Like many people, you may currently be spending lots of money on livery for your horse as well as the time spent travelling to and from the yard.
Field Shelter Option
If you have a paddock you can use, a mobile field shelter is a cost-effective solution that could pay for itself in a matter of months.
It can be either open-fronted, allowing your horse to access it to shelter from the wind and rain or to take refuge from mosquitoes and flies. Placing a hay net or feed inside the building is a good way to encourage your animal to venture in for the first time.
If you are concerned about overindulgence on spring grass or laminitis, a couple of slip rails can be a cheap addition to enable the horse to be confined.
Mobile Stable Option
Conventional stables need planning permission and expensive groundwork. An alternative is to have a mobile stable maybe with a layer of rubber grass mats, topped with rubber stable mats to allow you to bed up in the normal way.
Spring is the ideal time to place rubber grass mats onto the ground as the new grass will grow through them and anchor the mats. The area needs to be as flat as possible to allow the mats to sit properly. These mats are especially useful in gateways and the entrance to field shelters, where the ground has heavy usage.
Mobile stables have a multitude of uses. They are great storage for horse jumps, paddock machinery, horse bedding and hay (but remember to place the hay on pallets to allow the air to circulate around them.)
Mobile buildings can also be utilised for other livestock as well as a great indoor space for kids to enjoy.
Watch out for wind!
When choosing the position of your shelter, give some thought to the direction of the prevailing wind. Ideally, the back or side of the shelter needs to be facing the direction of the wind in order to maximise the benefits of the protection the building gives you from the elements.
Another thought is the midday sun. You might not want the opening of the shelter having the full impact of the heat during high summer.
Pretty & Practical!
If your shelter is in view of the upstairs windows of your home, there are options for the roof covering. Onduline is the standard option. This can be upgraded to tile effect or other finishes, depending upon your preference.
If you are using the building for a horse prone to crib-biting, it would be worth investing in full wall protection and chew strips around the door and window frames. The less purchase the horse has, the less damage it can cause.
Should you have a horse that kicks in the stable, rubber matting is a useful addition to the walls. It saves damage to both the horse and the building but also reduces the concussive effect and the noise!