Lightning storms

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minihayburner

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Every time there is a threat of a thunder and lightning storm I rush to get my 3 little boys into the barn. Maybe I am being a little nieve but are they really any safer in the barn then in the pasture? If Lightning is going to strike can't it hit the barn as easy as in the pasture?

The only shelter they have in pasture are some big Oak trees. But they don't go there for protection. I didn't get home on time during a storm last week and there they were out in the open with the rain pelting down on them and the thunder and lightning all around, and all they were doing was eating their grass.

Just wondering if I am worrying about getting them inside when it isn't necessary, you see I hate lightning storms and I run for cover real fast!!

Any input would be appreciated as my husband and I don't see eye to eye on this.

Thanks
 

Leeana

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lol i to am scared of storms. Any of them really ...if we have a thunderstorm watch im packing the medical bag. Our barn has a metal (well tin i think) roof. I usually put coco in it and close all the windows I would say that they are safer in the barn then out in the pasture. Also they could get wet, muddy and all that stuff. The barn is deffently the best place.

Here in NW ohio we gets storms every night it seems. Specially last night and the past week. I would reather not take any chances w/ leaving them out though.
 

liltnt

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I would think putting them in the barn would be worse, but only if lightening was to hit the barn and it caught fire.

I panic all the time but my babies dont seem to mind anything out in the pasture. Not earthquakes or thunder and lightening. Or even fireworks. But it scares me
 

Sue_C.

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Mine are out as much as possible...but are brought in if it's thunder-n-lightning out. It isn't that they mind it, for sure...BUT...

There is a farm not too far from us, that lost six draft horses due to a lightning hit. They were all huddled together under a tree for shelter, (as horses are prone to do) and when one was hit, they all 'took" it.
 

C & C Farms

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I put mine in the barn during storms. I don't want them under trees for the fear of them being struck by lightening. Usually lightening will hit something that is taller. So if you have a tree next to your barn that is taller than your barn mostly likely the lightening will hit the tree first. My barn is a metal pole barn too. Just make sure its grounded well too.
 

ChrystalPaths

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Two years ago a fellow had his minis out and this huge storm came through,. We had a terrible wind shear and so much lightening, it felt like a tornado. One of his fillies was struck and killed by lightening.

Another fellow has his out always and lost two fillies last year on a hilltop.

I have always brought my kids in if it is lightening. I would be crazy if I lost one.

Karla we got that storm last nite and wow what a storm! The winds were amazing and rain was horizontal. I barely got he kids inside and the stallion in the big shed with the break aways. He got a bit damp but was sheltered. I stayed with them all until it was over. The way the wind was blowing one way then another I felt I had to be ready to set them free if a tornado came up. It was over in an hour and then just a soft rain for hours, we sure needed it.

I have to say I live on the WeatherBug. Tells me so accurately what my weather is doing and will chirp if something is coming I need to know about. Yesterday she chirped and we had that storm with tornado warning. They said it would hit Woodhull at 7:55..it hit at 7pm on the dot. I love it and recommend it highly.

www.weatherbug.com
 

Bess Kelly

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Had a friend who lost 5 full-sized mares in a lightening hit in Florida....they were out and heavy rain, it hit one and the water carried it to the others.

Personally, I had a barn burn to the ground after a lightening hit. Was a huge metal fan in the eave of the loft....it hit and apparently sparked onto the hay!!

Thankfully, I was home and immediately looked because it was SO CLOSE and loud, there was smoke, then flames within minutes. I called 911, gave addy and fire in barn, hung up and ran to the barn. Was able to remove the five horses & one pony in there. We lost only a chicken.....well, also about $8,000 in all our sets of tack, etc.
But, horses were safe. Had I not been home, it would have been deadly for all of them, I'm sure.

Consider grounding your buildings.
 

Miniequine

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I'm sitting here reading this during a terrible storm....here in Virginia

The news is on,,, 4 people in neighboring Loudoun Co. have been

struck... they are all on their way to the hospital...

I could not get my ninis in ,in time for this storm... They are eating

grass like nothing is wrong.. Oh, I wish I had not read this thread!!
 

