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Lightning and horse shoes.

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  • #21
    A barefoot horse is extemely well grounded as the hoof will cut nicely into turf and give lots of ground contact. If they weren't then electric fences would not work. There is no proof I'm aware of that demonstrates horse shoes increase risk of lightning strike. If there is an increased risk I doubt it quantifiable.

    G.
    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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    • #22
      I researched this last year:

      http://equineink.wordpress.com/2008/...summer-storms/
      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

      Comment


      • #23
        Great article Bogie, thanks for posting the link.
        Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by His Greyness View Post
          An unshod horse is no less likely to be hit by lightning than one with shoes. It just happens that most horses people care about are shod. A wet horse or person standing in the wrong place is good conductor of electricity.

          Everyone calm down. She/he did not say that only horses cared about wear shoes. See above! She said that "most horses people care about are shod". I think the wording could have been better but I highly doubt that she meant that barefoot horses aren't cared about. People just read into things way too much. Most horses probably do wear shoes so therefor most horses cared about DO wear shoes.

          Horses and cattle do have a greater incidence of being struck by lightening because of their size. In addition they also have a greater chance of being killed by lightening because of their size and the fact that they are four legged. They also tend to get killed in groups because they stand in close proximity to each other. There is quite a bit of information out there on the net on this very thing.

          The odd horse in a group that doesn't get struck by lightening probably didn't get struck simply because he was standing further away from the others.

          Comment


          • #25
            Agree with jenn...I think His Greyness' point was that many domestic horses are shod...not that if you loved your horse it would be shod. I think the "care" part meant "cared for by humans" and not feral or wild. No need to turn a lightening thread into a barefoot vs shod thread. Or I wuv my horsies more thread.

            I just worry about horses out in lightening period. Shod or not. Because most horses are turned out on flat open ground and become tall things on flat open ground. A big no-no with lightening around.
            Lightening jumps...from trees to people or from horse to horse. It can only jump/arc so far which is why safety rules are to spread out and stay away from trees and to crouch or lay down if you're in an open area and lightening is striking. If lightening strikes very close, I think the common etiquette is to also shite yourself for extra protection. (another reason to stay away from other people, you may smell funky)
            Horses get hit by lightening a lot more than many people might think. Over the years I seriously can't remember how many people I know who've lost horses to lightening. It has to be devastating for the human owner...because it's never something anyone expects to happen. I knew one person who lost 5...all her horses...to lightening. One strike, took them all down and she saw it. She was in her kitchen watching them getting ready to go out and drag them in. She saw the flash and they went down like dominos she said. Apparently it jumped from one to another, they were somewhat close to each other. To say she was devastated is an understatement.
            I'm lucky in one way sicne about 100 feet from the front of my house and less than 300 feet from my barn is a ledge outcrop aboout 50-60 feet higher than my house and about 90 feet higher than my barn. (my barn is downhill from my house) And one that ledge outcrop is a 360' tall steel cell tower. The safety engineers we hired to help with our barn building laughed at our request for lightening rods...said we had the world's biggest one in that cell tower. They were right...in the 5 years we've been here that cell tower has been hit more than I can count. Nothing has hit the billion trees, barn, telephone poles or house.
            Have to say the feeling outside when lightening does hit that pole is creepy as hell...you can feel the electricity in the air right before the bang of the tower getting hit. It's like all the air gets sucked out of your property, you can feel static and smell ozone and then BANG the tower gets hit. All happens in a split second...and sometimes I go change my pants afterwards. But I still make sure the horses are in for bad storms. Not taking any chances...shod or not.
            You jump in the saddle,
            Hold onto the bridle!
            Jump in the line!
            ...Belefonte

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            • #26
              Hmmmm...

              For millions of years horses lived on the open steppe in Asia and North America without the benefit of barns, human shelter, etc. There were lots of thunderstorms over those millions of years. If lightning is such a horse killer how did they evolve and survive to our time?

              This is not to say that there's no risk. But the subject seems to be starting to fall into the category of "catostrophic risk of the month" club.

              In almost 20 years of residence here in the mountains of East TN with horses spending most of their time outside I've never lost a head to lightning. I don't know of anyone who has lost a head to lightening. During this same period I know, personally, of more than a half dozen horses shot to death during hunting season (either accidentally or on purpose).

              Weather happens. Thunderstorms are part of weather. My horses take the same risks I do.

              G.
              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

              Comment


              • #27
                Lightening strike is the number cause of death for feral/wild horses.
                It's not an every day very common thing...but it's also not uncommon either.
                I can name 11 horses off the top of my head without deep thinking that were killed by lightening. Now I have known hundreds of horses, so the percentage isn't that high overall. But it's still at least 11, probably a few more if I strain the brain.
                Is it something I freak out about? Nah, not really. But I do bring the horses in during storms with heavy lightening. Why? Because if there is a small risk that I can effectively remove, I will. I happen to have the type of luck that if there's a one in a million chance of me winning the lottery and a one in a billion chance of me getting eaten by a shark...I'm the moron getting eaten by a shark. Probably on dry land in a thunderstorm too. And with my luck, it would be tick infested and I'd get lyme for the 6th time.
                So since it's non big deal for me to run the horses into the barn, I do it. It's actually quite easy because my two prefer to be in out of really heaby rain or thunder and lightening anyways. They're in the aisle waiting in front of their stalls for me. They're big weenies.

