Why portable horse shelters are ideal for keeping horses

A mobile field shelter is a must for horse owners. This article offers an overview of the benefits of mobile stables.

They give you a maximum of flexibility, allowing you to offer your animals shade and shelter where they need it, they’re ideal as short and medium term solutions, and save you the cost and hassle of applying for planning permission. You’ll also learn why a lightweight, sturdy mobile field shelter is a better option than portable timber stables.

Do horses need shelter?

It’s very important that horses spend a lot of time outdoors in the field where they have the freedom to move around, interact with each other, and feed. If they spend too much time in a barn or stables, this can lead to a decrease in their muscle density and, the development of unhealthy habits, and other health issues.

At the same time, shelter for horses is absolutely vital, particularly in very warm or in rainy weather. In the summer, horses need to be able to shelter from the hot sun. Horses have large bodies, which means that their bodies need a lot longer than humans to cool down. In addition, they are at risk of sun burn. This is especially the case for horses with white skin, such as white facial markings. Last of all, our equine friends have large eyes that let in lots of light, which makes them sensitive to the bright sun.

Horses don’t like to spend time in the rain. Horses bred to have a finer coat in particular, will try to remain dry. Trees and plant life can provide some shade and protection from wind, but will not provide good cover from rain. Most experts therefore recommend some form of shelter for your horses.      

Advantages of mobile stables versus permanent stables

Short and medium term solutions

It’s also often the case that the pasture where the horses are kept doesn’t belong to the owner, but is only leased. In this case, a permanent horse stable won’t be an option, and you’ll need to consider temporary stables for the animals that are non-permanent and can be removed from the property if necessary.

Mobile and Flexible

Portable horse stables allow you to build stables where they are needed. As you rotate paddocks, you can always offer your animals shade and shelter from rain and wind, thanks to your mobile stables.

Planning permission and building regulations

Certain regulations apply to fixed structural changes on a property – the local planning authority is responsible. If you want to build an open stable for horses on your own property, you will also likely need a building permit. Fixed stables with foundations and connections for electricity or water must meet certain requirements. Also important: building permits don’t come cheap. You should probably account for a three-digit sum to cover these costs.

The professional field shelter for animals in 4x4 size

Field Shelters from House of Tents

Go straight to our shop to browse our range of field shelters suitable for stabling animals

Advantages of a tent versus a timber stable

Timber or metal field shelters on skids

Timber sheds and shelters are designed to serve the same purpose as mobile field shelters: to protect the grazing animals from sun and weather while allowing for the shelter to be relocated.

These tend to be made of corrugated sheet metal or combinations of sheet metal and wood and have either metal skids or timber skids that allow for towing from paddock to paddock. Due to the stronger material, mobile stables made of timber are arguably more heavy duty than our mobile field shelters, but are more difficult to erect and dismantle or store. Another disadvantage is their weight. Pulling a heavy shelter across a field on skids will likely lead to damage to the pasture, particularly over the winter. Decent quality mobile stables made of timber are also priced significantly higher than most mobile field shelters.

A portable field shelter made of timber

Portable field shelters from House of Tents

Portable field shelters from House of Tents come in different sizes. All these mobile shelters are waterproof and offer high UV protection. They can stand outside all year round – in winter, of course, you should make sure to remove snow from the tarp, as this snow load can reach a considerable weight.

The tarpaulin is stretched over a galvanised steel frame, which can be supplemented with nets that reduce wind and block insects from entering. Arched poles in the roof and fence (side) poles have a diameter of 60mm and a wall thickness of between 1.5mm and 1.8mm. Our highest quality fireproof Prime tarpaulins weigh approx. 720g/m² and have a 5-year guarantee (for Professional models). The roof tarpaulin is also available with skylights in the roof of some models, if you value more light in the shelter.

Assembly of the shelter doesn’t require experts, but it is helpful to have a few helping hands. Dismantling, if the tent is to be moved or sold, is also easy to accomplish. And thanks to short two-meter panels (in the Professional models), the portable field shelter can also be stored with ease.

Models from the Economy and Premium ranges in our shop are not designed for sheltering animals, but rather for storing machinery or hay, for example. Therefore, you should choose products from our Professional range if you’re searching for a field shelter for keeping animals. Products in this range offer a 5-year warranty on (correctly installed) tarpaulins, as well as a 10-year warranty against rusting through of the frame. In addition, the Professional portable field shelters are equipped with panels in the interior and have a sturdy PVC tarpaulin. Thus, they provide the perfect protection from rain and wind.

If the portable field shelter stands longer in one place and is used diligently by the animals, it can happen that the ground becomes muddy. Therefore, sand should be spread or paddock slabs laid out to provide a dry surface for the animals. Bark isn’t an ideal solution as there are horses that chew on it – some riders also report that bark mulch can become very slippery and is difficult to keep clean.

Optional extras for kitting out your mobile stables

Portable stabling with mobile field shelters from House of Tents are a great option. Even better when you add accessories that allow you to enclose the stable, or protect your animals from insects and wind.

Stable doors in the form of a heavy duty gate made of the same top quality steel poles allow you to keep horses enclosed. At 1.6m high, your ponies still have plenty of opportunity to see, and have contact with each other. Wind protection nets cut down wind significantly and also repel insects from entering the stables.

If you’re looking for a stabling solution that is mobile and offers the highest in quality, for a fraction of the price of a timber building, look no further than mobile field shelters from House of Tents. To get more detail on the specifications of each stable, or to ask about other agricultural buildings on offer in the shop call our customer service team on +4401183150873 or click through to our shop site.

Written by:



I’m Brett, one of the writers here at House of Tents. I love my job, communicating the ins and outs of our field shelters, our gazebos and all the accessories that we have on offer in the shop. In my posts I try to provide you with all the expert advice we have in-house as one of Europe’s largest marquee, gazebo and tent specialist.

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