bad storms...horses in or out? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Michigan
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bad storms...horses in or out?

We have a 40' x 40' barn, with a 40' x 16' covered lean to off the back.

with all this bad weather we've had in the past few weeks (thunderstorms mainly) where, in your opinion, is the safest for horses to be?

they can get out of the weather is a nice big lean to, but if the weather is absolutely horrid, I bring them into their stalls. Blizzard like conditions, to thaw out in the middle of winter,, and to get away from the bugs in the summer time. They LOVE their stalls.

We dont typically have tornados here in Michigan, but if we did have a warning/watch, I typically leave my horses outside. If a tornado hits us, they have a better opportunity to survive being able to run away, as opposed to locked in a barn. Right?

thunderstorms, they usually stay inside, but lately I've been leaving them out. With this large of a lean to, there is plenty of room for five horses that get along to stay out of the weather.

my biggest fear is lightning hitting the barn and setting it on fire. the way our house is set up, wehave 10.5 Acres, 320 feet road space, so its a long "lot". Our house is set in the woods, and a path leads out to 5 acres of open land and the barn. If our barn was on fire, we have huge trees blocking our view out back, so we'd never know until it was too late.

many horses don't have the life that mine do. Many neglected horses have no shelter at all and survive just fine. So maybe I'm just paranoid... but has me thinking what others do when mother nature strikes.
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post #2 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 10:07 PM
Green Broke
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I was led to believe that horses should be left outside in tornado weather as it is safest for them. Otherwise, I do bring mine in overnight in the winter months; depending upon wind direction (they have a run in shed that opens to the south; prevailing winds from the north or northwest), I may bring them in during a summer storm (thunder, hail); finally I will bring them in during the height of bug season for some quiet time which they look forward to.

Since you can't see your barn from the house (I'm kind of like that too because of trees especially when they're in full leaf), do you think you could wire in some sort of monitoring system?
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post #3 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 10:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Indiana
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We have a barn, but only used it for medical reasons. Other then that, it's pasture and lean too. If a tornado is for sure, well open the gate.

On a side note, are you getting the storm that's rolling through here now? Or just a random question?
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post #4 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 10:39 PM
Green Broke
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I would rather mine be in during a thunderstorm. A barn we used to show at, a county over from me, lost 5 in a storm because they were sheltering under a tree and lightning struck the tree. All five died from the strike. I have lots of trees, but no run in. Mine would shelter under the trees and risk the same thing, so I bring them in. We don't often have tornados. In warm weather, if its just heavy rain storms with no lightning, they stay out.

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post #5 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 10:51 PM
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Outside. My friends horse tried to climb OVER the stall door last 4th of July. She was freaking out over fireworks and my friend thought it would be best to lock her in. The door is high, just below her throat latch. Her stall is an in and out and so loves her stall.

If you horses had shelter they are just fine. They are safest outside and able to panic as they see fit, if need be.
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post #6 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 10:59 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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Depending on where the storm hits and what kind of storm it is, it's sort of a ****ed if you do, ****ed if you don't type thing. If they are out, you run the risk of them being hit by lightening, if they are in, lightening can catch the barn afire. If they are out without shelter and the hail gets too big, a well placed strike could severely injure or even kill them.

As for tornadoes, I've always believed that outside was better because at least then they wouldn't have walls and things falling directly on them. Of course, the main killer in tornadoes is the flying debris, which can get you just about anywhere, but I believe they have a better chance of avoiding it if they don't start out with lots of razor sharp tin surrounding them.

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #7 of 29 Old 05-31-2013, 11:16 PM
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I bring mine in if thunder storms are in the forcast we have had some pretty bad lighting storms. My horses have no shelter out in pasture so they tend to stand under trees.

Last bad lighting storm the tree they like to under was hit and split in two. Good thing they were in barn that night. We haven't had a tornado in the 21 years we have lived here so iam not to worried about that.

I only have one riding horse so can't afford to lose him to lighting so I bring in when we get bad weather. Summer their in because of bad bugs winter they for most part stay out unless we get a blizzard.
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post #8 of 29 Old 06-01-2013, 12:00 AM
Green Broke
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Location: Texas
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The only time my boys go in is during a thunder/hail storm. Like the others, there's no shelter in their paddock. Just a couple trees. Rain is fine, they don't mind that. But I'm not taking the chance of my ponies getting struck by lightning.

There on the tips of fair fresh flowers feedeth he; How joyous his neigh,
there in the midst of sacred pollen hidden, all hidden he; how joyous his neigh
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post #9 of 29 Old 06-01-2013, 12:02 AM
Green Broke
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On the subject of lightning storms, does anyone know if lightning rods on buildings really work or is that a myth?
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post #10 of 29 Old 06-01-2013, 12:05 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Higgins, TX. YeeHaw!!
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Yes, they really long as they are properly installed and properly grounded.
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Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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