Horse run-in in the nick of time

With another winter storm coming our way, we decided on Saturday that we could not do without a horse shelter any longer.  Building commenced on Sunday after church.  We dug 8 holes 2 feet deep in the cold frozen Oklahoma clay.  Then proceeded to set massive 6x6x12 posts in the ground (I promise they each weighed more than the earth itself).  I had the job of holding them steady as they poured concrete.  Keep in mind that I don't weigh as much as the earth itself!!!  Wayne kept asking, "You got it?" and "Is it level?" while I kept asking myself,  "How did I get this job and who the heck cares (besides Wayne) whether they're level or not?!"  I was hoping the life insurance was paid up on Wayne because a couple of times I thought I'd drop one on his head. 

Anyway, thankfully it was above freezing (barely)  so we poured the concrete.  Monday, to my surprise the posts were still standing and the lumber was delivered.  We set to work.  Everything was finished except the roof.  Tuesday came and time was running short.  The sky was turning dark and the wind changed to the north but the boys and I finished it up (yea, Wayne was a no show - he had to work or some lame excuse like that).  Now I was wondering about my life insurance because I was standing on a ladder in 30 mph winds.  I have to tell you, it was hard work because of the cold.  But last night when the snow started to fall and the wind chills dropped below 0, we were so thankful it was done.  And this morning, when we got up and saw this...

we were so happy!

As you can see, we didn't build your average horse run-in.  We don't do anything normal, it seems! Wayne, with his artistic ability, has done it again.  Now we have a walled arbor in our pasture.  He told me people would say he was an idiot or a genius.  The verdict is still out on that. (I think you're a genius, Honey.)
This is what he designed and why...

We built walls on the North and West because that is where our storms come from.  We also put 1 inch gaps between the boards because he read a study about windbreaks that said leaving up to 20% gap will create less draft than the wind being sucked around and back in the shelter. 

We thought an arbor like roof might be better in the hot Oklahoma summer than a solid roof but we're testing out how that works in the winter right now.  We may add a metal roof later.
The whole thing will get a coat of white paint in the spring along with all the other things that need paint in the spring.  If this design works out, there will be two more in the other pastures.  If it doesn't, well, I don't want to think about that.  In fact, thinking about building two more makes me want a soak in the tub.  You know what, I think I'll go start the water now. 


  1. Ok, I am definitely on the genius side here. This is a gorgeous run in and I bet your heart just swelled when you saw those babies all line up in their nice wind break. That is just the best :)

  2. It sounds like it was a lot of work but that your horses are probably pretty thankful right now! I think it's a great idea to pretty it up a little too but I suppose useful has it's place too!

    I must say, your post holding sounds like what my job would have been... and I've been rather tempted to bop my husband on the head a time or two myself!


  3. As it does look like a pergola/ could always grow a horse friendly vine over it in summer..cooling and shade..then prune it back..or let the frost get to it during winter!

  4. Your family does beautiful work! Congrats :)
    Smiles, DianeM

  5. Oh, my... I am awestruck! What a great shelter for your horses. I bet they were grateful this last night. I can not recall it ever being quite so cold here, and I have lived here nearly fifty years. You did good... Wayne did good. How wonderful.

  6. Wow. Didn't expect the arbor-ness. I hope that works well. Obviously the horses appreciated the wind break immensely! I've always done the 3 solid walls and a roof for my wimps, I mean, horses. Maybe yours are tougher than my spoiled rotten Arabs... :)

  7. It looks very nice.
    The next time around you might want to put a slant on the boards going across the top & sides. I've read that slanting the boards helps to deflect the wind and weather (rain).


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