Hi Everyone!! South Fl hurricane concerns - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By SeaBreezy20
  • 1 Post By Idrivetrotters
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post #1 of 6 Old 04-12-2019, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: South FLorida
Posts: 6
• Horses: 0
Hi Everyone!! South Fl hurricane concerns

I have on big mini and one medium mini. Cinnamon 7 years & Coco 20something years I have only had them for a little over a year. Prayed no major storms would come this way last year because was't prepared! I have a large 2 stall barn which I have had all the plywood redone and even added extra metal roof brackets. I have asked my vet , farrier, and dentist should I leave in or out during a storm? My farrier says let them run loose ( but I have a lot of trees in the back is on the property line in the front trees all over mango almond and lychee.) I did not have any trees come down in the front when we had the hurricane in 2017 but i had 4 large trees down in the back.

I have an acre.
Front has 2 small livestock gates in each stall which is like 12 wide all together the rest of the barn is enclosed. Gates open in and out. I was thinking if I had to leave them in the stalls maybe somehow attach plywood to the front of the gates? As well as a long piece of wood to brace the gates to make sure they don't swing wither way ? Something that can be immediately removed if there is a situation.
Tried to post a pic off my cell was not loading

I flipped myself out last year with worry glad nothing happened-

Want to be totally prepared !
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wendylee is offline  
post #2 of 6 Old 04-12-2019, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: South FLorida
Posts: 6
• Horses: 0
oh it loaded !!
wendylee is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 04-12-2019, 05:34 PM
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 24
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Personally, I would much rather have my horses running free in a large pasture rather than cooped up in a small, plywood barn during a hurricane. They are much more likely to survive in a field where they can run away from danger. In a small barn, they are at the mercy of the storm and if a tree falls through the roof then they have no escape. I've been in Florida my whole life and never once did we keep our horses in our wooden barn during a hurricane.

If leaving them in the pasture, I would clean up any and all debris that could potentially become projectiles during a storm.
I know there are places that will shelter your horses in a large concrete barn for a fee. Not sure how much it costs, we did it back when Francis and Jean blew through. Definitely something to look into though.
Also doesn't hurt to talk to neighbors about their hurricane plans. Some people are willing to let their neighbors turn horses out on their property if it is safer than their own.

Glad you're thinking about plans before hurricane season starts. It is a nightmare to be scrambling at the last minute.
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SeaBreezy20 is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 04-13-2019, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 384
• Horses: 2
I have lived in So Fla and I live in southern Louisiana now for most of my adult life, so I'm very hurricane savvy.

Here is my general rule of thumb for hurricanes:

Pre-storm checklist:
vaccines including tetanus
extra hay/grain/cubes
waterproof ID tags
critter safe temp paint pen for ID
copies of coggins
photos of horse, include brands, markings, whirls, etc
Extra water tanks
Register with local animal board

BARN/Yard prep

Everything that is loose is to be stored
All loose boards need securing
All debris has to be removed

If you are in Broward County, they have a service to register your horse and the "last chance pasture" where registered horses can be turned out in a large city park. I've registered and used it before.


Tropical Storm: minimal concern mostly cheesed that it interferes with riding

Cat 1: Mild concern extra careful with debris
Depending upon the path, if just in the "cone of uncertainty" or aka "cone of death" we stock up extra water and with a wood barn, turnout in a large pasture without the halter, tie waterproof ID tags in both mane and tail

Cat 2: Concern and after stocking up and cleaning up, same as Cat 1 but I won't ride out a Cat 2 in my own pasture but at the city park

Cat 3 and Above


No joke, no power for days, it is hot and disgusting, generators are a necessity, debris and any damage to your home could make your house dangerous. Just be safe and evacuate. There are some great resources on FB during bad weather/natural disasters to help out. I have some great people in the Ocala area who have evacuation fields so you have options. Network with other horse people, believe me, Floridians help each other out during storms.
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Idrivetrotters is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 04-13-2019, 10:37 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 8,378
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I'm north of you here in the state....
My pole barn is built to take a beating and stand...we built it that way purposely knowing the ferocity of storms here.
I give my horses the choice to stay in their barn or outside in the pasture/paddock area.
My neighbor and I open all gates between our lands, allowing the horses acres to wander over...
The horses come and go to her shelter, my barn or the trees as they know where is best for them to be.

Give the horses the opportunity to make their decision...
Batten down and put away all that you can...make the environment as safe as you humanly can...
Make sure now your fences are strong and do take notice of your trees and clean out the dead wood, the questionable...
Losing 4 trees last year sounds like you had some weakened and diseased trees now culled...gone.
Fences strong and secure...open the barn so shelter is available if they want but they also can use the structure as they need to for protection may not mean in it but maybe better as a wind break and rain softener of intensity...
Give the horses their choice... They will do better than being locked in in a structure that just doesn't sound made strong to truly protect them.

The list and information shared by Idrivetrotters is sound and valid.
The only thing I can say is by the time they tell you to go, if you have horses it is to late as far as I'm concerned...
It takes longer to travel with a horse trailer...people are idiots on the road and gas shortages are a serious issue..
Be informed of the weather storm and tracking projected and act accordingly.
If you are staying put, then do everything in your power to do it safely and provide safe haven for your animals.
Plan a way to provide clean drinking water for as many days as you can...storm water is often contaminated.

If evacuating...do not wait.
At first mention of it happening, BE GONE!!
Make sure you take coggins and vaccination records as most places still want to see them...
Take all your pets, their records required by law...don't forget food and medications for all of the animals.
In this state, micro-chipping is done to many animals because of our storms and damages often occurring.
It is something to consider as every rescue, every animal service vehicle in the state, every animal control officer, every vet....they all have readers and scan animals found to reunite lost humans to their pets.
It works...it truly works...look into it and consider it.
Speak to your vet now, at this quiet time of the year about options, storm evacuation or stay-put suggestions best suited to your particular animals and their needs.
Talk to your particular county about what they offer residents...if they have lists to be on for storm reasons, give them the information they need to help you in time of crisis.


The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
horselovinguy is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 04-14-2019, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: South FLorida
Posts: 6
• Horses: 0
Hi Everyone! Thank you for the input:)

My minis are vaccinated. I am getting waterproof ID tags. Just got 2 breakaway halters.

The open field option is available at a local park but my babies are small afraid to turn them loose with other horses and I do not have a trailer. Also last time we were hit there were trees down blocking main roads. My trees fell from tornadoes at least 4 came through I watched. I want to be able to get to them during if need be and definitely after.

I wanted to tear this barn down before I re did it and build a concrete barn but it was way too $$$$$$$$$$$ even went back and forth with people telling me hardy board etc. then trying to find someone local who was also horse friendly was also a problem.

Mixed answers form everyone I have spoken to .

Think I am going to leave them out as you all have suggested and leave the stalls open for them to seek cover.

I always get rid of my debris but last time I had someones wood fence planks all over my yard it was a mess!

Living in a frame house freaks me out as well especially when I was hearing and watching the tornadoes breezing by . Born & raised in S Fla always lived in concrete moved to Davie so i could have some farm pets. Love animals !!

I also have 2 chickens Thelma & Louise that live in a very large coop that my friend built for me ( prob built better than my house) but I still brought them inside when the last hurricane hit. They were in my glass shower stall -need I say never again!!!!!!! OMG !
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