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This is a discussion on Thunderstorms within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Horses scared of lightning thunder
  • Horse afraid oh thunder

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    07-07-2009, 11:31 AM
Exclamation Thunderstorms

I am currently caring for 6 thoroughbred racehorses for one of my friends, he doesnt have an account on here so this post is mostly on his behalf.

Basically after a recent short (but intense!) heatwave there have been the inevitable thunderstorms that follow. The thing is that all 6 of the horses I am caring for freak out during the storms. I tried seperating them and putting each in a diffrent paddock if there was likley to be a storm (thought that one may be the cause of the problem and was just spooking the others into freaking out as well) but this made no diffrence. The rain doesnt bother them but the noise or lightning does.

I stabled each horse with a stablemate schoolmaster pony yet the company of a steady horse doesnt seem to make much diffrence.

If turned out they carrer around the paddock, bucking rearing and kicking. One of them slipped yesterday and injured his leg and as a result is out of racing for the season. If they are in their stables they just weave constantly and rear up.

I wondered if anyone knew of any ways I could aclimatise these animals to the storms so that they don't freak out or injure themselves and end up being out for the season? They are your average 16HH thouroughbred animals, high spirited aged between 3-10. 2mares, one stallion and 3 geldings.

Sorry for the length of this post!
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    07-08-2009, 10:35 PM
Well the only thing I would say is to put them in stalls, at least that way they can't run around and slip, they can just weave. Is the roof in the barn high enough that they wont bonk there heads? I mean theres not alot you can do. I would just put them in there stalls.
    07-09-2009, 02:20 PM
It was a really nice post on FHOTD about it I believe last week. I agree with reining girl: stalls is the only option. Just put enough hay and may be things like hanging balls, lick-it, or hard sweet balls for them to get distracted.
    07-17-2009, 02:36 PM
Stall them. That way there is less chance of them being out all season.
    07-17-2009, 03:14 PM
Do they have a run-in? It's not unusual for horses to be afraid of thunder/lightning, especially when very close. Our mares prefer the run-in or under the trees when the thunder/lightning is right overhead...I think they feel safe without having that boxed in feeling.
    09-04-2009, 10:47 AM
Yeh if I stall them they weave like crazy in storms. I think its just the fact that they are high spirited young and flightly animals. Thankfully there is nothing they can hit their heads on in the barn.... apart from the doorframe, but due to these behaviors I tend to shut the top doors during a storm. The youngest, 3 goes mental wherever I put him and gave himself colic in the last storm. Should I consider the use of a tranquilliser for him? He is a stallion but the owner is strongly against getting him gelded (which I think would calm him).

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