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Storm Isha

๐™Ž๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ข ๐™„๐™จ๐™๐™– ๐ŸŒฌ

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Tomorrow (Sunday) sees gusts of 50-60mph hit the UK, with the areas of particular concern listed as Northern Ireland๐Ÿ€, central and southern Scotland๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ณ๓ ฃ๓ ด๓ ฟ, Wales๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ท๓ ฌ๓ ณ๓ ฟ and much of northern England๐Ÿด๓ ง๓ ข๓ ฅ๓ ฎ๓ ง๓ ฟ.

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The Met Office have issued an ๐—”๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ Weather Warningโš ๏ธ for wind in these parts. Amber weather warnings mean the weather has the potential to disrupt plans, ๐’๐’๐’• to be confused with a red warning (a risk to life).

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There is also a Yellow Weather Warning for rain, with the areas of particular concern being the North West, Wales and much of Scotland. ๐ŸŒ‚

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The overall consensus is that tomorrow and some of Monday, we will experience pretty windy, wet weather. ๐‘ฎ๐’“๐’†๐’†๐’†๐’†๐’†๐’‚๐’• ๐Ÿ˜–

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Temperatures are expected to be mild - largely over 5ยฐC and in some areas even reaching double figures ๐Ÿฅต

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With this in mind you can be forgiven for feeling completely baffled by what to do with your horse.๐Ÿ˜ตโ€๐Ÿ’ซโ“๏ธ

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I find it useful to compare these storms with each other, before assessing my horse's current management arrangement in order to make an informed, level decision. It can be very easy to pop on the local Facebook group and feel very worried as strangers advise you it's "too dangerous" to stable/turnout/ride. Those strangers likely have a different set up to what you have, so their advice is, for the most part, a little meaningless (though possibly well intentioned).

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๐‹๐ž๐ญ ๐ฆ๐ž ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐š ๐›๐ข๐ญ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฉ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ๐ฉ๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐ฏ๐ž!

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The reason a lot of our fields are extremely mud filled is due to a pesky storm named Babet, which you may remember from back in October. Babet brought exceptional rainfall to the UK covering some of similar areas Isha is set to target. ๐ŸŽฏ

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๐๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ˆ๐ฌ๐ก๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐ซ๐ž ๐ญ๐จ ๐๐š๐›๐ž๐ญ?

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Babet saw similar high winds, reaching 58mph. The Met Office had predicted these gusts would be in excess of 60mph, another Yellow Warning. So on the wind front, Isha is simialrly matched, and we made it through Babet didn't we?

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๐’๐จ ๐ฐ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐๐จ๐ž๐ฌ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐ฆ๐ž๐š๐ง ๐Ÿ๐จ๐ซ ๐จ๐ฎ๐ซ ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž๐ฌ?

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Horses are far more weather proof than we give them credit for. If your horse has adequate shelter, forage and space you're setting them up for success in the stormy conditions.

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The amount of forage (grass) in the fields will likely be less than October, which we need to be mindful of during extreme weather. (This is particularly pertinent to those who do not rotate or rest their fields).

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It is important to utilise hindgut movement which in turn generates heat during stormy conditions when the grazing is poor. Putting forage out for horses during this time can be useful if your field is particularly bare and their body condition score is acceptable.๐ŸŒฑ

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The colder weather lately may have firmed up the fields and the winds Isha will bring may be a welcome relief to many saturated gateways - I always like to give a positive spin on things! ๐Ÿ˜

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Nevertheless, there will sadly be someone who has had an unlucky incident with their horse in high winds, and they have every reason to be more cautious when it comes to weather warnings. They are, however, in the minority of horse owners.

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๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ - ๐—ฎ ๐—ต๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—น๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐˜„๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ. ๐Ÿด

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It is always worth taking a walk out in your field, checking your fencing along with the firmness underfoot. Any unsafe fencing or treacherous areas will need repairing or sectioned off. It's unlikely Isha will exceed Babet on the rain front but considering how much of a beating the ground has had it's impossible to say how your field will cope with the Yellow Rain warning (if it affects your area). ๐ŸŒง

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๐—ฆ๐—ผ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ธ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐˜†๐˜€?

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๐ŸŒฌ The winds are set to be on par with storm Babet.

๐ŸŒง The rainfall is predicted to be less than Babet

๐Ÿ”ถ๏ธ An Amber warning is a disruption to plans, not a risk to life

๐Ÿ’ปYour set up is unique to you and only you can decide if you need to adjust your set up in line with the weather.

๐ŸดHorses with adequate forage, shelter and room will be set up for success.

๐Ÿ Stabling is the only solution many people have depending on their set up. We are all doing the best we can with the tools we've got.

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I hope this helps reassure some worried minds ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Here is a photo of my pony a few days after 2018's "beast from the east"/Storm Emma. Because she had adequate space, shelter and forage she had a brilliant time - as you can see!

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๐™€๐™™๐™ž๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™–๐™™๐™™:


Some of us in the North East are still nervous since the destruction of Storm Arwen in 2021.


Arwen, by comparison, saw gusts in Northumberland of 98mph and on average 69mph so a fair bit speedier than Isha is expected to be. It came with a red weather warning for wind in coastal, Eastern Scotland and an Amber warning in Northumberland. The gusts were developing in the North Sea which is why Northumberland received quite a battering. Isha is coming from the Atlantic which means the North East will be, by comparison, not the first line of defence.

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