For the most part riding in the rain will only be a wet experience. There might be a slap in the face from a dripping branch of leaves or splashing through puddles may make some water spray up and get you wetter, but for the most part it could be an enjoyable time watching nature do its thing.
When it gets dangerous there are three times to be aware of and take precautions. I’ll discuss them one at a time.
If it is thundering and lightening out I would opt to not ride at all. If there is a covered arena it would be a nicer, more comfortable place to ride. Even then some horses may spook at the loud noises of crashing thunder. The lightening could hit the building causing damage and injury. So be aware of those possibilities.
If you get caught in a thunder and lightning storm head for the barn if not too far away. I read if you are caught out on the trail you should dismount and tie the horse to some bushes, not a tree. Stay away from trees because if lightening should hit it could splinter and crash down on you and your horse. Walk a short distance away and put yourself in a squatting position till the storm moves on.
When the storm has passed and you remount to ride out of there watch the trail. It is wet and slippery and your horse could lose his footing. This leads to the next possible danger.
When out on the trail and it’s been raining there are the puddles to watch out for as well as the mud. The trail can turn into a muddy mess and be slick. It’s always been my understanding to let the horse have his head in these types of situations. The horse could lose his footing, but if he’s not hampered by someone pulling on the reins, he can find his own way better.
Where there are a lot of wet leaves on the ground this could be a potential slip and slide place too. Again I think it’s best to let the horse pick his way through the maze of mud and leaves and any other places where the horse could go down.
When the rain is coming down in torrents I imagine no one wants to be riding out in it no matter how well they are dressed for it. But, again if caught out on a day when, without much warning, the rain is blasting the earth so hard a flash flood occurs, what to do?
I think about the year I lived in Tucson, Arizona and the monsoon season. At least it’s a season and people are aware a monsoon rain could happen. When it does, it’s pretty fast and covers roads and trails in a sheet of water following where ever it goes. Dry creek beds and low places of ground fill up fast and can carry whatever is in the way along with it. The warning I heard there was to stay out of low places. Signs were up telling where those areas were and helped keep me out of the vicinity.
I said in the beginning there were three dangers of riding in the rain, but I think I will throw in a fourth one. It is high winds along with rain. I’ve come around a corner at times and nearly been blown off my feet because the wind was so hard. When out riding the wind all by itself can create a lot of dangerous scenarios. Add rain and it gets worse. Your horse has a lot more potential to spook at things blowing by or in his face. Tree branches get broken by the wind and can land on you and your horse. So there are definitely times to keep the saddle in the barn and let the weather pass.
Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question and I’ll do my best to answer. Thanks for stopping by.
Photo credits are all from Pixabay.