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Guardian Angels working overtime - my barn was struck by lightning today!

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  • Guardian Angels working overtime - my barn was struck by lightning today!

    This was one of those bad stormy days here, and I was doing my best to get chores done between storms. I closed the horses into their stalls, drove the truck into the barn aisle to unload the hay, grain and shavings. I had just finished unloading, moved the truck up (so I could use the bed as a step ladder to replace a light bulb), when the storm started.

    Well, the barn got hit by lightning. This of course freaked the horses out, and my young mare made a charge at the closed stall door, and got herself hung up by the throat in the V of the gossip door - and she was literally choking, could not breathe. I could not get the door open, could not lift her head off the door. Somehow, she managed to get herself free. I didn't dare just let them out of the barn because the pasture gate to the driveway was open. Lightning was hitting all around us.

    The poor mare was snorting and kept shaking her head, and the other two were equally freaked out. It took about 10 minutes for the storm to pass.

    Amazingly, the mare is okay, just a few minor scrapes on her jaw. Equally amazing is that she is not terrified of the barn.

    And I kissed my husband when he got home, because he had lightning rods put on the barn 6 years ago. I probably would not be here to tell you about it if we didn't.

    Our well got knocked out, two fans in the barn no longer work, circuit breakers tripped in various rooms in the house and the barn, killed the satellite cables, and my husband is killing himself trying to get his various computers back up and running (he was gone when all this happened).
    So, now I know how PTS victims feel, because now the sound of thunder is tying my stomach up in knots. Storms didn't really scare me too badly until today.

    And I am thanking my guardian angels for looking out for me and my animals today. I will definitely not take a storm warning lightly ever again.

    Hope everyone else is safe out there.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

  • #2
    Jingles for you and your family = house and barn ~ how frightening ~ glad all humans and critters are fine ~ Jingle Jingle Jingle & AO Always Optimistic ` you do seem to have much more than your fair share of "excitement" for lack of a better word...
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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    • #3
      Munchkin-Thank heavens you took the precautions you did and you are all safe!

      And trust me that you will always be a little more conscious of the lightning threat in the future, and I don't mean terrified, but that you won't take the threat for granted, or do things that are risky involving the threat. I had a house fire from a lightning strike almost three years ago and I still get teased by people that think it's silly that I take the precautions recommended to minimize the strike danger to me and to the house. You might have to get the computer modem replaced, since they are very vulnerable to electric surges like a lightning strike. I don't think I'll ever take the danger from lightning for granted, and I don't think you will either.
      You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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      • #4
        I'm so glad you and all your animals are okay. Also very glad your barn is okay! Lightning burned a barn to the ground on our property not just once, but twice (before we owned it). We had a huge storm yesterday with lots of lightning and I had to just wait it out and pray that none of those lightning bolts would strike our buildings or horses who were outside. It was some of the most brilliant flashes I've ever seen - beautiful but so scary.
        Susan N.

        Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

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        • #5
          Glad that everyone is ok and on their feet.

          We also have some fierce storms at times and I go into hiding, I don't like it either.
          Growing up in the mountains, I have seen enough lightning strikes close enough to take them lightly.

          Stay safe.

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          • #6
            OMG MM, how absolutely terrifying. I am glad everyone is alright.
            Oh, I just can't imagine the terror you and yours went through.
            Yes, guardian angels are good things.
            save lives...spay/neuter/geld

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            • #7
              How scary!

              I was in Florida once for a clinic- just finished my ride on a VERY skittish, jumpy 4 year old and was hosing him off on a slippery concrete washrack when a bolt from an afternoon storm hit the trees right behind him. All I saw was a flash of light and a crack. Young horse practically sat down, but for some reason I am eternally grateful for, didn't bolt, or he probably would have skidded off the concrete and taken me down with him. We were both shaking after that.

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              • #8
                Glad everyone is OK! Funny, my trainer was over at my farm today and commented on the lightening rods on my barn-- we had them put on house and barn last year. Our farm is basically one huge field (a few hundred acres of field) and we got some really scary storms two years ago. Scary enough that I insisted we do the rods. Hopefully they never get used!

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                • #9
                  WOWEEEE! Scary stuff for sure! So glad everything turned out ok. Hope your mare isn't too sore tomorrow! What a close call.
                  "Aye God, Woodrow..."

