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Horses are a part of your family, and maybe even part of your livelihood.

Taking care of them is a sacrifice that you’re willing to make every day because you love them.

And, as you well know, taking care of your horses means protecting them from predators.

This is one of the most difficult tasks as a horse owner, and many of you struggle with this on a daily basis.

Coyotes are one of the most dangerous predators of horses. While a single coyote may not be able to take down a horse, a pack of coyotes certainly presents a problem.

Let’s learn about how to keep coyotes away from horses when you’re not around to protect them.

How do coyotes harm horses?

While it’s obvious that coyotes may attack and injure horses, the harm inflicted by coyotes is broader than that example.

As anyone who cares for horses knows, they are incredibly emotional animals. 

While you may not be able to hold verbal conversations with your horses, they definitely know how to communicate their feelings.

Coyotes inflict an emotional hardship on horses as well as physical pain.

Horses know to be afraid of coyotes. Even if a coyote does not attack your horse directly, its mere presence will cause your horse to be nervous and skittish.

The sight of a coyote immediately triggers a stress response from your horse. 

While one instance may not have lasting effects on your horse, stress builds up over time.

If your horse routinely sees a coyote from a distance at night, this can raise the amount of stress that your horse experiences overall. 

Stress is unhealthy for any animal, and you want to remove any stress that your horse may be feeling. 

Protecting your horse from coyotes is one way to reduce the stress in their life.

Coyotes are particularly dangerous for foals. As we said, it’s pretty rare that a coyote will attack a fully grown horse, but a foal is a different story.

Foals are much smaller and more vulnerable than their adult counterparts. If coyotes see a foal, they may think that it’s a good idea to attack.

Now that you fully understand the dangers that coyotes pose to horses, let’s learn how to protect your horses from these hunters.

How to keep coyotes away from horses

If you’re looking to keep your horses protected from coyotes, there are a number of steps you can take.

  • Identify the culprit.

Before you go on the attack against coyotes, you need to be sure that coyotes are the issue!

Coyotes are known to attack horses sometimes, but they are not the only creatures that you need to watch out for!

Dogs, wolves, and coydogs are also common predators. It’s not uncommon for people to mistake these attacks for the work of coyotes.

Here are some helpful tips to determine if you are dealing with coyotes or another predator.

  • Set up motion activated cameras.

If you notice that your horse is skittish around a certain location for seemingly no reason, install a camera pointed in that direction.

Using a night vision camera can give you a good view of what may be happening after you come in from the fields.

Watch the footage the next morning; it may surprise you! If you do not see anything the first night, don’t worry. Check the camera again in a few days.

If you do not see any unusual activity after a week, move the camera to a new location.

One good option could be the Arlo – Wireless Home Security Camera System | Night vision, Indoor/Outdoor, HD Video, Wall Mount | Includes Cloud Storage & Required Base Station | 1-Camera System (VMS3130) (View at Amazon).

  • Inspect the animal tracks.

Coyotes leave behind very identifiable tracks. Learning this information will help you determine the specific type of predator that you’re dealing with.

It will also help you learn if the animal is operating as a lone hunter or as part of a more threatening pack.

  • Keep horses inside at night.

The best way to protect your horse is to keep them away from predators.

While your horse may love to be outside, it may not be safe for them to be alone in the field after dark.

If you have the means, bring your horse inside to stables at night.

Make sure that the barn is tightly sealed and that predators are not able to break inside.

This is especially helpful for foals and vulnerable horses. If your horse is recovering from an injury or surgery, bring it inside.

  • Contact local law enforcement and animal control.

If you notice that coyotes are a repeat offender, contact your local law enforcement or animal control agencies.

They may have some helpful tips that are specific to your local area.

Depending on the regulations where you live, some areas welcome coyote hunts and encourage local landowners to eliminate coyotes.

However, this can also be illegal. Other authorities may have different means of dealing with problem animals.

Please check with your local authorities before taking action.

  • Enlist protection animals for horses.

Some horse owners use animals like dogs and llamas as protection for more vulnerable animals like horses.

It’s best to assess this possibility on a case by case basis.

If a pack of coyotes runs rampant in your area, sending in other animals is not the best idea. You want to protect all of your animals on the farm.

However, if you just want to make sure that coyotes stay away as a precaution, a protection animal may work well.

It’s unlikely that a single coyote will challenge a feisty dog for a chance at a healthy horse.

Please acknowledge the risk associated with this method and act in the best interests of all of your animals.

We hope that these tips help keep your horses safe from coyotes. Have you had a run in with these predators?

Tell us about how you handled the situation!


Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com