HORSES and WIND. Not a love story.

What is it about wind and horses?

I know that I always think twice when considering riding on a windy day.  I think the horse does, too.

What is it about wind that makes a horse … uh… go on the fritz, as my Dad would say.  It is as if on windy days, their brains short circuit.

Of course, wild ponies, who grew up in windy areas, are just fine with wind.


I am sure there are many horses who are old souls or were trained in windy days or are from the Dakotas…   But most horses that I’ve ever known usually totally freak out in the wind.

Horse:  WIND!!!  Agggghhh, gasp!  I cannot hear or smell or THINK!  RED ALERT RED ALERT!  RUUUUUUUUN with your head REALLY HIGHHHHH AND SWING IT FROM SIDE TO SIDE.

Mustangs seem to be fine with wind, although I am sure they are on high alert on windy days.


Today is an incredibly windy day here on top of the ridge in San Miguel, CA.

Now, if I was honest with myself,  I’d look out over my herd and say, well, the boys are going crazy… but the girls are handling it.

Hmmmm.  Is this just my herd?  A false generalization?  A reality?  Dunno.  But Wrigley, Finn and Mo are spinning around making themselves all sweaty… and the girls are just hanging out in the shelter.

Looking out over the herd, I would also say that the older horses are much more calm about this than the younger horses.  That is probably a very basic conclusion.  However, Finn is getting up there in age yet he is still freaking out right now.  So that theory is a bit blown.

But, Gwen and Norma are acting as if it is just another afternoon.  They are in their 20s/30s.  Been there, done that.

Another wild one.


People have said that since horses are prey animals and they rely on their senses, when wind interrupts their senses of sight and smell, they feel very insecure/vulnerable.

Sounds about right.

They look so beautiful in the wind!


Or is it that wind is just so irritating?  It blows sand in your eyes… it blows your hair all around and the static electricity is very annoying.

I can’t even touch my cats right now… we all end up getting shocked.

This is me, today.


My only solid conclusion is that I must be very aware when working around or riding my particular horses on windy days.  And even if I am hanging out with my older mares, a huge thing might break off from a tree or come rolling around or blowing about at any moment – which will cause some immediate and frantic hoof action, so best to be inside…

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6 comments have been posted...

  1. dawndi Post author

    Yup. Same same with my Wrigley… hyper and pampered park horse… uses any excuse to whirleygig.

  2. Judith

    Worse, my Morgan gelding was a pampered show horse till he was 12 or so. He was always indoors in a heated or air-conditioned stall, with a sheet keeping him nice and clean, and of course no winds blew in the show arenas. He freaks at wind. And more than that, he waits for it — if there is one gust that flaps a tarp, he is on tiptoe preparing for the next one. And of course while he’s distracted by that, he’s not paying much attention to his rider. I just don’t bother.

  3. Rox

    I agree – the mares always justchill. Most often their reaction is to just turn their tails to the wind. The geldings – OMG. Weirdly, the older the geldings the worse the spazz attacks. I have a 27 year old gelding in my barn who is such an idiot about windy days that he does not get turned out on those days – otherwise we would not be safe trying to get him back IN. In his stall he will spend the entire day looking outside, snorting (actually high-powered blasting out the snort) and staring wide-eyed at even blades of grass waving in the wind and heaven forbid a branch or leaves might come off the trees, that sends him spinning to the back of the stall. He’s a busy boy at the best of times, belying his advanced age, but squirrelly is the best word to describe this “windstorm wacko.”

  4. MARY K

    I’m in NW MO and if I waited for a day that wasn’t windy…I’d never ride, there is a reason why we have so many windmill farms.

    Anyway, I do ride on windy days but am extra cautious as to where I ride…especially when I ride my 1/2 Arab/1/2 mustang…be he’s been rocking the windy days.

  5. Shanna Border

    Hahaha. If it makes you feel better, even horses in the Dakotas freak out over wind. I’m in the southeastern part of South Dakota and there’s always a breeze. Like you said, some handle it better than others but my preference is to not ride on a super windy day because they all act stupid. Wind blowing 20-30mph makes some of them super flighty.

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