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Top Tips for Maintaining your Field Shelter

If you’ve recently installed a mobile field shelter, it’s essential to ensure that it’s properly maintained. Whilst they are built to withstand the elements, there are a few things you can do to keep your mobile field shelter looking clean, tidy and up together.

Your shelter is an investment that will provide your horses or animals with a dry and comfortable shelter from the elements. By caring for it, you’ll increase its longevity while ensuring that you provide horses, ponies or other animals with a safe place to rest, rain or shine.

Getting it right from the offset

field shelter
If you’re yet to install a mobile field shelter, there are a few tips that can help ensure that it maintains its durability. When it comes to shelter placement and positioning, as well as shelter design, there are a couple of aspects to consider.

The best place to put a field shelter

Avoid placing the field shelter under trees

It’s important to ensure that there are no trees or limbs above your mobile field shelter. Branches can fall during strong winds, causing damage to the shelter itself. Additionally, trees with roots can make the ground level unsteady, which is not ideal for supporting the shelter’s structural integrity.

Keep clear of wet and boggy areas

Moisture and timber are not two things that go together particularly well. Although our field shelters are made using quality structural timber that has been treated, providing an additional layer of protection against things such as moisture, it’s really not a good idea to place your mobile field shelter directly on a particularly wet patch of ground.

The bottom of a hill where puddles gather is one of the least desirable spots for a field shelter, as the groundwater can get into the timber and cause rot and decay from the bottom up. Additionally, boggy and uneven ground may affect the structural integrity of the field shelter.

Instead, opt for higher ground that is less likely to become saturated with water. Adequate drainage is essential to keep your mobile field shelter dry and comfortable for your horses.

Place next to hedges

It may seem like an unusual spot, but placing your field shelter next to a hedge is very beneficial. Hedges can provide an extra level of wind protection to the outside of the field shelter as the leaves and branches of the hedge will act as a natural barrier.

What should you put on a field shelter floor?

Apart from the size, airflow, and location, the floor is also a crucial aspect to consider. Rubber matting is the most comfortable and effective flooring option for your horse.

The key advantage of rubber matting is preventing stress on your horse’s joints. What’s more, it can help in regulating the temperature of your shelter. But as a flooring option, it is also a durable, quick and easy-to-clean solution that can prevent the ground from getting churned up and boggy.

A good point is that you can customise the rubber matting measurement according to your stable size, ensuring that you have an excellent fit for your shelter.

Choosing a quality field shelter

field shelter

It also helps to start with a quality, purpose-built mobile field shelter design, such as those made and sold by Equestrian Fencing.

We build the frame from quality, tanalised timber constructed to include uprights, corners and door posts as well as diagonal wind branching and cross members. Each of our field shelters is cladded with attractive and hard-wearing shiplap cladding. Internally, each shelter features a plywood kickboard.

Our mobile field shelters also include hard-wearing, grey fibre roof sheets with galvanised ridges and PAR cloaking pieces, together with guttering and downpipes for efficient drainage.

There are also lots of customisable options, giving horse and animal owners the opportunity to create a sheltered environment that caters to their stabling needs and field environment. This includes chewing protection, doors and windows, full and half-height partitions, gates, a full plyboard lining and additional guttering.

It’s always important to consider what additional features you may need before erecting your mobile field shelter.

On-going field shelter maintenance

mobile field shelter

Timber treatments and preserves

Just as with a fence, decked area or cladding on a barn or garage, the mobile field shelter can benefit from a little timber TLC from time to time. In particular, we’re referring to the exterior shiplap cladding.

Even if the timber has previously been treated, painting or treating will not only help to support the longevity of the mobile field shelter’s exterior, but it will also ensure it looks aesthetically appealing for years to come.

Start by cleaning the timber, using a bristle brush to remove any cobwebs, moss, mud or fungal build-up. Next, treat the timber. You could use a timber preservative, or for equine use, traditional creosote will give the best protection from rot and decay and also reduce the chance of your horse chewing!

This is not something you’re going to need to do on the regular. Once a year to every 18 months would be more than sufficient.

Roof and gutter inspections

The roof plays a vital role in ensuring that the inside of your mobile field shelter remains dry, therefore it’s really important to check in on it from time to time.

Take a visual inspection, checking for any holes or damage from falling tree debris and be sure to make any repairs as soon as possible.

Don’t forget about your gutters. Check these for leaf and debris build-up, and clear accordingly.

If you do need to repair or replace any roofing or gutting, we have a variety of materials available suitable for the job.

Regular checks

Inevitably, field shelters can become damaged from animals moving in and out or kicking or biting the structure.

If you know that your horse or pony can be a little destructive in their stable, we’d always recommend you take additional precautions by opting for a fully lined plywood interior. This will protect the structure and the cladding and can be easily replaced if damaged.

It’s always good to check your field shelter every now and then to identify any animal damage. Inspect your shelter regularly to spot any potential damage or safety risks. Check the walls, doors, and windows for any damage that could pose a safety hazard to your horses. Promptly fix any problems that you discover before they escalate into more significant issues.

Be sure to check any hinges or latches, and adjust any gate furniture that has slipped or become stiff. Oil bolts or hinges to ensure that gates and doors open and close properly.

Regular cleaning

The most important tip for maintaining your horse field shelter is to keep it clean. Regularly clean and remove any debris or manure to keep your shelter hygienic and fresh-smelling.

Unmaintained shelters with dirty bedding are breeding grounds for bacteria and parasites that can trigger health issues in horses as well as damage the timber structure.

Don’t forget to remove any cobwebs or weeds growing in and around your mobile field shelter.

Keep the field shelter ventilated

A well-ventilated shelter is crucial to keep your horses healthy and comfortable. Ensure that your shelter has enough windows for the number of animals you’re stabling, and if you have opted for doors, aim to keep these open as much as possible to allow air to ventilate through.

The importance of mobile field shelter maintenance

field shelter

Maintaining your mobile field shelter is crucial to keep your horses comfortable and healthy. However, it is also a great way to get more bang for your buck in ensuring that your field shelter provides value for money, can be moved easily and also looks aesthetically pleasing.

Remember, if you’re considering buying a new mobile field shelter, we have a range of options available with plenty of custom features to ensure that you can get the right design for use.

Start things right by choosing an appropriate mobile field shelter, placed in a suitable position.

Inspections will help you to ensure that you spot any animal damage or damage to the structure from tree debris. Treating the timber will help to enhance its condition and durability in the long term, as well as cleaning the roof and gutters. By following these tips, you’ll keep your shelter in good condition and your animals comfortable and happy.

Find out more about mobile field shelters from Equestrian Fencing and Timber, here.

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