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Thanks everyone. I guess I am not done in the bad luck department. I just did my motherly chaufering duties to take my daughters friends home, and at the last stop, I shut off the truck to go in and chat, and the damned battery on the truck was dead! So, amazingly, 5 people pushed the truck so that the husband could jump start it, and I made it back home, and parked it so I can easily replace it tomorrow. I just hope it is not a fried alternator.

                    So far the mare seems fine, I do keep checking on her.

                    The dogs were totally freaked too. When I finally got back to the house, one dog was in my daughters bathtub (her bathroom is the tornado room actually), one dog squeezed into a tiny spot under an end table, I don't know where the other two were hiding.

                    I am counting my blessings, that no one was seriously injured, and the damaged equipment can be repaired.
                    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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                    • #11
                      so scary! jingles for your mare and thanks to your gaurdian angel!

                      5 horses were killed up here (Georgia) a week or so ago by lightning and to say that it has changed the way we thought about storms is an understatement!

                      how hard was it to do the rods on your barn? is it a DIY thing or a professional only sort of job?
                      Jazz- 4.9.01 OTTB, loved since 12.6.09
                      Skip- 3.3.91 APHA, i miss you buddy

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                      • #12
                        Skip-you need to have professionals install lightning protection because it's not a 'one size fits all' thing. Some places require different grounding procedures and configurations because of the soil type, plus your insurance might give you a discount for professionally installed rods, but I doubt would do so for do-it-yourself.

                        Years ago a friend was driving home in a lightning storm on an elevated road. His wife reached forward, turned off the radio, and then BAM! Their truck was struck by lightning. It left scorch marks all down the sides, blew the antenna off into the desert, and left a huge hole where the antenna had been. The engine started sputtering when they would slow down, and they limped into their local mechanics shop. The electrical system was fried, and after they replaced the damaged stuff, and fixed the body work they traded it in. A few months later they ran into a man who was driving behind them, and he confirmed it was a direct hit.
                        You can't fix stupid-Ron White

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                        • #13
                          Morning Jingles for MunchkinsMom and her family to have a quiet UNEVENTFUL Sunday ~ Jingles & AO ~ Always Optmistic ~
                          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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                          • #14
                            That was a scary storm yesterday for sure and more are expected today. Who installed your rods on the barn and house?

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                            • #15
                              YIKES
                              MM I am so glad you and yours are safe.
                              I have been 'tingled' three times, I am now a coward. Lightning is dangerous. TG for the rods.

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                I don't recall the name of the company who installed the rods, my husband has it on file somewhere. It was two guys that pulled into our driveway one morning, gave us some story about being in the area with all the equipment, they were supposed to do another job, and the job got cancelled or something like that, and they would give us a discount to install them on our place. Probably a total BS story, but whatever, we got them installed. And I am really glad we did.

                                The mare is fine today, acts like nothing happened. I'm still a bit gun shy when I see the clouds and hear thunder and see lightning now, and I am more hesitant about going down to the barn in those conditions. Which I guess is a good thing. I hate that my life is ruled by the weather.

                                Truck will go to the shop tomorrow, to see if something got fried that is causing the battery to drain. This happened the year of the hurricanes, a reastat or something malfunctioned and caused the fan in the defroster to run non-stop which drained the battery.
                                There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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                                • #17
                                  I think we had lightning strike once while my husband and I were in the barn cleaning stalls. It was storming ,we heard a hit and then you could see electricity running along the electrical conduit in the barn. No damage was done. We have a cupola with a weathervane on top of the barn. We have had lightning strike several of our trees in the pasture.

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                                  • #18
                                    Scary, and glad you and the horses are okay! What do the lightning rods look like? I don't think we have them. I agree that the storms around here have been even scarier lately IMO. This weekend was nutty.

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                                    • #19
                                      Oh, wow! Just wow! I'm so very glad that you and all of yours are safe.

                                      My house has been hit by lightning before, and blue balls of flame rolled around the baseboards. I know how terrified you and the horses must have been. Also Been hit by tornadoes at least three times.

                                      You do get PTS from things like this. I still cringe when it's tornado weather and the wind starts up. All I want to do is crawl in bed and pull the covers over my head.
                                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                      Thread killer Extraordinaire

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                                      • #20
                                        YIKES!
                                        So glad you & all your horses came away (relatively) unharmed.

                                        Lightning is a scary thing.
                                        I had a friend talking on her phone (many years ago - before cordless phones) struck through the phone line and thrown across her kitchen by the force.
                                        I'm still weirded out by being on any phone in a storm - cordless or not.
                                        *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                        Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                        Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                        Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

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