Why do dogs and horses go crazy in the wind?

22nd July 2009

Asked by: Sinita Mohaja, Leicester

Although both dogs and horses often become more energetic in windy conditions, it is probably for different reasons. Dogs appear to enjoy the wind and become more playful and boisterous, whereas horses act as if they are afraid of it and are more prone to bolting or shying. This may be the difference between predator and prey - strong wind brings unfamiliar smells from far away that might indicate danger to a horse, but opportunity to a dog. But as horses tend to bolt into the wind, that would take them towards the danger. It may be that the constant roaring of wind in their ears disrupts their situational awareness, and so makes them more prone to take flight at the slightest hint of danger.