Relic

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The horses have as much chance of being hit by lightening in the field as in a shelter. There is no way a person can know where a strike can occur so we leave ours to go where they want and most times they are in the field grazing through a fireworks display. A women up here a few years back lost a lot of minis due to a strike and if l remember right they were standing by a wooden hut that was hit and killed everything standing around the area. l've sat close to a window to watch a storm and lightening struck 2 feet from the house and left a black mark so never sit there anymore in bad weather and yes the hair on your arms does stand up before a strike. We also had the transformer on our electric power pole down by the road hit twice and it started a fire both times we were lucky to be home. we have metal roofs on the barn and the house but both have lightening rods and are grounded requested by the insurance people. Lightening does not always hit the hightest point as l grew up believing as the round hay bales get hit many times when trees or buildings are not far away and it sure the heck hits twice in the same spot l've learned from personal experience. l do very much worry about the sucker rod fences as l think they could carry a current for a long ways if hit and do a lot of damage. But there are a lot of differant types of lightening and l found the streaks that go straight down not sideways are the scary ones plus they can travel deep and knock out your well like in my neighbors case.
 

Tommy

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I don’t want to belabor too much on the best practice but as this subject is part of my working background I will share the following:

All in all, they are better in the barn, NOT outside. I don’t know how tall your property is from the surrounding property. The higher the property the higher the propensity for direct hit exists. It all it is a matter of averages depending on your ground height, or building heights in the surrounding area. Do NOT allow them under trees, BIG TIME NO NO. Barns offer a great amount of protection, regardless of fire hazard. You need to stay alert just in case you get a direct strike so you can act accordingly.

If you really want make sure your mini’s are safe in a barn of any kind during an electric storm, if you write me private I will provide you with a design that will deflect a direct lightning strike from your barn itself. It is a matter of some basic physics but in most cases an over reaction for this natural phenomena causes the most problems.

I have offered designs for lightning poles for the older satellite antenna systems that were very susceptible but the principal would be the same.

Bottom line…..put them up in the barn, regardless of the structure. They have a better survivability rate than if outside herded under any trees.



Tommy
 

Marty

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Do you see this horse? Take a good look. This was my son's horse

that he showed and grew up with. He is dead from lightening.

He loved him and we loved him back very much. In Florida,

we had many lightening storms. I have seen my friend's Arab

first hand blown up by lighting as her husband was trying to get

him inside. Not a sight I will ever forget. I never leave a horse

out in a storm.

And ironically,

our horse was struck IN HIS STALL! When lightening rick o sheyed

off off a nearby tree. He was hanging his head outside of the stall,

(the stalls are in a shed row) and was hit. He did live for 6 days,

fighter that he was, but the rest of the details are just too gorey to

post so I won't.

Another reason for not having large trees or a barn in a shed row.

 

Ginny

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We live in Florida and we lost 4 cows to lightening strikes over the years but not any horses yet. The cows congregated under trees during the storms and the horses do not. But we carry lightening insurance on our entire herd because all of our pastures have many large oak trees that the horses could get under and take a hit. We lose several trees every year to lightening strikes... very scary.

Ginny Long
 

coopermini

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My plan tonight was to post a question on this topic. Glad to see it is up and running.

We have been bringing in our minis in all the lightning storms. we have had more than usual this year. My thought is that they are safer inside than out. The building should provide some protection somewhat the same as a car. The rubber tires of a car provide nil for protection but the outer body directs the charge to the outside and down to the ground. Sort of like umbrella.

the utility pole 100'+ from the barn has been hit at least 5 times since 85. Each time it trips the breaker at the transformer and splinters the top of the pole.

The power company said some areas or structures have the right charge to attract lightning and will be prone to strikes. Trees get hit more often than buildings (of course there are more of them at least in some ares).

We are planning to keep bringing them in.

Mark
 

minihayburner

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Thanks so much for all the input as I too have felt it is best to have them inside. Mine are always in at night anyway but we have had some doozy of storms.

My barn is wood with a metal roof, I will have to ask hubby if it is grounded. I would think it is being as the structure is wood, just the roof is metal.

I feel better now about bringing my boys in during a storm. I usually have to coak them to come in if it is before usual time and I was just thinking I might be being over protective. I am glad I am on the right wave length with this one.

Thanks again for all the input. I will continue to bring mine in out of the storms, even though they dont have enough sense to come in themselves.
 
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