                FWIW...in general true evolved wild horses pretty much died out in massive numbers all over the planet. And they continue to do so. Mother Nature really didn't design those as long lasting inventions. Without human intervention there'd probably be a handful of Mongol ponies and Przewalskis and that's it on the entire planet. Considering they were almost everywhere at one time...they're not exactly the best evolved for long lasting.
                Of course we've probably screwed them up even more, but they're still around.
                You jump in the saddle,
                Hold onto the bridle!
                Jump in the line!
                ...Belefonte

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                  Is it something I freak out about? Nah, not really. But I do bring the horses in during storms with heavy lightening. Why? Because if there is a small risk that I can effectively remove, I will. I happen to have the type of luck that if there's a one in a million chance of me winning the lottery and a one in a billion chance of me getting eaten by a shark...I'm the moron getting eaten by a shark. Probably on dry land in a thunderstorm too. And with my luck, it would be tick infested and I'd get lyme for the 6th time.
                  Well, here's how neurotic I am - if I brought them in, then I'd worry that lightning would hit the barn and burn it down while the horses are trapped in their stalls. Of course I still worry about lightning strike if they're out in the storm - a lawyer down the street from me lost a horse last summer to lightning strike.

                  Not to add to your worries - what with those tick-infested disease-carrying land sharks, sounds like you have plenty already.

                  I designed my place so that the horses can come and go as they please. That way, if God forbid something happens, I don't have to feel guilty that I locked them out/in.

                  I always heard feet and teeth are the top causes of feral horse death - but I can't cite a source for it.
                  I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

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                  • #29
                    LOL...yeah I have weird fears. Ticks because I've had Lyme disease five freaking times so far and sharks because...I dunno, I just flip out at the idea of things coming at me unseen, that can swim a LOT faster than I do and that have no fear of humans. I feel the same way if I'm swimming in a lake and something brushes up against my leg or something...FREAKS me out! And I know it's not a shark if I'm in a lake or river...but that doesn't compute in my brain.
                    Oh, not a big fan of heights either. So I guess my biggest fear would be a tick infested shark on a mountain top coming after me. I'm not so much afraid of ticks as I just HATE them. They don't freak me out...I don't get all squiggly over them or anything. I just know if I'm seeing them I'm probably going to end up back on Doxy.
                    Worn out teeth can definitely cause a lot of feral horse deaths, as can worn out feet/abcess or lameness issues. I'd add their digestive tracts to that too since they aren't immune from colic or founder. But overall the folks who track the wild horse movement and habitat find an alarming amount of them dead from lightening strikes. Usually 3-5 at a time because they tend to stand in huddled groups in bad weather. And avoiding high places or open places during lightening isn't a trait they can learn since one hit and they're dead.
                    You jump in the saddle,
                    Hold onto the bridle!
                    Jump in the line!
                    ...Belefonte

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                      I dunno, I just flip out at the idea of things coming at me unseen, that can swim a LOT faster than I do and that have no fear of humans. I feel the same way if I'm swimming in a lake and something brushes up against my leg or something...FREAKS me out! And I know it's not a shark if I'm in a lake or river...but that doesn't compute in my brain.
                      What? You never heard of the Matawan Man Eater?
                      http://www.njhm.com/matawanmaneater.htm
                      Certainly sharks can still eat you in a lake or a river. Or in Matawan Creek.
                      Bwahahaha.
                      I'm not ignoring the rules. I'm interpreting the rules. Tamal, The Great British Baking Show

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Did someone say sharks?

                        I'm askeert of sharks.

                        I can think of 3 incidents in 10 years here. Several horses, two farm hands killed while trying to nurse a sick calf, (calf died too) and another person.. but I can't remember what that person was doing at the time. Maybe golf. Dunno.

                        Horses were out in a field but not the tallest/largest objects in that field. Calf and farm hands were in a run in shed with a metal roof (that's where they were tending to the calf).

                        Person... golf club? Rake? Really don't remember.

                        Of all the cases though - the only one I thought was a no brainer was the farm hands in the run in shed. The other two - just didn't think those were high risk since their were taller and larger objects around them.
                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                        -Rudyard Kipling

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' View Post
                          What? You never heard of the Matawan Man Eater?
                          http://www.njhm.com/matawanmaneater.htm
                          Certainly sharks can still eat you in a lake or a river. Or in Matawan Creek.
                          Bwahahaha.
                          A little warning, please? That's going to give me nightmares!!!!!
                          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                          -Rudyard Kipling

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            I know of one man who lost his two favorite riding horses in the same summer storm. You know the kind here in the South..where it's hot as Hell one second, then windy, then blammo lightning then POUR rain for about 20 minutes...then heat back up again. At 2 in the afternoon.

