Poll Recap: Flooding and Horse Facilities

Poll Recap: Flooding and Horse Facilities

Of the 585 respondents, 190 (32%) said they use preventive measures to prevent their barns from flooding.

Photo: Thinkstock

When spring arrives in many parts of the country, it often brings rain and thunderstorms along with it. Several inches of rain over a period of time can lead to flooding in areas, putting both you and your horses at risk.

In last week’s poll, we asked our readers how they managed flooding near or around their horse barn or facility. More than 550 people responded and we’ve tallied the results!

Of the 585 respondents, 190 (32%) said they use preventive measures to prevent their barns from flooding. Another 31 people (5%) indicated they have another location to take their horses if the barn floods. Some 329 (56%) respondents said their barn or facility is not affected by flooding, and the remaining 35 individuals (6%) responded with "other."

Additionally, 47 people commented about how they handle flooding near their horse barn: 

Several people commented about the location of their barn or facility, as well as preventive measures they take to prevent flooding:

  • “Our barn is on a hill, but we try to divert water around buildings during times when we have heavy rain.”
  • “I built on high ground.”
  • “Elevation is the most important prevention.”
  • “Both of our barns are located on hills.”
  • “My barn owner's property and facility are safely on high ground and out of any kind of flood range.”
  • “Not much rain here in San Diego, but good drainage and landscaping help in case of heavy rains.”
  • “We have raised stalls and the little water that accumulates drains quickly away.”
  • “I chip out irrigation rivlets to try to get water to drain downhill. Not fun.”
  • “We dig lots of trenches.”
  • “I have drain tile around the barn and sloped the ground away from the barn.”
  • “I have worked each year to improve water runoff. We have elevated, partially covered turnouts and a French drain.”
  • “My land is sloped and the paddock is super muddy/flooded. I need to fix it with drain tiling.”
  • “I have raised gravel stalls with thick rubber mats on top of the gravel.”
  • “The owners of my boarding barn have few preventive measures, but manage high water if needed.”
  • “Living on top of a huge hill has its advantages sometimes.”

Some respondents shared their experiences with floods:

  • “One stall has the problem and I use stall pellets to soak up water.”
  • “Stalls are elevated but my pastures can and have flooded in the past.”
  • “The barn were I boarded my Andalusian flooded; it was a federal natural disaster area. He drowned.”
  • “The most flooding we get is about 3 inches of water in the aisle, not in the stalls.”
  • “I cannot control the flooding and it often happens.”
  • “The entrance to the stable area from the pasture area regularly gets flooded due to adjacent creek.”

A few said they would move their horse to another location if the barn or facility flooded:

  • “I turn them out so they can get to high ground.”
  • “I move my pasture horses to higher ground.”

And several responded that their barn or facility is not affected by flooding:

  • “I live in a ‘100-year flood plain,’ but we've been lucky so far. We've been here 15 years and it's never flooded.”
  • “It's located on a hill and has yet to ever been threatened by standing water.”
  • “No flooding, but my facilitiy does often get muddy in winter around gates and sheds.”
  • “My place is too high for any flooding. It does get muddy at times, though.”
  • “We are on a hill in an area that hardly gets rain. Wish we got more rain!”
  • “Although it's quite muddy we don't flood here.”
  • “Once in a while it may flood fairly bad, but most of the time it's not too bad.”
  • “Our topography and climate make flooding highly unlikely.”

Others left general comments about flooding and horse barns:

  • “We wish for a flood here in the California drought.”
  • “If my barn floods, the rest of you need to be building arks!”
  • “I cannot change the flooding situation. I hate it when it floods.”
  • “I board so I really don't know. I suppose we'd just move him.”
  • “We have a back-up plan if it was to completely flood.”

Interested in learning more about how you can plan ahead for weather-related emergencies? Check out our 10 severe weather preparedness resources on TheHorse.com or search through our "emergency planning" and "disaster preparation" topic pages.  

This week, we want to know: have you ever started a horse under saddle yourself? Please tell us why or why not and about your experiences! Vote now and share your comments at TheHorse.com/polls

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.

About the Author

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer

Jennifer Whittle, TheHorse.com Web Producer, is a lifelong horse owner who competes with her Appaloosas in Western performance events. She is a University of Kentucky graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in Community Communications and Leadership Development, and master's degree in Career, Technical, and Leadership Education. She currently lives on a small farm in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky.

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