Horse dry lots and shelters
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 lots provide an area to house horses off pasture during:
Wet or dry times
Dry lots can vary in size from farm to farm. Ideally, the dry lot should provide at least 400 square feet per horse. This spacing assumes that the horses in the dry lot get along with each other. Make sure to account for feeding, water and shelter space within your dry lot. Dry lots that are too large will become weedy. A dry lot should provide enough space for the horse(s) while not becoming weedy.
We recommend using a permanent fence to enclose your dry lot area. The following fence types may be good options for your dry lot:
Wooden fencing (three or four board rails)
Permanent electric fence (make sure it’s easily seen and always electrified)
Ideally, your pastures should run alongside your dry lot. This will allow you to use common gates that open into each pasture. You should place gates in the corners closest to the direction of travel. Avoid placing gates in low areas where water may pool.
A 4-foot gate is good for turning a single horse in or out of the dry lot. But make sure your drylot and each pasture has a gate large enough to get equipment or several horses through. We recommend a 12 foot or 16 foot gate for equipment use.
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.
Reviewed in 2018