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Spinoff - riding power lines

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  • Spinoff - riding power lines

    Another thread reminded me of something I had meant to ask for a while now.

    Every fall (when it's cold and wet), we do the Colorama ride, the biggest organized trail ride in the Midwest. A short section of this trail (maybe 1/2 mile) travels along a power line. The last couple of years, you could really hear the electrical current buzzing and humming through the lines. It's really loud, and is enough to make my horse on edge. Probably because I'm on edge, thinking that electricity is going to zap us into oblivion.

    We ride along power lines ocassionally, and I have never heard them humming and buzzing like they do on that one section of that one trail. You can hear zaps and cracks too.

    It "must" be safe, or they wouldn't be sending over 3,000 horses down that trail, um right?

    Anyone want to put my mind at ease about this situation?

  • #2
    ignore it then the horse will to
    being such a small place as you think we are
    then it obviously we have laods on these stuck everywhere to include fields and paddocks
    horses ignore them as we have to pass or sometimes get close and personal with a pylon
    it only worries you - so ignore them


    • #3
      Yeah, it's safe. I've owned, and ridden, several horses who will go on alert when simply passing near an electric fence that's on. They can hear it even when I can't. I view that as a good thing!

      I wouldn't go there if there's lightning in the neighborhood though!


      • #4
        I spent summers playing under the "high tensions" behind my grandparents' house. Just thinking about those zaps and cracks makes me all happy and nostalgic.

        They're fine. Just stay away durning electrical storms, and keep way the heck away from any downed lines after a storm.


        • #5
          It's safe.

          Just concentrate on riding your horse and stop fussing and she'll settle if you do.


          • #6
            We have a local fair here in CT and the horse-show trailer parking section is right under huge power lines.

            Last year as DH and I were walking about the trailers checking out the horses, he had his arm draped over my shoulder. He asked me if I was okay as he felt a vibration in my neck area. I felt fine until I touched one my gold earrings, and sure enough I zapped myself!

            I know a few people who have shown there that are sure to park their trailers away from the power lines as that is a complaint.
            MnToBe Twinkle Star: "Twinkie"

            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


            • #7
              I've got a TVA powerline across the farm. We've lived here for 15 years. It sometimes "crackles" under the right weather conditions, I've never witnessed or experienced any sort of "shock."

              Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


              • #8
                ^ Ditto. But ours aren't TVA obviously! National Grid and Scottish Power


                • #9
                  OK, I've read "somewhere" that horses and cows are more sensitive to electrical currents and magnetic fields than humans. I've also read that in some cow pastures traversed by the high tension towers, that the cows will avoid certain areas, which are thought to correspond to the magnetic fields. Now, I've never seen this- and around here, there are quite a few high tension towers going through pastures and some of our main trails are the ones the power company guys use to check and maintain the towers. We ride the power line trails on a regular basis, and hear the buzzing and crackling, but it has never bothered our horses. They are a little cautious when riding right beside the main power substation, which makes a lot of weird noises and probably has some pretty strong magnetic fields around it.

                  But horses get used to most unusual things if the rider is not reacting, so I'd chalk it up to the horse reading you more than the power lines. I've never read about anyone being electrocuted through the air or ground around a high tension tower unless the thing dropped a wire to the ground in a windstorm.
                  "The Threat of Internet Ignorance: ... we are witnessing the rise of an age of equestrian disinformation, one where a trusting public can graze on nonsense packaged to look like fact."-LRG-AF


                  • #10
                    My dog wouldn't go near the power lines first time I took her out riding

                    Also if you park under them you'll definately feel a shock if you don't ground your truck/trailer...took me 30 mins to work out why I had a tingling in my arm as I sat on my truck hehe
                    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


                    • #11
                      If that humming/vibration can be felt by humans, I believe it can definitely be felt by the horses. Hubby is an Electrical Engineer, working on power plants. At one particular job, he spent so much time outside in the switchyard, the hair on the back of his neck would stand up as soon as he went out there.
                      BUT, that being said, it is safe. Like others have said, I would go anywhere near the lines when it's storming but otherwise, you'll be fine. Just keep yourself calm, act like nothing's there and they will eventually get used to it.