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University of Minnesota Extension

Horse dry lots and shelters

Quick facts

  • Dry lots should provide shelter, water, feed and at least 400 square feet per horse.

  • Enclose dry lots with permanent fencing.

  • Hang gates in corners and have a gate large enough to fit equipment through.

  • A 12 by 12 foot shelter is good for one to two horses. For each additional horse, increase the shelter size by 12 feet.

Dry lot

Dry lot
Dry lots should provide enough space for the horses, shelter, feeding and water.

Dry lots provide an area to house horses off pasture during:

  • Winter months

  • Wet or dry times

  • Pasture rest



A three-sided shed or lean-to, can provide adequate shelter for your horse. A 12 by 12 foot lean-to can accommodate one to two horses. For each additional horse, the lean-to size should increase by 12 feet.

For example: If you have 3 to 4 horses, you would need a 12 by 24 foot lean-to. With 5 to 6 horses, you would need a 12 by 48 foot lean-to. Similar to the dry lot, these sizes assume the horses using the shelter get along with each other.

Krishona Martinson, equine Extension specialist

Reviewed in 2018

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