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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
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    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    Default Solar Eclipses and horses--do they notice?

    We here in Oregon get to have another chance to see a solar eclipse. Granted, unlike in 1979, this is a annular eclipse, so not total. I was 11 during the last total eclipse, and my pony was the last thing on my mind, I suppose. I wonder if our horses will notice this one on Sunday here? Anyone have an inkling? I suspect my sensitive TB would look up and notice something different. During the total eclipse, the birds all fell silent (3 mins. of total darkness!). My large WB boarder probably won't care--too much grass to eat.

    I know the volcanic eruptions we've had didn't seem to bother them too much. Gosh, I live in a weird place!. Today is the 32nd anniversary of Mt. St. Helen's eruption, too. I guess I have odd natural disasters/events on my mind.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
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    6,201

    Default

    My mare did. We were in the path of a deep partial eclipse and I went to the barn to set up to photograph it. Well into the eclipse, she and her pasturemate came up to the fence, looking at us and pawing for their supper. We gave them a couple of handfuls of grain in their feed buckets and they went to their shed for a snooze. As the eclipse was almost over they came back out. I guess to them it was just another night. Somewhere in my ancient slide collection, I think there's a Kodachrome or two of them snarfing down their grain.

    Later, a nearly total eclipse occurred at our Corporate Headquarters. Next to the building was a cow pasture and during the deepest part, the cows lay down and began chewing their cud. Many of the employees had grown up on farms or had small farms and so naturally there was a lot of commenting about it.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2009
    Location
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Posts
    1,008

    Default

    Before the August 1999 solar eclipse in UK, the British Horse Society put out a warning saying “...many horses can be expected to become frightened and disoriented by a relatively sudden onset of darkness in the middle of the day.”. I was highly skeptical but decided to observe a pony I which I would have the opportunity to take outdoors for hand-grazing at around that time (late morning if I remember right). During the eclipse everything went dim and a bit cold for while, as if a heavy cloud had obscured the sun (although the sky was reasonably clear that day). The pony gave no sign whatsoever of being aware of any unusual change and continued to munch away at the grass. Silly BHS!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
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    6,361

    Default

    I'll be in the middle of a clinic ride in a somewhat scary arena on my horse who is nervous about new places. I guarantee he'll notice in that the change in light will give him new reasons to be nervous, but I doubt it will be different than if it were cloudy.
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
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    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    Default

    I'll let everyone know how "disoriented and panicky" my boys get

    We are scheduled to have a total eclipse in August of 2017 and I am totally excited to see another one--they are worth traveling to an area to see one. I'd be glad to host any COTHers who have a burning desire to experience a total eclipse.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    3,464

    Default

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    No, they don't.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    1,930

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 5 View Post
    . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . ,.-‘”. . . . . . . . . .``~.,
    . . . . . . . .. . . . . .,.-”. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .“-.,
    . . . . .. . . . . . ..,/. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ”:,
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    . . . . . . .?. . . __. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . :`. . . ./
    . . . . . . . /__.(. . .“~-,_. . . . . . . . . . . . . . ,:`. . . .. ./
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    . .. `=~-,_\_. . . `\,. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .\
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    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .`=-,. . . . . . . . . .,%`>--==``



    No, they don't.
    "Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care." ~Jimmy Buffett



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
    Posts
    2,364

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fburton View Post
    Before the August 1999 solar eclipse in UK, the British Horse Society put out a warning saying “...many horses can be expected to become frightened and disoriented by a relatively sudden onset of darkness in the middle of the day.”. I was highly skeptical but decided to observe a pony I which I would have the opportunity to take outdoors for hand-grazing at around that time (late morning if I remember right). During the eclipse everything went dim and a bit cold for while, as if a heavy cloud had obscured the sun (although the sky was reasonably clear that day). The pony gave no sign whatsoever of being aware of any unusual change and continued to munch away at the grass. Silly BHS!
    when i was in high school I tried to convince my mom to let me stay home during an eclipse in case the horses went crazy. Didn't work - she made me go to school and they did nothing.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
    Location
    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    7,054

    Default

    5--you do understand that I was joking, right? Cool artwork though--for applicable for many threads on here, too!

    Well, the eclipse came and went, and was very cool to look at! My gelding did be-stir himself to come out from under the overhang at one point, but he might have just needed to fart, or to check out a bird or something. Big Boy's head never came up out of his hay pile, so no "disorientation" there!

    It did get dimmer outside when the sun was mostly covered, which was neat to observe. But, clearly, our animals were not the least bit concerned, so as predictors of natural events/disasters, my herd/flock/pack is useless.
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2001
    Location
    Los Angeles, California
    Posts
    3,464

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Calvincrowe View Post
    5--you do understand that I was joking, right? Cool artwork though--for applicable for many threads on here, too!
    Feel free to use it, I've been waiting for a joke thread to post it.

    I thought since we were talking about a star, a Star Trek facepalm would be appropo.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2010
    Location
    Tucson
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    Default

    On a serious note - as expected, the scary shadows and things around the scary arena were more scary for my horse during the eclipse.

    It's something to keep in mind with a horse who might be scared, as "the witching hour" just before sunset can set horses off with deeper shadows and more apparently lurking danger. I was happy to be riding at that time to work through it, but wouldn't have put a beginner on a horse who could be spooky when there are a lot of shadows at that time!
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2003
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    Windward Farm, Washougal, WA- our work in progress, our money pit, our home!
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    netg- it was eerie, wasn't it?! The sun was there (we had clouds, but they broke at exactly the time of the eclipse--yay!) but it just got...oddly dim. Spooky looking, and I'm sure, spook making, too
    Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2009
    Location
    Glasgow, Scotland
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by netg View Post
    It's something to keep in mind with a horse who might be scared, as "the witching hour" just before sunset can set horses off with deeper shadows and more apparently lurking danger. I was happy to be riding at that time to work through it, but wouldn't have put a beginner on a horse who could be spooky when there are a lot of shadows at that time!
    Wind can do that too!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,641

    Default

    Mine were a bit watchful--I was outside feeding, and they weren't as intent on their grain as normal.

    I did notice that all the birds stopped singing, which was a bit odd.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    8,038

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by atr View Post
    I did notice that all the birds stopped singing, which was a bit odd.
    That's how we know for sure that we are about to get our backsides kicked hard as a hurricane barrels up the coast. All of the birds vamoose!
    "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein

    http://s1098.photobucket.com/albums/...2011%20Photos/



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