HomeBlogHow Can I Calm a Horse During a Thunderstorm? Expert Tips!

How Can I Calm a Horse During a Thunderstorm? Expert Tips!

To calm a horse during a thunderstorm, provide a pasture with sheltered areas away from water and fences. If confinement is necessary, keep the horse indoors with closed windows until the storm passes.

It’s important to head for low ground to reduce the risk of injury or death from lightning strikes. Additionally, horses should be in a pasture with trees or near a lightning rod, which helps to diminish the risk of being struck.

Grouping together for protection and seeking shelter beneath large trees should be avoided, as they can attract lightning strikes. Ensuring a calm environment and a buddy nearby can also help horses become less reactive to loud and dramatic weather.

How Can I Calm a Horse During a Thunderstorm? Expert Tips!

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Understanding Horses’ Behavior In Thunderstorms

When a thunderstorm rolls in, it is important to understand how horses typically behave during such events. By understanding their behavior, we can take necessary precautions to ensure their safety and well-being. In this section, we will explore three key aspects of horses’ behavior during thunderstorms: the risk of injury or death from lightning strikes, their natural herding instinct and grouping behavior, and their tendency to seek shelter and protection.

The Risk Of Injury Or Death From Lightning Strikes

Horses’ natural herding instinct during a thunderstorm can increase the risk of injury or even death from lightning strikes. When faced with a storm, horses often gather together for protection from the elements. However, this behavior can make them more vulnerable to being struck by lightning. They may also seek shelter under large trees, which are attractive targets for lightning.

Natural Herding Instinct And Grouping Behavior

Horses have a strong natural herding instinct, which becomes more pronounced during thunderstorms. In the wild, horses would cluster together for safety and protection during inclement weather. This behavior carries over to domesticated horses as well. Therefore, during a thunderstorm, you may notice your horse seeking the company of other horses in the pasture or stable. This grouping behavior provides them with a sense of security.

Sheltering And Seeking Protection

To alleviate their fear and discomfort during a thunderstorm, horses instinctively seek shelter and protection. They may try to find cover under structures such as barns or overhangs, or they may huddle together near fencing. As horse owners, it is important to provide them with appropriate shelter options in the pasture, away from trees and water. Low-lying areas can offer added protection from lightning strikes. Keeping them indoors with closed windows during a storm is another viable option if confinement is safe.

Horses are sensitive animals that can become anxious during thunderstorms. By understanding their behavior and taking appropriate measures, such as providing shelter and ensuring their safety, we can help calm them and protect them from harm. It is important to note that attempting to comfort an anxious horse during a storm may not be wise. Instead, our goal should be to keep them contained and secure until the storm has passed.

Tips For Calming Horses During Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms can be scary for horses, with their loud noises and sudden flashes of lightning. It’s important to know how to calm horses during these storms to ensure their safety and well-being. Here are some tips that can help:

Keeping Horses Indoors With Closed Windows

During a thunderstorm, it’s best to keep your horse indoors with the windows closed. This helps to reduce the noise and the visual stimuli associated with the storm, making them feel more secure. If you don’t have a suitable indoor area, consider confining your horse to a safe turnout with a three-sided shelter.

Providing Shelter And Low Ground

When it comes to outdoor turnout during thunderstorms, it is essential to provide horses with access to shelter and low ground. Ideally, the pasture should have a three-sided shelter located in a low-lying area, away from water and fences. This not only protects them from lightning strikes but also provides them with a sense of security.

Avoiding Trying To Soothe Or Calm The Horse

Trying to soothe or calm a horse during a storm is not recommended. Instead, focus on keeping them safe and contained until the bad weather passes. Repeated “good” storm experiences, with a calm buddy nearby, may help your horse become less reactive and anxious in loud, dramatic weather.

Additional Strategies For Dealing With Horses In Storms

While ground training for obedience is crucial in helping horses stay calm during storms, there are additional strategies you can use to ensure their safety and well-being. Consider these options:

Ground Training For Obedience

Ground training plays a vital role in teaching horses obedience and helping them remain calm during storms. By practicing basic commands such as “stand” and “stay,” you can establish trust and control over your horse’s behavior. Regular training sessions can instill a sense of discipline and confidence, making it easier for your horse to cope with the anxiety-inducing effects of thunderstorms.

Bringing In A Calm Buddy

Horses are herd animals by nature and find comfort in the presence of other horses. When a storm is approaching, consider bringing in a calm buddy to provide reassurance and companionship. The companion horse should ideally have a calm demeanor to avoid escalating the anxiety of your horse. This simple strategy can go a long way in helping your horse stay relaxed and feel secure during the storm.

Playing Music Or Leaving Lights On

Another effective way to calm a horse during a thunderstorm is to create a soothing environment in the stable. Playing soft, instrumental music or leaving lights on can help mask the unsettling sounds of thunder and lightning. The familiar sounds and comforting lights can help your horse feel more at ease, reducing their stress levels and aiding in relaxation. Remember to choose music that is calming and avoid sudden, loud noises that may startle your horse.

Implementing these additional strategies, along with ground training for obedience, can significantly contribute to a calm and safe environment for your horse during thunderstorms. Remember, the key is to provide a sense of security and reassurance, allowing your horse to weather the storm with confidence.

How Can I Calm a Horse During a Thunderstorm? Expert Tips!

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How Can I Calm a Horse During a Thunderstorm? Expert Tips!

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Frequently Asked Questions Of How Can I Calm A Horse During A Thunderstorm?

What To Do With Horses In Lightning?

To keep horses safe during lightning, provide them with a pasture that has low-lying shelter away from water and fences. If there is no safe turnout area, keep horses indoors with closed windows until the storm passes. Horses should be kept in a three-sided shelter during storms to protect them from lightning strikes.

Are Horses Okay In Thunderstorms?

Horses are generally safe in thunderstorms, especially if they have access to a pasture with trees or a lightning rod. A three-sided shelter can also provide warmth and protection from lightning strikes. If necessary, horses can be safely confined indoors until the storm passes.

What Do Horses Do During A Storm?

During a storm, horses may group together for protection and seek shelter under large trees. It is best to provide them with a safe turnout area or keep them indoors with closed windows until the storm passes.

Why Do You Turn Horses Loose In A Storm?

During a storm, horses are turned loose to reduce the risk of injury or death from lightning strikes. They have a natural instinct to group together for protection and may seek shelter under trees, which can be dangerous targets for lightning.


During a thunderstorm, calming a horse is essential for its safety and well-being. By following proper precautions such as providing a sheltered pasture away from water and fences, or confining them indoors with closed windows, you can minimize their risk of injury.

Additionally, having a three-sided shelter can keep horses warm, dry, and shielded from lightning strikes. Remember, prioritizing their safety is key, and creating positive storm experiences with a calm buddy nearby can help reduce their anxiety in such weather conditions.



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