Bad weather and horses - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
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Bad weather and horses

I live in TX., near the coast, and right smack in the middle of hurricane country. I was wondering what do others do with their horses in really bad weather? Stall them, which seems dangerous to me, or leave them out, which doesn't sound great either.
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post #2 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 11:03 AM
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I worked at a barn that had to deal with toranados pretty frequently..their policy was to leave the horses out for fear of building/barn collapse. Honestly I have never been sure of what the "right" thing to do when it comes to horses and bad weather, seems like either way they have the potential of being hurt. I suppose the reasoning behind leaving them out in feilds during such weather is that they may have a chance to save themselves?
Maybe someone will invent a horse weather bunker lol
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post #3 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 11:24 AM
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Subbing. I'd like to hear some answers to this one as well.
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post #4 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 11:32 AM
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Give the horses the option to go inside, so that they can still be outside if need be. Chances are, most horses will stay outside anyway.

Personally, I feel it is completely dangerous and life-threatening to trap an animal inside a building during bad weather.

In 2004, a tornado took our barn down. Had the horses been stalled inside, they would have been dead. Instead, we turn them out into a large pasture with plenty of "running" room when bad weather is on the way. They were nestled in a low place well out of harms way of the debris. Instinct kicks in.

In 2010, I found some friends to ride with while I was in Oregon. Over the Christmas break, they got an usual amount of snow for that area. Each of their horses had their own stall in the barn, but they never locked them in. They always kept the stall door open so the horses could go outside if they wanted. On Christmas Eve morning, she was watching out her own kitchen window when she heard a loud BANG outside, saw all the horses go racing out of the barn, just in time before the entire barn roof came crashing down from the weight of the weight snow on top of it. Again, if the horses had been locked inside, they probably would have been killed.

That's why I think horses should NEVER be locked inside during any kind of bad weather. You can give them the option to be inside, but always give them an escape route to get outside quickly if need be. If you lock them in a building, and that building goes down in the bad weather, the horses are screwed.

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post #5 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 11:47 AM
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I'm with Beau; leave 'em out with the option to get in out of the weather.
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post #6 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 11:57 AM
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Outside may work if the pastures a big enough with varied terrain but that's not how most horses live. Most are stopped by fencing at some point. Horses don't normally dodge flying debris, they usually turn their butts to the wind & ride it out.
My pastures are good sized for grazing. Any horse in them during a storm is a sitting duck for whatever comes flying at them not to mention lightening strikes.
Even if they did somehow get out they would still be victims to flying objects, running down roads & any other hazards they may come across.
Mine are in during storms. No place is really safe in a bad storm but I figure the barn has held up through many storms whereas the trees & fences didn't always fare so well.

A friend in FL put her horses up in the barn during one of those bad hurricanes. She lost part of the roof but the horses were OK. One of her neighbors left her horses out & found them mangled in the tops of pine trees.

I think each person has to assess their own situations & take the chances for the best outcome.
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post #7 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 12:04 PM
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Location: Central Texas, easily mistaken for a big bowl of dust!!
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Originally Posted by BritchesNStitches View Post
Maybe someone will invent a horse weather bunker lol
I totally actually planned on trying to figure out some way to do this :P maybe if I win the lottery lol
Posted via Mobile Device
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post #8 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 02:02 PM
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We halter them and in sheep paint or grease paint write our name and phone number on them. They stay in the field. To date we've never had them leave the property even with downed fences during a hurricane. They know where they are fed and staying close is their priority.
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post #9 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 02:10 PM
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Wow, reading this post made me think about going through the hurricane last fall. We have had to go through a couple of hurricanes since we got our horse two years ago. The first one was a week after we got him. We kept him at the time at a self care stable about ten minutes from our house. I remember the other boarders asking if we had a plan for him in case of emergency. I had a lot of worries and concerns with a new horse-what I was going to do with him in a hurricane was not one of them. I can tell you it was kind of scary driving to the barn in that weather to take care of him. He stayed inside-the pasture was about 18 inches underwater, and it stayed underwater for some time.

The second one was Hurricane Sandy, last fall. We had moved him to a new barn. He was also inside for that one. There were trees down everywhere you looked across the state. One was across the road leading to the barn and it stayed there for about a week. Many people had trees down, which also took their fences down, not to mention power out, some for weeks. So we were kind of lucky there.

Mind you, I don't even live near the shore. It's a good idea to think about what to do in case of emergency. I will, however, take hurricanes over tornadoes any day. Much more time to get out of the way.
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post #10 of 20 Old 07-24-2013, 02:18 PM
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During bad weather, we leave the horses out. The barn may collapse on them. During extreme weather, we also write our phone numbers on the horses with wax crayons. We don't leave on halters; the horses may get caught in something.
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