Horses and lighting strikes

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Horses and lighting strikes

This is a discussion on Horses and lighting strikes within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    09-01-2012, 05:49 PM
Horses and lighting strikes

Ok I'm worried now. I live in MO and we have lots of lightning. My husband and I just moved our horses to our house where they have no shelter put up yet. They do have trees for shelter until next month when we can build a shelter. They are held in with an electric fence. It's maybe about 5 acres total that we have fenced in for now.
Anyhow I was reading that electric fences makes lightning
Strikes more common and it's more likely to strike livestock if you have one. Is there any truth to this? Should I shut it off during storms? I don't need the horses running through the fence, but don't need the getting struck by lightning either! Am I just being paranoid?
Ugh I'm so worried now!
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    09-01-2012, 05:53 PM
I do not have electric fence..but I get worried about lightning every time a bad thunderstorm rolls through the show me state so I totally understand the fear.
    09-01-2012, 05:57 PM
Are your horses put in a barn when lighting storms hit though? Maybe I can stick them in my garage for now lol
The people I got my mare from had her in a pasture for 6 years with no shelter and no trees and she's still alive, im still really worried though. Is there anything else I can do for now? I don't think my husband would really let me hold the horses up in the garage:/
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    09-01-2012, 06:07 PM
I can't see that an electric fence would be a magnet for lightning. It's too low to the ground. A shorter route would be through a tree, clothesline, hydro pole. Or a horse standing on a boat in the lake! LOL

I've only heard of two horses being hit by lightning and one of those was on this forum. I wouldn't stress over it.
    09-01-2012, 06:08 PM
I think horses are more likely to be struck by lightning if they are standing underneath a tree. Off by themselves though, it is very rare unless they are the highest things up in the area.
I know a girl that I rodeo against lost 3 of her horses because they were standing next to a tree. Many cases with cattle too, even more so than with cattle because they are just stupid.
When there's lightning, horses have more of a flight instinct than a huddle under a tree instinct. Or so what I've learned from watching horses during storms.
    09-01-2012, 06:12 PM
Just had another thought: if you are going to continue to worry, put a lightning rod on something and ground it well. Where I used to live, we all had at least one lightning rod on the barn.
    09-01-2012, 06:18 PM
This may sound dumb but what does a lightning rod do?
I'm not from MO. This is the first time I've ever had to worry about lightning strikes.
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    09-01-2012, 06:24 PM
I know of 4 horses that got hit by lightening. Three at one time standing under trees, the other I'm unsure about. None lived.
It doesn't happen often, relative to the number of horses outside during storms but it can happen.
Golfers get hit standing under trees.
The odds are in favor of your horses but all the same I understand your worry.
    09-01-2012, 06:28 PM
Originally Posted by Jewelsb    
This may sound dumb but what does a lightning rod do?
I'm not from MO. This is the first time I've ever had to worry about lightning strikes.
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It's the highest point & somehow, don't ask me how, it attracts lightening & sends the current into the ground.
    09-01-2012, 06:34 PM
Well sounds like I need to look into lightning rods. Do I just need one for the entire farm?
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