Riding in a thunderstorm

dreamcometrue

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13 November 2006
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Yorkshire
I’ve been looking at the Met Office forecast which gives warnings of localised thunderstorms over the next few days. They give advice about what to do if you are caught in a thunderstorm if you are e.g walking or in your car, but what do you do if you are riding?
Do you dismount?
Our hacking is in well wooded areas. Should you shelter amongst the trees or try to get out onto open ground?
We have lots of electricity pylons dotted about too. ⚡️
Maybe I’ll just stick to schooling in the manège 😬
 

Kamikaze

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1 June 2007
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I rode yesterday. Thunder was forecast so I stuck to the field closest to the yard so I could get back pretty quickly. There was a couple of rumbles and I cut ride short and went back to yard. I don’t think if forecast I would go for a hack I’m not sure about dismounting or staying on.
 

chaps89

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8 July 2009
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Location
Surrey
I got caught out last night.
Thunderstorms forecast in as much as they had been forecast for a few days and there had been nothing.
It was sweltering (still 29 degrees at 7.30pm) and so stinking muggy but I decided to do the 25 minute block for a leg stretch.
She started well but after 10 minutes she ground to a halt and acted really odd, she just seemed to shut down and pushed her head down low so all her weight was in my hands. 5 minutes after that the thunder started then a further 5 minutes later so did the lightning (but no rain) I honestly couldn't get her to go any faster and just put her out in the field as it was on the way home rather than go to the yard to untack then turn her out.
I'm convinced she must have known it was coming but it was highly unpleasant (or just a weird coincidence, who knows?!)
 

poiuytrewq

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3 April 2008
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Location
Cotswolds
Spanking trot home is my strategy. I do not really want to be caught out in a lightning storm with all the metal on a ridden horse, bit, shoes, stirrups, but if I am get out of it asap.
This was what I did they only time I got caught in a humungous storm head down (we possibly both had our eyes shut!) and got back as soon as possible. It was pretty horrid and I’ve never been as wet 😂
 

Boulty

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14 April 2011
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I've done it by accident a few times... Home in a sensible manner (walking / trotting not galloping) by fastest available route (which did involve going through trees with newly formed streams of water running down the bridleway). The time we had hailstones & lightning we did hide under shelter until the hail stopped (we thought this better than riding alongside the live railway lines which as they ran alongside the track down to the place were the only way home / the horses just basically wanted to stand with their bums to it anyway)
 

Cowpony

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17 May 2013
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I was going to ride yesterday evening. We'd had some faint rumbles of thunder and some hard rain for about 3 minutes late afternoon, but nothing came of it. When I got to the yard there was nobody else about and we are at the top of a hill so the arena is pretty exposed. We have an indoor, but the roof is metal so I thought that wasn't the best idea either. So I turned my horse out, chivying her up the road as the rain started and I heard more thunder in the distance. She wasn't impressed and I got some pretty baleful looks!

Of course, nothing happened (still haven't had a storm yet and it's getting hotter again) so I could have ridden, but you have to make the decision at the time. I'm hoping I can ride tonight instead. The weather forecast is showing thunderstorms from 3pm so who knows?
 
Joined
23 August 2018
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69
It's hard to decide what's for the best!! If you decide not to ride when storms are forecast, said storm is bound to sod off away from you. If you decide to 'risk it' because storms seem to be avoiding you, you're bound to have one just after you've left the yard :rolleyes:. We kept ours in today as there was a massive sorm with lightning straight overhead and more forecast.....guess what....no more storms today o_O
 

popcorn1

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31 August 2019
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I've been caught out a few times over the years. To be honest I just finished my ride as normal. Didn't even consider the metalwork on the horse. Oops!
 
Joined
16 February 2009
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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
A good few years ago now I remember being out on the highest ground around, and heard thunder overhead!

Highest place around deffo not the safest place to be when you're on something with metal on its feet and your own feet in more metal.

We were quite a way from home and the ground wasn't exactly conducive to going at any speed other than a careful walk; the path was a steep downhill down a narrow gulley to get to the shelter of trees and lower ground.

We did get wet! But stayed safe.

I don't ride when there's thunder forecast normally, end of.
 

Abby-Lou

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26 September 2013
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806
I got caught out once, galloped home soaking wet through to my knickers ! not a nice experience for me or the horse LOL
 

Griffin

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16 September 2012
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I rode yesterday in the school due to the forecast and we had a few rumbles of thunder but luckily nothing else until I got off.

I have been caught out years ago and we sheltered next to a high hedge until it passed. We were a bit too far from home to attempt riding back.
 

sarahann1

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20 August 2008
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Location
Scotland
Been caught out more than once, I get home as quickly and as safely as possible. Fast trot staying away from open ground where possible.
 

cindars

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16 March 2010
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404
Only once when friends and myself did the Downs link really frightening we were so near our b&b that we went he'll for leather and had to dry our gear on lady's aga
 
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