Riding in the Rain

Last week, after experiencing a blustery ride, I compiled quotes about horses and wind for my “Riding in the Wind” post.

That got me to thinking about riding during other types of eventful weather. So we arrive at the next topic. Riding in the rain.

It is actually something I usually avoid on purpose. But sometimes, like most equestrians, I have found myself finishing a ride in the rain. Both on the trail and at home. Including the pouring rain. Sometimes the heavens just open up unexpectedly.

I’ll pause my train of thought here to declare a word to the wise; leather reins get VERY slippery when wet. This might make riding a freaked out bay and white gelding named Bear a little challenging on the trail while rain is coming down in buckets. If you suspect inclement weather, take a page out of the endurance-rider playbook and use biothane reins. Just saying.

That above-referenced ride on Bear certainly stands out in my mind. But I actually have photos to share here of another memorable rainy day ride. In 2014 I met my friend Vicki for a final trail ride before I made a temporary move to Colorado. My mount for that ride was my now deceased and still-very-much-missed pony, Pumpkin Spice. Vicki rode her experienced Appaloosa trail mount named Warsong. Gotta love those spots!

We knew the forecast called for rain, but we were hoping for a light mist. Instead, we ended up in a downpour. Fortunately, the entire trail was like six miles in a flat loop. Not super challenging terrain. Still, it was definitely more of an experience than I bargained for. But Vicki, the horses and I stayed safe, had fun and have an interesting experience under our belts. I recall that the car overpass that crosses a small section on the trail looked like a waterfall as the rain cascaded down its sides and onto the trail below. Talk about a cowboy curtain!

While I was doing my internet research to find related quotes, I came across two information-type articles about horses and rain. I found them both interesting so I am sharing their links. One is specifically about rain riding and the other is about horse/farm management during storms.


What to do With the Horses During a Lightning Storm

And now we come to the topical quotes section. Read my favorite selections below. If you have any of your own rainy riding quotes or a rainy ride memory to share, let me know in the comments section.

“I think i better ride before it rains
Think i better saddle up my fastest pony
Somethin’ about these winds of change
Is tellin’ me i best get goin’
I can feel a storm movin’ this way
Yeah i think i better ride before it rains”
~Templeton Thompson song “Ride Before It Rains”

“Where is the horse and the rider?
Where is the horn that was blowing?
They have passed like rain on the mountains,
like wind in the meadow.
The days have gone down in the West,
behind the hills… into Shadow.”
~The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers(2002)

“Thunder is the sound of hoofbeats in heaven.”~ Author Unknown

“To see the wind’s power, the rain’s cleansing and the sun’s radiant life, one need only to look at the horse.” ~ Author Unknown

“Let us write of olden, golden days and hunters of the Holy Grail and men called “knights” riding horses in the rain, in the cold frozen rain for ladies they loved . . . Let us nudge the steam radiator with our wool slippers and write poems of Launcelot, the hero, and Roland, the hero, and all the olden golden men who rode horses in the rain.”
~Carl Sandburg from Horses and Men in Rain

“What’s the best thing you’ve learned about storms?” “That they end,” said the horse.”
~The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse, by Charlie Mackesy

8 thoughts on “Riding in the Rain

  1. Riding in the rain can be magical! I have some lovely memorable rides in a light rain on the farm. One with a friend when it was wicked hot. It was such a blissful, blessed cool! Then another solo ride and we waited it out under a tree. I felt like I was in another time. I just now remember another time when I was solo away from home and I was working my horse on the ground on a bunch of obstacles. He was doing so so so good and it started to rain, but we were far from cover. I knew it was moving fast, so we jogged to some tree cover to wait it out. When it was finished we did a little riding in the arena before loading up to go home. Good memories! I will say, I am not really a fan of my pants and seat getting very wet lol.

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    1. Ha, yes! I like to be seated nice and dry, too. And I worry about my tack getting damaged. But since I don’t ride in the rain that often, so far so good. And a misty rain on a hot day definitely sounds like a blessing. Thank you for sharing your own rainy ride memories!

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  2. Such fun to be had in the rain it’s tricky with the gear though so true & how sticky drenched jeans can be, hilarious trying to peel them off. I have a set of reins that we made they were just made of a mix of course & nylon type rope great for all weather riding. Your photos looked like so much fun what wonderful memories to have. Love the poetry as well. Have a fun rest of the week.

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    1. The reins you describe sound like they’d have good grip. My friend, Vicki on her Appaloosa mare, also had a good choice of rein material for a wet ride. Looks like I was the only one who didn’t get the memo about leather reins. Ha! And you are right about the difficulties in removing wet jeans- That’s pretty funny. Thanks for the laugh!

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  3. Great collection of quotes. My favorite is the Charlie Mackesy. I love his work I grew up in Vancouver BC. It rains there a lot. A lot!! When I was riding as a youngster and teenager there was no indoor or covered arena. So we always rode in the rain. I had boots that were canvas with rubber feet and a canvas coat that kept the rain off and it had straps that kept the length of it over my legs so they stayed dry. We always rode with braided fabric reins as leather would slip between our fingers.

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    1. Thank you, Anne. A friend gifted me with the Charlie Mackesy book as a Christmas gift. So many lovely sentiments expressed beautifully. And it sure sounds like you are plenty familiar with riding in the rain and had all the appropriate gear!


  4. Lovely photos – you look so happy! I’m a pluviophile (sounds like something naughty, but it’s not) so I think I would enjoy being on a horse in the rain. 😀
    The quotes are beautiful and I’m saving the links for my next tea break.

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  5. Great links – such a lot of wise advice. We’ve had lots of rain and thunderstorms in the past few weeks here in the u.k. It’s good to know the best thing to do.

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