In case of a tornado or other natural disaster - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 12-19-2011, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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In case of a tornado or other natural disaster

I live in tornado alley *sigh* and if the unthinkable happened and my property was ever destroyed and my horse got out, I would do all in my power to find him... I'm debating over wether or not I should bother with putting a breakaway halter on him in case of a tornado (that has a dog tag or something on it with his name and my phone #) or just getting him micro chipped...Or both? The thing with the halter is, if it fell off, no one would know who to call or anything if they found him... And no way would I put a nylon halter on him. I think I'll just get him micro chipped...Any opinions on this?
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post #2 of 13 Old 12-19-2011, 04:10 PM
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I hate telling this story,
I lost my first horse to a tornado. We had moved and taken our horses with us and left Sky at my parents house, we were weaning her foal and it was overdue. A tornado came through, 1st one ever in Bentonville AR to record and caught everyone by surprise. I was on the phone with my mom as it blew through the middle of the neighbors house, turned and went just right of my parents house. I was in hysterics, for my mom, and only after it passed did I realize that Sky could have been in danger... They found her in the pasture with a broken leg.
The tornado missed a pretty prestigious horse facility just down the road but the wind only took out their fences and there were horses all over the place. None of them had halters on and it was search and rescue at that point for people and livestock. Sky was the only one killed but the other horses were cut up, thankfully they stayed close to their barn. I think haltering before a storm would be wise with an ID tag on it. But in a situation like this you will be working with the police and neighbors to find people and animals alike. A short description works fine. Also, I would put a nylon halter on him. You don't know where he could end up, what state he would be in, and whomever found him would need to be able to catch/hold him securely. A chip would work too, but you have to remember that a vet would take hours to get to the scene so chipping would take forever to ID, but would be good if your horse was ever stolen, got loose etc....
If I were you I would take care of yourself first, and if it was 100% eminent that one would cross your path I'd let him loose to run. Sky had nowhere to go except her beautiful tree lined pasture. I miss her soo much.
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post #3 of 13 Old 12-19-2011, 06:52 PM
Green Broke
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My horse has a halter with an ID tag with my name and phone number. Pretty much all the time. Way more useful than micro chipping.
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post #4 of 13 Old 12-19-2011, 07:00 PM
Green Broke
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If you aren't comfortable putting a well-fit nylon halter on, I would go with a neck rope, set up sort of like a dog collar with either embroider/sharpie/tag on that. I'd probably add a breakaway halter as well, for quick capture in case of an emergency (aka, a tornado).

I'll probably end up moving out to a farm/a property in tornado alley after I finish college, so I've put some thought into it. I thought of the dog collar type deal after seeing the cribbing collar on a tb that use to be at the barn I currently ride at.
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post #5 of 13 Old 12-19-2011, 10:47 PM
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MOST of the time you have time to run out and put your phone # right on the horse with spray paint. For those times when you don't, I'd chip and put a breakaway halter with a phone # on it. Never put your name, address, social security or drivers license # on the horse, it can lead looters directly to you when you're least able to deal with them. I use my cell phone # since you can't look those up real easily.

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post #6 of 13 Old 12-20-2011, 01:32 AM
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The downside to microchipping an animal, is the number of brands that make the microchips. Each one has there own scanner and not every vet will have every brand.

Something I have seen done is having a pet tag (like what you would put on a dog or cat collar) attached to the horse's mane near their bridle path. The tag is tied into a braid near the top of the mane. It could identify the horse's name, their owner and a phone number or something.

Every solution has pros and cons, microchips could work, depending on the brand of microchip and the scanner needed to detect it. A halter could work well for catching, but can also get snagged or possibly lost (same with an ID tag in the mane). Spray painting the side of your horse could work, if you had the time, your horse catches easily at all hours of the day/night and all weathers, but would it wash off?

Whatever works best for you and your horse is the best solution. Good luck. I have lived in tornado areas and understand your concerns. I also lost my childhood horse to a bolt of lightning in one of those areas, found her laying with her head downhill in the pasture right after the storm passed :(
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post #7 of 13 Old 12-20-2011, 01:40 AM
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I think most facilities carry universal microchip scanners now. Even though there are many different brands of chips, the universal scanners should be able to pick up all, or at least most of them. While it may not be the quickest way to identify a horse in the kind of situation you're describing, I still think its a great idea for any horse.
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post #8 of 13 Old 12-20-2011, 12:58 PM
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On the microchipping issue only:
I assume microchipping for horses is the same as for cats and dogs. Not all scanners pick up ISO chips, which are 15-digit numbers (often sold as "international chips", but basically all other scanners pick up all other types of chips. Go with a known brand like Avid, which uses 9 digits and you should be good. Just PLEASE make sure you register the microchip with your info if the provider doesn't for you! Microchips that can't be tracked back to the owner do no good at all.
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post #9 of 13 Old 12-20-2011, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
MOST of the time you have time to run out and put your phone # right on the horse with spray paint. For those times when you don't, I'd chip and put a breakaway halter with a phone # on it. Never put your name, address, social security or drivers license # on the horse, it can lead looters directly to you when you're least able to deal with them. I use my cell phone # since you can't look those up real easily.
Would the spray paint come off? lol and would it be ok for his skin? Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I'm going to get a breakaway halter that has a tag with my cell phone # on it. Because if my home was destroyed, what good would my home phone # be? And I may or may not get him chipped...Still debating... In my Horse&Rider magazine, I've seen advertisements for this new ID scanner thing, they scan your horse's eye? And then the machine remembers the details and all? has anyone used this before?
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post #10 of 13 Old 12-20-2011, 10:19 PM
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I'm curious about the spray paint too. Is it safe for the horse and will it come off? lol

I've never heard of the eye scanning thing for horses. I imagine it's fairly new technology. Which would concern me because if it is, then I'm sure a lot of people havn't heard about it so they wouldn't know to check the database. Would people be able to check the database easily and quickly? Also it seems like it would be pricy but again I know nothing about it, so maybe it isn't. Haha.
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