Horse behavior before a severe storm? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-03-2012, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Question Horse behavior before a severe storm?

I came home from work early because of tornadoes coming through our area and found both of our horses laying flat out in the pasture, like they were dead! They were about 10 ft from one another with their backs facing against the incoming storm and not moving. At first, I feared they may have been struck by lightning. I had to get up very close to them and whistle loudly before either would even respond or move. When they finally did, they jumped up and ran frantically to the barn. Why were they laying down? Is that something instinctive?...
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-03-2012, 05:23 PM
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Interesting. Could it be they were instinctively making themselves a smaller in lightning target? Getting closer to the ground so they weren't the "highest" point? Just from reports I've heard, if a tornado is rolling through horses will instinctively run. A friend of mine who lives in Wisconsin but grew up in North Texas said that whenever they had a touchdown nearby they would release the horses and then go searching after the storm..they had a large amount of fenced land so plenty of area for the horses to get to safety, what safety there is out in the open with a tornado rolling through.

I can only imagine what you about a heartstopping panic moment.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-05-2012, 10:28 AM
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Very interesting! Horses have an amazing ability to predict weather. We rescued a horse from hurricane Katrina and he always tell you and hour and a half before a storm comes. He will also tell you how bad too. If it was going to be nasty he would run around and scream to be let into the barn. If it was just rain he would seek shelter in his run in for before the rain set in.
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post #4 of 4 Old 03-05-2012, 10:41 AM
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cows do the same thing. they lay facing east (backs west) out here when a storm is coming. my horses are in with some of my cattle and will mimick it sometimes but for the most part they stand there like dodo brains and get wet.

Be the kind of woman who, when your feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says "oh sh*t she's up!"
RIP Sully and Jetta (4/24/11 lightening storm)
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