I’m not sure really how to write this, to be perfectly honest.  It is not easy.

Today when Daisy and I went over to the Minion field to trim some hooves, we discovered that the ponies had burned hooves.

We started by catching Fivla, who was first on our list of feet-to-do, and when Daisy lifted her front hoof and picked it out to trim, she found the sole was black and charred.  She showed me and we sniffed. There was a terrible smell of burnt hoof.  The frog was burned right back too.  We picked up each hoof to find they were all in the same state.

Tiddles’ hoof – badly burnt frog and sides

Vitamin’s foot – which is one of the better ones (just before her trim)

Horrified, we wondered if someone had walked Fivla over hot coals, ie some had been dumped in the field but as we looked at all the hooves, it became very evident that they were all burned to some degree.  Fivla and Tiddles were the worst.  Their soles were totally burnt and looked very bad, but there were no open wounds or blood.

Fivla’s hoof – after trim – badly burnt frog

It was then we remembered there had been a thunder and lightning storm on Friday morning in the area.  We searched the field for evidence of a direct strike but could find nothing.  The odd thing was that all the ponies were behaving totally normally.  No one was agitated or worried – I can tell if a stranger has been in their field based on their behaviour afterwards.  Everyone was the same as they ever were.  Nothing was different, apart from the state of their feet.

Daisy and I finished up (Fivla, Vitamin and Storm were trimmed) and went home to do some investigation and I made a phone call to our on-duty vet.

The vet recommended we give Fivla and Tiddles regular pain relief (daily Danilon) and we agreed that I should spray the soles of their feet with a tetracycline spray too.  We have to monitor the situation carefully.  Any hint of infection and I would let the vet know.  We also decided the best place for the ponies to be was in their field with each other.  The grass will cushion their soles and being with their friends will keep them active which will in turn promote blood circulation for frog regrowth and health.

So, Floss and I returned to the field, duly dished out the analgesia and sprayed the antibiotic spray.  Floss agreed that she could see no behavioural difference in any of the ponies either. So that is good – as far as we can see, they have not suffered and no one is in actual pain.  Fivla was trotting when I was leading her to the food!














I have just ordered a high quality food supplement that will promote frog growth and health (Farriers Formula) and will give it to all of them daily until their hooves are back to normal.

We are all very shocked (perhaps that’s the wrong word in hindsight).

I have done a little internet research on this topic – we can’t be the only folk to have this happen.  I think the ponies had a “step lightning” event and have been very lucky.  The terrain may have helped the ponies as they were standing on wet soil.

From: – – where hundreds of reindeer were killed in one lightning storm in Norway……

“If you have soil where plants are growing, and that has had some rain, for example, then the soil’s very humid and the electrical conductivity is very high. On the other hand, the worst case is rocky ground. In [Norway’s Hardangervidda plateau], which is filled with rocks and hills, then I assume there’s really rocky ground with very, very low conductivity. So that explains why step voltage is very high.” 





20 thoughts on “Lightning

  1. Rebeccca A Final

    Horrifying! I have never heard of such a thing. It is a huge relief that they are all well and not in pain. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Judith Garbutt

    I’ve never heard of this either. Relieved that none of them appears to have been fazed by the experience. I hope they make a good and speedy recovery.

  3. Bjørn Roar Larsen

    This is noncence Frances . This is just rotten frog and regulare hoofcare from a farrier will help them . This is not burned

  4. Louise

    I remember reading about all those killed deer. I’m so glad that did not happen to you.

    Here’s hoping for a speedy and uneventful end to the year 2020


  5. NancyMac

    I’m so shocked to hear this…hoping all have a speedy recovery. As a non-farmer, I have never considered the safety issues during thunder/lightening storms for all the outdoor non-humans. I shall look evermore with even greater concern at all the lovely creatures that live in the fields.

  6. diane in northern wis

    Oh my Frances….I’m horrified to see these pictures. I do hope your little ones are not in terrible pain because of the lightning. wow. Good job in doing all you can to make things better for these horses. Thank you for sharing so that we can all learn a bit about all this. Thank God you didn’t lose any of them. I’ll be so interested to see the progress as they get better and better! Keep up your good work!

  7. Annemareejolly

    Wow! How very scary! I have never heard of this before when the animals are basically not injured, obviously their hooves but not life threatening. So weird! Hope they come long ok with the treatment.

  8. Shelley

    So the wet grass is the conductor? I wonder why this has never happened before. Was the storm particularly different that you noticed? Questions questions. I’d say it was a miracle that none of the minions suffered more than burned hooves. Whew!!!

  9. barbara

    Hello Francis – Even though I have never met you or your lovely ponies your site makes me feel as if I have. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy reading about all of you and also how sorry I was to hear what happened. It brought me to tears to think of your ponies being hurt – they are so lucky to have you to look after them. Wishing them all a speedy recovery!

  10. Christine

    Thank goodness you check on the ponies every day and we able to react quickly with supplements, spray and pain relief. I had never heard of this type of event and will pass the info on to my horse friends. I now feel extra thankful we rarely have lightning storms here.
    Heal quickly, dear ponies!

  11. Gaina

    Poor babies! Thank goodness the ground was wet.

    I’m sure they’re showered with kisses every day, but please throw a few in from me next time you’re with them. I hope their feet are back to normal soon. 🙂

  12. Margaret Robinson

    Wow – I had no idea. Since we live in California lightning is one thing we see only occasionally. Back East these “hits” happening fair more frequently. Will keep this is mind.

    Smokey Robinson has been moved and is staying with my trainer Katy and her husband. They took a lot of the horses from where he’s boarded, including Charlotte who is SR’s girlfriend, so both of them are happy! Katy thought they’d better safer because of the local fires. Not in danger, just a safe temporary move for now.
    Stay well and safe.

    1. Frances Post author

      Lovely to hear your news. Glad all is well, including Smokey Robinson and his new boarding home. Hugs to you and Harry xx

  13. Trish

    Wow so weird…. I’d never heard of stepped lightning strikes before…
    I’m just glad they’re all okay and not traumatised or in pain.


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