Keeping horses safe from lightning. - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 18 Old 06-09-2010, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Keeping horses safe from lightning.

I'm in the midst of a fantastic thunder storm. The first good one we've had in at least a decade. The rain is pouring, thunder is crashing, and the lightning is flashing. It's brilliant. =]

BUT, I started thinking about my poor horses all stranded in the barn because god forbid they get wet. Then I wonder how Gracie is doing with the thunder. It's her first real thunder. Then I wonder about the lightning... I've heard several times of horses being struck by lightning or dying from lightning striking something.

So what is the best way to keep a horse safe from lightning? When they are out in the pasture, I understand they have to fend for themselves a bit, but the pasture is surrounded by a ton of trees. But what about when they are standing in their shelter? Is the tin [?] roofing good? Or bad? I don't think we have one of those weather vane things to go on the roof...

This is just my mind working overtime. I'm not panicking, just a decent amount of worried. I just know they're inside because blanket or not, Ricci won't stand in this rain. I'll be checking on them in about half an hour before I head out to meet a friend. Just in case the lightning knocked a tree down on top of one of them. O_O

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post #2 of 18 Old 06-09-2010, 08:46 PM
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I haven't really heard of a tree falling on a horse although that has always been one of my fears as well. I'm not sure what the actual percentage rate on horses being struck by lightening is. Pistol, my 26 year old spent years and years living the pasture life and weathered many storms without isssues.

A friend of mine had a really pretty paint that was out in the pasture during a bad storm. I remember my husband and I arguing because I raced down to the barn to bring everyone in. The next day she called to tell me Chief was dead. He was laying beneath a tree. He'd been struck. The funny thing is, he had a really nice shelter in the pasture, he just chose not to lay under... ? I wonder why....

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post #3 of 18 Old 06-09-2010, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I'm fairly positive my horses would move away from a falling tree, lots of trees have fallen across the fences in the past. There's just a tree that lost it's top during the last wind storm, and it's now held up by some big branches and the tip is on the ground. I worry they may have been underneath it and it fell. Silly, yes. Unlikely, yes. But I always worry that the wind will knock a sign down and send it hurtling towards my neck to be-head me. O_O Crazy, right? Haha.

I don't know the percentage of horses hit by lightning either. And it's not like they are going to stay outside in the middle of pasture all vulnerable. Like I said, Ricci hates rain. And Gracie wouldn't go outside without her. So they're in the barn. I just wonder how safe the barn is as far as lightning goes.

Really sad about your friends horse though. =[

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post #4 of 18 Old 06-09-2010, 10:01 PM
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The BO where I board my mares is terrified of horses being struck by lightning. She had a friend that lost two horses by getting struck. They didn't have any shelter in their pasture, it may have not made a difference. Every time it even thunders or it is forcasted as thunderstorms she wants the horses up. The mares have other ideas! Lol There are other horses on the property that aren't stalled when it's nasty out. Their owners doesn't come put them up ever, so the mares call back and forth to them. In fact the owners never come out to check on them at all. Their stalls haven't been mucked in over a year, flies all over the poor things... ughh... guess that's another story all together.
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post #5 of 18 Old 06-10-2010, 11:33 AM
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My friends horse died from lightening, there was a herd of them and he was her best one, standing by the water trough in the night, sh is still not over it ...... My horses have to be in even if there is a hint of a storm coming, it is one of my fears too.
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post #6 of 18 Old 06-10-2010, 11:37 AM
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Oh no! Another horse thing to worry about. I never thought about lightening but I will now!
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-10-2010, 11:38 AM
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A friend of mine lost two of hers in the same night to lightning a year ago.

You can put them up, but if lightning strikes the barn they can still die. I knew someone years ago who lost a horse to a lightning strike, because it ran down the metal roof and into the metal bars on the animal's stall.

There's really no way to make an animal completely safe from lightning. Heck, we can't even guarantee that we're safe, even in the house!

You can minimize the danger, but never completely get rid of it.
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-10-2010, 12:52 PM
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Ohhhh mannn!!!!!!!!!!!!
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post #9 of 18 Old 06-10-2010, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
A friend of mine lost two of hers in the same night to lightning a year ago.

You can put them up, but if lightning strikes the barn they can still die. I knew someone years ago who lost a horse to a lightning strike, because it ran down the metal roof and into the metal bars on the animal's stall.

There's really no way to make an animal completely safe from lightning. Heck, we can't even guarantee that we're safe, even in the house!

You can minimize the danger, but never completely get rid of it.
But HOW can you minimize the danger? I have no idea what attracts it, makes it go away, passes it on, nothing, lol.

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post #10 of 18 Old 06-11-2010, 11:57 AM
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Our phone blew up from lightening. The cord and everything was fried. I have surge protectors on everything now but I still don't think that is a guarantee. I make everyone stay off the phone, away from windows, no showering during lightening storms at home. So not sure how you can do all the protecting for a horse.
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