It appears he was spooked by the lightning, and broke his neck when running into the shelter. There was no sign of struggle and it appears to have been quick, thankfully.
She isn't a member of HF (tho I've tried many times to get her to join, as we all would all benefit from her vast knowledge). But I still feel that she deserves our thoughts & prayers, as she's one of us in the horse world.
She & I went on a road trip 18 years ago and brought home her horse. She used him for gymkahna, and he was perfect for it. He wasn't the most well put together horse, he was actually kind of awkward. He taught many kids how to properly run games.
He was as bomb proof as they come these days. We both felt secure letting our kids ride him by themselves when they were very young. My daughter was using him as a backup horse this year for 4-H. She was going to retire him this year, and just use him to help train her new horse. He had never been sick or lame once in 18 years.
18 yrs suddenly seems to short.