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lonesomeequus

Your Horses And Bad Weather

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I am sitting in bed having a cow because the storm to end all storms came ripping through here this morning (transformers have been exploding everywhere, hurricane force winds, I even saw turquoise lightning) and we put the horses out last night because we didn't expect this til later this morning. I'm hoping my insomniac BO got them in before it hit...but then I think we are the only barn in a fifteen mile radius who keeps the kids up in bad weather. Our policy is that they stay up if there's a good chance of rain when it's cold, if there's a good chance of a thunder storm (she had a horse get hit by lightning once years ago; I guess it only takes one time to make a believer out of you) and when it gets under 18* at night. What are your policies in bad weather? I know horses are animals who have been surviving bad weather perfectly fine for thousands of years...believe me, that's what I tell myself every time something like this happens :P

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I don't worry at all, but I do generally keep them in the barn during storms. I just like knowing they are dry and happily eating while it's storming and nasty. But if they stay out during a storm, it doesn't really bother me. I know they'll be fine. But if it rains under a certain temp, they are ALWAYS in their stalls. I hate seeing shivering horses!

Edited by Kyra

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The only real bad weather we have here is cold. My horses stay out mostly, regardless of the weather. They can go in if they want. They do go in and hide from the flies in the summer.

The only time I will lock them in is if they have gotten chilled with freezing rain. Then they stay in till they dry off and warm up, and it's back out again.

We have had tornadoes here, but it's rare. Mostly straight line winds, which sometimes does bring trees down.

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I prefer for horses to be outside - well, all the time - but especially during thunderstorms. We have high winds and lightening too, but I worry more about barn damage and fires than about the horses being injured if they are free to choose where they will be.

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I finally put my horses up last night. First time all year. I did it because I am sick of seeing them standing in ankle high mud and water in the pasture. My barn has stalls that open to the pasture so I feed them their hay and grain in the stalls and they are free to leave when they are done. Last night we were suppose to have heavy rain, lighting and hail. So I bedded them down and locked them in. They really needed the dry, comfy spot to dry their hooves out. I had very happy horses this morning. I will continue to lock them up at night until the pasture drys up. Which looking at the long range forcast, (they are prediciting rain every day next week) will be all summer long. :surrender:

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I go by horse really.

I have one, my 3 year old, that hates lightning and thunder. He tends to do stupid things if left out in it (i.e. injure himself.. how I'm not sure). So I have to bring him inside when storms come through. He used to be the same way towards just rain in general after a bad, almost hypothermic event when he was a weanling. But I forced him to learn that rain wasn't going to kill him. He can be out in a drizzle now and regular rain now. :rolleye0014:

My mustang and older mare prefer to be outside in everything, no matter what it is. Though if it's cooler and it rains for a few days they do ask to be brought inside to the stalls to dry off. Though as soon as they are dry they want right back out! They aren't stally type horses, but they are polite and know when they want in, lol.

My new mare and the baby I use the benefit of the doubt. The baby is just a bit over a week old so I'm not too keen on letting him be outside in storms. So they come in if it's storming.

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My mini is in every night no matter what and in durring storms heavy snow rain ect.. Hes NEVER ben out in a rain storm and it it even BARELY starts sprinkeling he will stand at the corner closest to the living room window and whinny.. Hes also never ben leftout at night.. At the breeders she stalls all hers and then when i boarded he had to be in at night so he wouldnt torment the warmbloods while no one was looking.. and here now being the only horse and having wolves bears and coyotes ect NOT staying out after dark he has locking stiffles well used to but everyonce in awhile he sticks and id really rather NOT take that chance if theres a pack of coyotes arround id rather he was locked in a stall safe and sound..IF i could convince hubby hed have a stall in the house LOL BUT hubby says no..

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My horses are outside 24/7/365 other than the occasional night in before a show. My horses are also rarely blanketed unless they really really need it. They have the option to go in the run-in shed and in the winter they have hay 24/7 on round bales. Summer time they have plenty of grazing land and trees. I don't worry unless they give me a reason to worry. They'd prefer standing out in a storm than standing in the barn anyway.

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I had a friend whose horse got hit by lightening during a thunderstorm a few years back. I don't like mine out in lightening now BUT, we had an E5 tornado hit a town near us a couple of years ago. The horses that were out and could break through the fence and run survived much better than the ones who were inside. We had several horses in the top floors of houses a mile away. I think if you are in that big of a tornado it doesn't really matter where they are. We had one draft that broke through the fence and survived in the woods. They moved him and that place flooded. He almost didn't make it. His owner brought him to 4h fair that year and he looked rough. Dumb judge commented that he was a little thin and looked rough. We set him straight. Mostly, I think they should be out. They have great instincts.

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I rarely change the routine of "in at night, out in the daytime".

The only time I would keep my horses in during the day is if there is one big honkin' lightening storm and I don't have to work that day. I will not leave my horses "home alone", locked in a barn.

My horses have 14 very hilly acres to run on the days I'm not home, so my lead horse has several places he can gather the other three for safety. Last summer, we had three storms in one day and I watched Duke (the handsome guy in my avatar), gather everyone in three different places because of the different directions the storms were coming from.

Duke is a superb alpha-dominant leader and does a great job keeping everyone "storm safe". I still worry as nothing is 100% but I won't shut them in. No matter how hard the rain is pouring, they wear face masks to protect their eyes and I can only hope they always stay hunkered down in a safe zone.

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Mine don't go nuts in the rain but they appear miserable. If its a summer rain, then I leave them out, but if its colder and a hard pelting rain, or one that lasts a long time, I'll bring them in.

Right now they are in because its just coming down so fast that it will be a huge muddy mess if i put them out in it.

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Only our yearling is locked in her stall every night. Everyone else is turned out 100% of the time. We have a leanto that runs the entire front of all the stalls (they open into the pasture), so the older horses have shelter. When it starts to rain more than a light mist, they are all under it like they are going to melt.

When the pasture gets to be a muddy mess, that's when we open up the rest of the stall doors and turn the older horses in for the night. Two of our horses share a stall, have been together since they were born and when we tried to separate them my husband's horse hated it, so we just leave their door open so they can come and go as they please.

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I had two horses almost die because we kept them in during a storm. So now I will never put them in during a storm no matter what. They have the natural sense to get to the safest spot so I trust them more than me. Last night we had tornados and luckily we didn't get hit here, but 20 miles away people have lost their lives. So I understand the bad storms, but I still just turn my horses loose during those times. I know anything can happen, several years ago I knew a horse that got decapitated from the tin off his turnout. He was locked in his turnout. That was the same storm that would have killed our horses if we had not at least let them go into their turnout. We had class 3 hurricane ties on the barn roof and it still came off. Cinder blocks would have killed one horse and wood, nails and cinder block would have seriously injured if not killed our other horse.

I just trust my horse's sense more than mine after that storm.

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I have always been taught to turn them out in the biggest pasture that has a shelter in it. I've never had a problem doing that and the horses are much happier that way. When we stalled our horses during bad weather, they were nervous, frantic and hard to handle. If it's terribly cold, we put rain sheets on..but they tend to just go under the shed.

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My horses dont have very much shelter outside, if its a warm summer rain i leave them out and they luv it! but if its a cold hard rain they would much rather be inside. Usually if there is a big storm i will bring them in but i know if there was a chance of a tornado i would rather them be outside and able to run if need be.

In the winter they are outside during the day ( depending on the weather) and inside at night.

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