                            I don't worry about lightning. Time's up when it's up and I'm way too far from the barn M-Th to do a darn thing about it.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                              I really disagree that people care more about shod horses than unshod ones. That's an absurd statement to make. I have a farm with 35 unshod horses on it..mares, foals, stallions and pleasure/sport horses and all of those horses are very cared for by us and by their owners.
                              I doubt that was meant as a dig on people who keep their horses barefoot. I think it was more meant that if a horse is shod, it is likely getting regular care. If a horse is barefoot, it may well be getting regular care but it may also be owned by someone not able/willing to pay a farrier. For the record, I have 4 and one is shod in front, the other 3 are barefoot. All are well cared for.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Oh freaking great, that's it. No more water unless it's chlorinated.

                                And nobody get the smart-ass idea of linking a story to chlorine resistant shark attacks!

                                One of my family nicknames is Jesus...because we were at the beach when I was a teen and was out in water about waist deep and something swam by and brushed my leg...my family said it looked like I was running on water, LMAO!
                                You jump in the saddle,
                                Hold onto the bridle!
                                Jump in the line!
                                ...Belefonte

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Jenn2674 View Post
                                  Everyone calm down. She/he did not say that only horses cared about wear shoes. See above! She said that "most horses people care about are shod". I think the wording could have been better but I highly doubt that she meant that barefoot horses aren't cared about. People just read into things way too much. Most horses probably do wear shoes so therefor most horses cared about DO wear shoes.
                                  I think the point being made by those of us who were offended, is that the statement is wrong. Yes, there are a lot of horses "cared for by humans" who have shoes. There are many others who don't. Probably the numbers are pretty even.
                                  Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

                                  Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com

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                                  • #37
                                    I can't count the number of times I've hopped out of bed at the first hint of thunder to bring the horses into the barn. I hate those 2am thunder storms. If I'm around and its going to storm, I bring the horses in. I've know of too many horses killed by lightning. I'm with Misty Blue. Why take the chance?
                                    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by bird4416 View Post
                                      I can't count the number of times I've hopped out of bed at the first hint of thunder to bring the horses into the barn. I hate those 2am thunder storms. If I'm around and its going to storm, I bring the horses in. I've know of too many horses killed by lightning. I'm with Misty Blue. Why take the chance?
                                      Agreed - I won't even turn them out anymore if a chance for T-storms. Last time I did, after waiting for 2 hours & thinking it had gone around us, a massive T-storm landed on top of us. I did not go out during the storm as we have many Tall Pine Trees & I figured it wouldn't do any good if I were killed when one of the trees was struck. Did a quick once over after the storm w/ flashlight & went to bed. Next morning I discovered my older mare had been hit with something above her right eye. Turned out ok - non-displaced fracture & no injury to the eye. But I figured best to leave well enough alone.

                                      I too know several folks who have lost both horses & cattle to lightning.

                                      FYI - my luck is to be attacked on the mountain-top by the land shark infested with lyme ticks and a severe case of rabies.
                                      "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                                      Courtesy my cousin Tim

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Oh crap...rabies...didn't think of that. I do have a fear of getting rabies too. Rabies shots suck..wildlife rehabbing means getting them every once ina while is pretty mcuh standard procedure.
                                        Okay...so we have mountain top with tick infested rabid land sharks....should I add bling? That can sometimes scare me a little bit. Like sparkly ticks on the landshark?
                                        You jump in the saddle,
                                        Hold onto the bridle!
                                        Jump in the line!
                                        ...Belefonte

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by fooler View Post
                                          Agreed - I won't even turn them out anymore if a chance for T-storms.

                                          I too know several folks who have lost both horses & cattle to lightning.

                                          FYI - my luck is to be attacked on the mountain-top by the land shark infested with lyme ticks and a severe case of rabies.
                                          I had to go through the rabies thing - bitten by a feral kitten I was trying to rescue. Embarrassing ER visit - had to hold up my finger and say - in a loud voice - I was BITTEN BY A KITTEN - in a waiting room full of really sick and bloody people. Then when I went to the front of the line.... well... I felt very foolish.

                                          Anyway... my rule is if they are out - they stay out. If they are in - they stay in. Storms form so quickly where I live - I can't tell what it's going to do until the wind starts. By then - the livestock might be really up and I don't want to get run over or hit by lightning.

                                          I don't know if that is the correct decision or not. But it's what I came up with after almost getting hurt a few times. Plus - now I've got pigs and steers and I'm not going to go around micromanaging everyone 24 hours a day.
                                          Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                          Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                          -Rudyard Kipling

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