riding at night..opinions?!?! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 03:00 PM Thread Starter
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riding at night..opinions?!?!

whats everyones opinions on riding at night on flat open trails?

i have been told to try this since i don't have time to ride during the week and don't have access to an indoor. i was thinking it sounded crazy but then i was reading some articles about it and people made it sound interesting and safe when done properly. no trotting or cantering but at a nice walk.
they mentioned riding with a glow stick on the breast collar so you are noticed from the front without interrupting the horses night vision. and one tied around the tail to be seen from the back. then you need the assorted flashlights and night gear to be noticed. no night riding on the road!
what do you guys think on this? and if you think its worth a try what would say to bring?
thanks in advance... please no mean comments i have not done this yet. i am just exploring the possibility.
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post #2 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 03:48 PM
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I personally wouldn't ride in the dark. There are too many predators that come out at night, and you can't see nearly as well as you can during daylight. Then again, maybe I'm just paranoid. :) My friend has tried riding in the dark, and she had a flashlight on her helmet. Her horse didn't like the fact that there was a light shining above his head. So I imagine your horse's quirks definitely have to taken into consideration.

IF I were to go trail riding at night I would bring 2 flashlights, extra batteries, a cell phone (that's fully charged), wear reflective gear, have a basic first aid kit, and bring water.

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post #3 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 03:53 PM
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I used to live in the desert and in summer the night was about the only livable time to ride. I LOVED night riding in the washes and river bottoms and through the desert. I always took food, lots of water and a flashlight in case I got lost or had to walk home and of course, wore a hard hat. We used to have to watch out for the mountain lions but not sure what kinds of predators NJ has.
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post #4 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 04:01 PM
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One thing to remember is to make sure someone always knows where you are. Night riding I think is more spooky to us than it is our horses. Horses see quite well in he dark, unlike us. Make sure that you keep a flashlight, not just with you, but -on- you. If for some reason you got left in the dirt (sure it would suck, especially at night, but let's always be prepared) you won't have access to the saddle bags that are attached to Courage the Cowardly Lion's saddle horn, and you could get stuck walking in the dark. For that reason I would also suggest carrying your cell -on- you, but that should go for the day time, too. I've never been riding on trails at night, but I do often work and ride in the round pen at night. Something about just you and the horse and the crickets is exhilarating. Alot of times I go out at dusk thinking I can beat the sun and when I'm done I haven't yet realized that the only light I have left is star/moon light. Suprisingly, I can see quite well, and again, my horse can see even better.

Anyway, if you do go out, I hope you have fun and stay safe! ^^ Maybe someday (somenight) I'll join you on the lonely trails once my green broke haflinger is, well, more than green broke... ^^
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post #5 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 04:33 PM
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Night riding can actually be quite peaceful. I wouldn't charter unfamiliar areas at night. They have three way led night light head bands for about ten bucks at Menards(white, red and blue lighting.) I bring extra batteries and I make sure the batteries in the head band are new before riding out. I don't think you have any critters worse than what we have here in MI. Is there a fellow rider you can go with?
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post #6 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 04:53 PM
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Think it would depend, I think a night with no moon would be too dark. You can see pretty well in the dark if there is some moon light. I wouldn't want to go somewhere that you can't see at all, because even if your horse can you still need to see where you're going/hazards.

But a familiar trail, with some moonlight, and not too cold weather should be fine I would think. But to me it would sort of ruin the experience of trail riding, because its much better with scenery. I think I would freak myself with bush noises.
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post #7 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 05:06 PM
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I ride in the dark in an open field. Horses have good night vison so I have had no problems. I do tend to sing or talk a lot to my horse as we ride along. LOL
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post #8 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for the info guys. i will look into it. we aren't ready to attempt this yet but maybe eventually. trying to find ways to keep riding during the week. grrr
but i have a little backpack i use for working out when i run i can carry so all my gear is on me if worse case comes to losing my horse ;)

and yes where i am in nj we don't have to many predators. bears, coyote's, deer are the main animals in my area.

thanks again for the info guys and hopefully i will have a partner as that will make things easier :)
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post #9 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 06:10 PM
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I love night rides myself and yes the horse does see way better then you do in the dark. It is better to pick nights with a decent moon so you can see the branches before getting smacked in the face.

Just how much better do horses see then us at night? Can't tell you but did have a trail ride go longer then planned and there was no moon. I literally could not see my hand in front of my face but my horse never once stumbled and took me back to camp. Just glad he knew where camp was because I couldn't see the trail to know when/where to turn.
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post #10 of 52 Old 11-06-2011, 07:16 PM
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I love riding at night especially with lots of friends. We routinely have a night ride once a month on the full moon. I wear a headlamp on my helmet and a red lamp on the back of my helmet. My horse has a lighted browband with white led lights and I have a reflective yellow vest for myself. I just keep picking up more stuff for our night rides. My horses got used to me wearing the headlamp very quickly and all the other horses are now used to this too. Its not important for everyone to have a headlamp if you ride together. In the winter the snow lights up the ground so a light is not always necessary. One ride in the spring was so spectacular 2 years ago because the creek we ride beside was completely engulfed by thousands of fireflies. It was amazing!
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