It was only about 4' tall, as it was across the top of a couple pounded in t-posts, but she could go under it and she did use it.
How about the car covers they make. I cant remember the demensions off hand but I know a large truck will fit under it. You could attach one side to the frot of the barn and the other side down with concrete blocks buried of courrse so the kids cant hurt their legs.. I am thinking you may have to enclose the original posts insde a heavy pipe like those used for chain link fence.
I bought one of these "sail shades" for an area I have that is similar. Mine has a roof but when the sun is lower in the sky there is no shade to be had there.
I bought it at, it's great! Oh and this is the pic from Overstock, not here.
I just thought of something else:

Does anyone know where I can get one of those canvas (I think they are canvas) stall door covers that you can clip on stall door ways and use instead of shutting the door? Does anyone know what I am talking about? Thinking I might have to just keep them in the stalls that way and it might be better with these things instead of shutting the doors?
I wouldn't be so concerned if I were you. If they have access as you say to a "nice cool airy stall" and yet choose not to go in it then they are fine. They are not going to stand out in the sun and drop dead from heat exhaustion - if they get hot they will go into the stall on their own. They won't burn either if you don't have them clipped. If they are clipped then you should either use sun screen on them or close them into their stalls - they don't know their coat won't protect them anymore. Unless you come up with a shelter that completely covers their run you will likely still be upset as they will stand in the sun wherever it is.
I have a huge big run in shed for my one paddock and it never fails that at the hottest part of the day NONE of the horses are in it.
Hi Marty! I hope you remember me... it's been quite a while since I've been here. Just too much going on!

I agree with MiLo.. your horses won't stay under a little shade cloth anyway. You'd have to cover the entire outdoor area. The only time my horses will seek out shade is if they are in the drylot with nothing to eat. Then they'll go under trees, but if they are put into the pasture they'll stay out in the hot sun where there is grass and forsake the trees along the fence.

If you are really concerned about them, I'd set up a fan somewhere where they can feel the cool breeze. I've done this before and when it's blistering out there they will come and stand in front of the fan. Put it in your run-in and maybe that will encourage them to go into it.

Before I had good shade trees by my dry lot I would leave the barn doors open and the horses wouldn't go inside at all. My barn is big and there's a lot of light and ventillation in it, but they wouldn't go inside until I installed ceiling fans. Once they discovered those, they loved standing in there.

Is a "stall guard" what you are looking for? There are several on this page:
MiLo is right, they will go in if they need to. My neighbors have a stall that has a water cooler on it if need be, and even new foals learn where to stand and where not to, and if they want to or not.

These horses here race and buck and run in the middle of the afternoon when it is 110 out- I am not kidding. They all have shade offered, but sometimes they just dont want it.

on a screen door you could attach some Velcro around there door on the barn, Maybe nail it on then get some screen sew the other side of the Velcro around the edges and attach around the door this way they can still see out and have good airflow without shutting the doors. and in the winter you just pack the screen up for the season and reuse it next year.

they make a thicker screen for pets and I think you can get all this at walmart.
I agree that they will go in if they need to - they do have shade. But I did use one of those canopies when I needed some shade for a mini in a temporary situation and just tied the legs to portable panels. Our panels ("goat" or "hog" panels) are about the same size as the canopy, so it was easy to tie all four legs down. Then beyond the canopy the panels were expanded to whatever size I wanted. I also added a tarp to the sunny side, on the outside of that panel. My vet was quite amused by the set-up in our back yard, but agreed that it worked just fine.
I agree with previous posts, they will go in if they need to. But, to ease your own mind, maybe build a lean-to off the front of the barn with a slanted roof to provide shade. As others have said though, if they don't want it, they won't use it. Just keep an eye on them and if they are being negatively affected by the heat, lock them in.
i have several carport canopy things for my horses

but they still go graze in the sun midday
Marty you know how I LOVE cattle panels here's my, off the wall, LITERALLY idea.

cattle panel with tarp attached cut to fit between the 2 stalls

attach it to barn with brackets so it can be lifted up and use eyebolts attached to barn and 2 ropes with snaps attached to panel to keep it held up.
I'd agree that if they want it / when they want it they will use the barn you so kindly built them

But as an FYI I do know some of the sporting goods stores sell weights specifically designed to go around the legs of canopys like the one you have pic of

The other thing I've used with good sucess is sun shade - tech made for dog runs but work well for anything needing shade. I've used this both as a 'roof' and then as side 'windows' that let in airflow but block a good portion of rain when we do get it.
I used a tarp last summer for some babies....out of desparation. It worked - they had no other shade - but it was a bear to keep up when we had wind & storms, which we had lots of last summer and I would give my eye teeth for right now.

An exception to the "they'll go in if they need to" is foals. They don't know any better, and I do know someone who lost a couple of foals that way, just laying out in the hot sun.

Marty you know how I LOVE cattle panels here's my, off the wall, LITERALLY idea.

cattle panel with tarp attached cut to fit between the 2 stalls

attach it to barn with brackets so it can be lifted up and use eyebolts attached to barn and 2 ropes with snaps attached to panel to keep it held up.

I was going to suggest this also
We have a smaller grass pen at the house that has no shade or sheds on it -- I normally only turn out on it for a few hours in the morning or evening but even then I worry about no shade. So we are going to made one of the cattle panel shades for them
We take 2 cattle panels and attach them to t-posts and then tarp them and that way they can go in and out if they please but they have the shade option

The tarps do get torn up from the wind pretty easy here in Kansas so I try and make sure I have extra tarps laying around just in case

Good Luck!
Marty, yeah I know what your talking about you can get tham at any tack store and probably also at feed stores

alos what keeps my horses in there run in stall at the back of the barn is we have a big fan try that just run extension cords to your barn or something of that matter thatll keep them in. we bought our big fan at tractor supply store.
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I wouldn't "sweat it", pun intended.

Do you have fans in their run-in stalls? Maybe that would encourage them to use it (to make you feel better) but if the stalls are cooler and they choose not to use them, they are feeling fine out in the sun.

Our paddocks are very, very shady yet on even the worst hot days of summer, my horses will seek out the sunny areas and lay down to take a nap in the sun.
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