The Horse Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'v been hunting for 8 years now. I'v had horses my whole life. My horses never minded shooting around them, as long as it wasn't too close. But now that my horses are staying with my in-laws horses (for the time being), their horses are TERRIFIED of gunshots, and race about the field like lunatics. My horses never minded fireworks either, and again same problem.:? Hunting is a huge thing in our area, and it sounds like WWIV going on every year.:shock: And i can't put them in the barn this year, because the cattle are in there because of bear season being in. Lately it hasn't been to bad, i'm thinking they may be getting used to it (hopefully). I will go out with them to calm them down, and throw out a little feed to get their mind off of it, or ask a couple of them to yield a hindquarter and do some ground work to get their mind off of whats going on.
So how do you and your horses handle hunting seasons??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
And yes i'm always worried about my horses "accidentally" getting shot/injured. There have been 2 incidents that i know of in the last 5 years. Both horses didn't survive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,303 Posts
At our place, the new ones are usually used to all the gunshots before the end of the first deer hunting season (roughly Thanksgiving to New Years around here).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Not theirs, they've had them for about 3 years now and their horses still freak out over it. Mine aren't too bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,303 Posts
And yes i'm always worried about my horses "accidentally" getting shot/injured. There have been 2 incidents that i know of in the last 5 years. Both horses didn't survive.
We lucky that in our county, hunters are required to get and carry written permission from the land owner to hunt even if the land is not posted, and the owner of the 150 acres around us does not allow deer/fowl hunting. There have been a few rabbit hunters with their dogs, but they all know we have horses and stop by to let us know when they are in the area. Our biggest worry is a stray bullet from a careless target shooter 1/4+ mile away.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,269 Posts
Our horses have never had a huge issue with hunting season. The neighbors sort of have "gun club" through the year so they hear the shots year round. The same with fireworks. I would say with time they will improve. The problem is that the behavior has persisted because it works. In the horses minds ( a terrifying place no doubt :)) the gunshots result in them running around which makes the noise stop. The horses may think that them running around like fools makes the noise stop.

Its also possible that the horses are not so much frightened but feeling full of the jollies. We had a car come through a fence a number of years ago. We had our gelding home for some time off from the track. He was clearly a bit bored. The car came through the fence and the horses ran around like fools. By the time the ambulance arrived all the horses except one were calmed down. I was actually afraid the horses were going to cause trouble by touching things when the tow truck arrived. All except one, the gelding who was "on vacation" spent about 20 minutes running around, bucking, rearing and doing laps at his racing fastest. He would stop and then a leaf would blow by or a gate would close and boom off to the races he went. He had a blast and its possible that these horse are not so much afraid of the gun but think the sound is just something to over react at.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
773 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
The one mare is always full of spunk, and rips and tears when the wind changes direction. Which leads to everyone having a good run, and kicking and bucking spree. Which ends in about 10 minutes, except with her, she'll go off by herself. Shooting isn't a regular occurrence around them, it's only around hunting season, and fireworks for when we have a huge family picnic. I hope they improve some.

Our neighbors usually let us know, but other "locals" from our area will just stop and park at our mailbox and use our quad trails to get down into the hollow. They don't ask or anything, and yes it is trespassing, and i do go down after them and chase them out. Obviously none of them understand property boundaries. Which makes it dangerous for the horses and cattle, and any of us out and about working the farm. It would be great of our county would do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,293 Posts
We have issues with everyone and their uncle shooting all pell mell as well. I have even had our neighbor across from our farm, their 12 year old son, shooting a .22 over our pasture and toward the barn and house. Local popo are about as helpful as a tit on a bull.

Personally, I wish that people in the country or rural setting were more conscientious about those around them. Where we are they are not, one neighbor is fueding with another and they do all sorts of horrid things, primarily, shoot at all times of the day and night, send friends over to shoot, run 4 wheelers, drink a little beer, etc....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,519 Posts
My horse is boarded about 1/2 mile from a heliport. So he has military helicopters flying over his pasture at low altitude on many times a day basis. We used to ride right by a gun range and subdivision construction zones too. The constant exposure has him pretty solid to gunshots and other loud noises (nail guns, cranes, dumpsters). New horses get a bit excited when the pilots do a low flyover, but seem to settle into the herd belief that it's no big deal in just a few days.

I maintain that most of our 'modern' horses are far more accustomed and thus less fearful of any mechanical or engine noises, no matter what the vehicle they come from looks like, than they are to some natural sights and sounds. Deer about gave him a heart attack when we first started riding in the TN woods. Took much longer to get past that then the helicopters. So hunting season is a non-issue for us, other than taking precautions not to get either of us shot out on the trails (the legality of hunting in certain areas or shooting at something that is not actually confirmed to be a deer aside, anyway).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
164 Posts
The horses at our yard go wild when it's hunting season ^-^' I think they end up winding each other up a bit, but I've found it's best just to leave Hippy in the field when it's the day of the hunt. He seems happiest/most at ease there with his pals :)
It's probably just him, but Hipster really freaks out when it's a hunting day. He gets really fidgety if you bring him in, and panics. It just gets worse and worse until you can get him safely back to his field.
He's fine with tractors and all kinds of farm machinery, but gunshots send him over the edge 0.o I think it may not just be because of the gunshots though, but because he wants to join in ahaha XD All those excited horses winding each other up!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,459 Posts
Unless they can be exposed to it on a somewhat regular basis, horses will be jumpy or fidgety with gunshots close by.

During the summer, we have friends that come by to try out their new guns. Usually, they come out at least once a month. The first few rounds, the horses do get jumpy but settle down.

When hunting season comes around, the horses aren't too phased by it. We don't hunt and there isn't hunting allowed on this side of the river. There are hunters on the other side though. The river is close to the backside of one pasture but far enough away that the horses aren't too bothered with the sound.
Posted via Mobile Device
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top