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The big storms coming (1 in 5 Americans at risk) where do you put your horses?

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  • #21
    On the plus side the forecasters are saying that it's not going to be as bad as the one last summer...but...


    • #22
      Originally posted by gottagrey View Post
      On the plus side the forecasters are saying that it's not going to be as bad as the one last summer...but...
      That one was truly surreal. When it started up, I went outside to fold up a deck umbrella. Thank goodness I was in the lee of the house otherwise I probably would have done a Mary Poppins, but just looking up at the sky with all that random lightning was eerie. It looked like my farm had just been cast as an extra in some Hollywood alien-invasion movie.


      • #23
        Mine will be in at the barn where I board. I'm right next to Fairhill too. The barn is new and very sturdy. Even when we do get tornadoes around here they're usually F0 ones and I'm more comfortable with him in than with the potential of injury from lightning or flying debris. While I'm sure an F3 or better could take out the barn I doubt what we usually see around here could cause it to collapse.
        "Some people are born on third base and go through life thinking they hit a triple” – Barry Switzer


        • #24
          We had 3 in the barn and 2 outside in the run in on the back of the barn for last years Derecho. The guys inside were calmly munching hay in their clean, dry stalls - the ones outside were soaking wet, covered in sticks and leaves and all of their hay was gone. The water tub was chock full of leaves and with no electricity/well I couldn't do anything but clean out the leaves and hope the water didn't taste too bad. They were not too happy but luckily were not hurt (except for maybe their feelings).

          Since we are going to have more warning and know what the hell a Derecho is and can do, all our horses will be inside our sturdy barn.

          Really do hope they have this forecast wrong!


          • #25
            Given the layout, and the higher chance of lightening over a tornado, I feel more at ease with "in."
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            • #26
              Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post
              These are the storms I'm talking about

              So now the question... Do you leave horses in or out?

              My set up has a new 12x24 run in shed (Amish built) that can be closed into 2 stalls or left open. I can contain my horses (2 and a mini donk) to the lower part of the pasture or close them in.

              My thoughts are:
              1) Many injuries are caused by flying objects
              2) What if the fence goes down and they get loose?

              1) Many of the horses in Moore that died were in barns that collapsed.

              What do you guys think?
              Depends. I've seen run in sheds overturn extremely high winds. Do you have hurricane straps?


              • #27
                I don't either?! We have a barn that is pretty sturdy and when it storms I keep the horses in.
                However, last June we had a really bad storm with hail and tornadoes. So I actually considered moving them into our walk out basement and if the storm had gotten worse I would have (I know totally crazy).


                • #28
                  I have 4 in stalls and 3 who have access to the back of the barn for a shelter and run in. The 3 that are stalled are the dumb ones that won't come in even if it hails - the ones that are out are the ones that run for the barn when the weather gets bad.


                  • #29
                    Mine are out but all have big sheds and large pastures.

                    The way I see it is that they are in a barn and a tornado hits, they are trapped and have little or no chance.

                    At least outside they can use their own instincts, flying debris or not. Sometimes Mother Nature leaves us no perfect choices.
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                    • #30
                      Disaster Planning

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by BarbaricYawp View Post
                        That one was truly surreal. When it started up, I went outside to fold up a deck umbrella. Thank goodness I was in the lee of the house otherwise I probably would have done a Mary Poppins, but just looking up at the sky with all that random lightning was eerie. It looked like my farm had just been cast as an extra in some Hollywood alien-invasion movie.
                        That's what it looked like from my deck, too. It would be ideal if we didn't have another one like that.

                        My horse (in Greenspring) is staying in tonight.
                        "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden

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                        • #32
                          Just wanted to update that the storm came through the Milwaukee area last night and wasn't too horrific. The horses where I board were all in their respective stalls, and did just fine.

                          I had impeccable timing and actually ended up riding out the storm at the barn myself, lol.

                          I cannot even IMAGINE them being out in it, though. There was a lot of cloud-to-ground lightning, high winds, tons of driving rain, lots of flying debris, etc. It was very loud and most of the horses were unsettled to at least some degree (some more than others, a few jumping around but no one really losing it - one boarder actually rode in the indoor during it!). On my way home I encountered a large tree across the road that had been struck by lightning and split in half.

                          Anyway, I hope others have fared as well.


                          • #33
                            It was a bit of a dud here. Thank goodness .


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Meredith Clark View Post
                              These are the storms I'm talking about

                              So now the question... Do you leave horses in or out?

                              My set up has a new 12x24 run in shed (Amish built) that can be closed into 2 stalls or left open. I can contain my horses (2 and a mini donk) to the lower part of the pasture or close them in.

                              My thoughts are:
                              1) Many injuries are caused by flying objects
                              2) What if the fence goes down and they get loose?

                              1) Many of the horses in Moore that died were in barns that collapsed.

                              What do you guys think?
                              1. In almost 25 years of open pasture horse keeping I've never, as in NEVER, had an injury to a horse from flying debris. I'm in East TN and we get some hum dinger thunderstorms. Not like OK, IL, or TX to be sure, but not gentle showers either. IMO while the risk is not zero this fear is vastly overblown.

