Shelter conversion?

Our property has a 36x14 lean to with electric, concrete floors, and a hydrant that would be an AMAZING shelter for the horses…BUT it’s located right near our septic field. In order to utilize it, the only entrance/exit point would be the 14’ wide section which would open to their paddock and would prevent them from walking on the septic field, rather than the more ideal 36’ side as the open side…

Assuming three horses that get along, does this seem reasonable or am I asking for trouble with not a large enough opening for one to get out of the way, if needed?

Secondly, I’m not sure if I want to fully enclose the sides but don’t know what alternatives are out there. The paddock surrounding it is post and rail fencing, which would look nice and still allow a breeze to blow through. Since most shelters I’ve seen are three sided, I’m having a hard time visualizing how to enclose this.

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I’m undecided about three horses and the 14’ wide opening. I’m presuming it would only be one 14’ side and not both.

Enclosing it probably depends on your climate. For me in FL, I’m not the least bit concerned by winter weather. I’m only concerned with providing shelter from the heat and bugs. For me post and rail fence on bottom topped with a sun screen above is working beautifully. YMMV

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I wouldnt worry about them walking around on the septic field just to get from point a to point b. As long as they arent a bunch of young froot loops bouncing around on it it will be fine.
PS I love the slate walkway

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Maybe find out who installed the septic field and ask them?
The one that put ours in said a few horses walking around were no problem, a herd of them maybe better not keep in there.
Part of ours is where we have a sand pile up to four horses have used, but their whole pasture is a mile long, they don’t just live on it all day.

After almost two decades now, all is still well, no problems at all.

Not all septic leach fields are built the same.
Some have wide and shallow trenches, others deep and narrower ones.
The one in the barn is the shallow ones and is fenced to all traffic, even horses.
Your answer may depend what structure yours is.

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For 3 horses that get along it may be ok. My 3 horses like to squeeze into one 12x12 half of my run-in shed, always with the gelding in the middle to separate the mares. I wonder if you could have access to the shed at both ends? I’m picturing the septic being fenced off with an access lane behind it.

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Thanks, all! There is maybe a 6’ space in front of the shelter before they’re on the actual septic field, so if I fence to the septic, they could actually have a narrow lane in front of the shelter, as well as the 14’ side opening to enter and exit, which would give me more peace of mind.

In truly nasty weather, they will be in their stalls, but this would give them escape from rain, heat, and bugs. So, not sure if I want it fully enclosed. I’d almost prefer to just continue the post and rail fence around the structure. I’m still not sure how to do that though, if I just fence around it, I worry about someone rolling and catching a leg in the fence.

Someone can do that anywhere in the pasture. They do not need to have this shelter to do that.

I’m aware, but more likely to happen in a bedded shelter with tighter quarters IMO :woman_shrugging:

You could put no climb wire on the fence. It’s not visibly intrusive and would prevent legs going through.

Or solid half walls on bottom. That might give your bedding more protection from rain splashing down off the roof if that’s a concern.

If my property had come with that nice structure I’d be plotting on utilizing it too! Good luck

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Funny you suggested no-climb, it’s actually already on all of the existing post and rail to keep the chickens contained! I have plenty left over, that would be an easy solution. Thank you!

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