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Philly horse owner musings: Can winter icicles impale my horse? (Part II)

Can winter icicles impale a horse?
Can winter icicles impale a horse?
Photography by Marcya Robets, freelance writer for

Just how dangerous are these giant spears?

Well, I found some information and I will share it with you now:

The answer is that injury by icicle is unlikely according to a Lexington Herald-Leader article by Mary Meehan.

But that doesn’t mean hanging ice and icicles aren’t dangerous.

In the article, Doctor Matt Dawson of the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital Emergency Room phrases it this way:

“While property damage is a concern, at the University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital Emergency Room they've seen ice/human collisions that need repair. But injury by icicle is," said Dawson, "extremely rare, but possible."

He continued: “Good statistics aren't kept on such matters...I have only read about case reports."

Dawson, who is an assistant emergency medicine program director, believes “large chunks of falling ice are of more danger than the sharp ones we see hanging around Lexington. And, it's unlikely an icicle could impale a person.”

Dawson remarked that icicles look more threatening than they actually are and “If they are sharp, they will break before penetrating deeply....The ice over our heads may catch our glance, but it's the ice under our feet that is the greatest threat.”

So as a horse owner, I can now rest easy. I will reheat my coffee and admire the winter scenery. And before the morning is over I'll walk out to the shed and knock down a few of the big jobbies -- just in case.



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To read Mary Meehan's article click here.

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