                              2. Any fence, at any time, can be downed by a tree, a horse, a deer (or moose or elk), etc. If you keep horses inside because a fence might go down then you might as well not put up fencing. We've had fences go down and had to chase horses, cows, and goats over the years. It's not a happy thing but is part of animal husbandry.

                              Consider, too, that in real thunderstorm country you've got millions of animals kept on pasture 24/7 through both summer rains and winter snows. Consider that horses evolved on the short grass steppes of Asia and survived for millions of years before domestication. If a bit of rain and wind is going to harm them then Darwin's rules would have meant non-survival of the species.

                              I'm looking at a line of storms that will be over my house in about 20 min. I'm not moving anybody from where they are. They've done just fine before and the odds are they will do just fine now.

                              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


                              • #35
                                Mine are out, except for the weenie that stands in his stall in front of the fan and won't leave. I'm sure he'd leave if it were falling down. They all have a significant area where they can get away from rain and debris if need be, and we're in a hollow, so I'm fairly confident that they are relatively safe from lightning.

                                We had a heckofastorm this morning/last night, with sheets of rain...that were...solid. They were all wet this morning (except for Sir Stall Weenie) but everyone was fine.


                                • #36
                                  I've lived in N TX, MI, WI, IA, IL, MI and now VA with my horse(s) and i really do feel that being "out" is safer than being in. We are settling in to be hammered again this evening and I still feel good about my mare being out.
                                  A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                                  Might be a reason, never an excuse...


                                  • #37
                                    Ah the 1M question.

                                    The answer is, if there is actually a tornado, all bets are off. We had one, worst damage 3 miles from our house a couple of years ago . F4. My horse was out, I was stuck "in" the barn. I thought I was going to die, pressure changed, couldn't see a thing, temp dropped like 40 degrees instantly. I had gone running out to get my horse in, got knocked off my feet by the wind and crawled into the big 100 year old barn with beams like tree trunks, you can't even drive a nail into this stuff. Called my husband from the barn and told him which end to start digging at if it hit. Based on the fact that 200 feet of 4 board between where I was and where the horse was, was laying almost on the ground, it passed right between us. The woods out back looked like someone had karate chopped them off about 20 feet up.

                                    The worst devastation was down the road. It looked like a bomb went off. One breeder trainer lost around 20 horses both in and out, some they found, some they never found. The only survivor that was in the barn was a yearling they dug out of the rubble. They had a big 6 horse trailer that they didn't find. Two people in a tenant house that had been there for 100 years or so died. If that bad of a storm hits you directly, it doesn't make any difference.

                                    When the storm passed, my horse was running up to the gate, screaming. When he got to the gate, he was shaking like a leaf. Not a scratch on him.

                                    During another close tornado, I had him inside in plenty of time, the Corgi and I hung out in our concrete block laundry room, because he couldn't do the stairs to the basement, and I couldn't carry him. The next day, when we went through the neighborhood it hit, I realized that it wouldn't have made a bit of difference where we were if it had hit the house or the barn, it would have been vaporized.

                                    The short version is, do what makes you feel good and lets you sleep at night. I have a new horse now, in spite of the forecast, put him out at 6P last night, as skies were clear, though it was windy. Looked at the radar at 11P, felt guilty, went out and brought him in. We also brought in a big box truck with a vinyl sign on it.

                                    Wind never got over about 25 mph and we didn't get a drop of rain or anything else.

                                    But I slept really well, because, that time, it felt like he should be in.

                                    A side note, I'm getting some reflector boots or something for him. Bay roan horses with no white are impossible to see in the dark. I didn't want to spook him with a flashlight.


                                    • #38
                                      I agree with everyone who says to do what you think is right for you, your horses, at your place, with your forecast. I believe it's basically out of our control anyway, given really massive storms.

                                      That said, I'm locking mine in this evening due to the forecast of large hail and lightning. We had a storm overnight with horrendous lightning (I missed that forecast, somehow), and I was nervous about my little herd being out (and I'm sure they were huddled under their grove of trees...duh...instead of in the barn where they can come and go freely). Since they don't understand the attraction of lightning to a lone grove of trees in the middle of an open pasture, I'll just have to think for them this evening.

                                      Good luck, everyone!
                                      "We need a pinned ears icon." -MysticOakRanch


                                      • #39
                                        I've been keeping an eyeball on the radars, and while it's windy as heck here (yay... blow the dang bugs AWAY!), my girls will be staying out since it looks like everything is hitting above us.

                                        I'm kind of in the camp of 'if real disaster is going to strike, you aren't going to be safer either way' when it comes to the in/out debate. I usually opt for 'out' unless there is going to be hail. I don't trust the weather forecasters, since they've never once been right in the time we've been here, so I listen to my gut and make my decisions based on what the situation is. I have been know to jump into the car at 2AM to bring them in!

                                        Hope all the COTHers who ARE dealing with it come out on the other side unscathed!


                                        • #40
                                          We put them down in the lower pasture in the back. They don't have a real barn, just a lightweight shelter, and they are somewhat protected by the woods back there. We're "above I64" which is a demarcation line the weather people like to use here but we got nothing all night. Did get 15 minutes of fury right after I got home this AM though - with blue skies right behind it.

                                          DH and I definitely went back and forth about it, but big hail would have clobbered the horses in a few minutes and the trees were a better bet than the lee of the run-in.
                                          Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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