Riding at night - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 23 Old 11-07-2012, 10:04 AM
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
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We rode in the dark for quite a few years in the UK when my husband & I were both working and needed to keep our horses hunting fit - something you just can't do in a menage day in day out. We had all sorts of reflective gear, stirrup lights and flashlights and never had a single accident or anything to cause concern. In the UK you can buy lights that strap onto your leg or ankle
We did ride on the roads a lot of the time but avoided those that didnt have good wide verges as relying on traffic avoiding you in daylight is enough of a hazard so in the dark is not a risk I would have wanted to take
The risks of being spooked on trails here by wildlife that is more nocturnal is higher than in daylight but if you talk a lot like we do then that tends deter them from leaping out in front of you
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post #22 of 23 Old 11-07-2012, 10:09 AM
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I've never felt that my horses were worried about riding in the dark. Its more my fears. I dislike getting slapped across the face by twigs and small branches. I can usually see the shadows of the larger branches coming at me. But the small ones sneek up on you.

I don't know what animals I am encountering in the darkness. As I said, I've frequently come across large black blobs and until they moo you don't know if it's a bear, moose or cow in front of you on the trail. I've heard cougars scream in the darkness. You know they are close, But can't see them. Where most cattle will herd away from a horse and rider. Buffalo don't and will actively charge a horse. Too many things I worry about.

The horses just plod along, and don't seem too worried about most of this. Branches sliding by their sides, don't bother them. They seem to be able to tell cattle from bears, probably they are smelling. Horses have more Rods in the eyes, So they have better night vision than we do, They give up the range of colors we see because we have more cones and fewer rods.

My rides are never on the road, So no worries about reflective gear or passing cars. Biggest concerns are safe footing for the horse and getting brushed off by a low branch.
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post #23 of 23 Old 11-07-2012, 11:00 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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I ride in the dark all the time in the summer. I generally don't in the winter so much just because it's cold and I'm a weenie, but in the summer, I'll often be out on a horse well past midnight.

I generally don't wear any reflectors or lights because I live out in the boonies and ride across pastures in the dark. Not much chance of getting hit by a car out here LOL.

In the summer, when the moon is out, we'll even hitch a team and go for long drives in the dark (I ride beside the wagon because I like riding more than driving), but we don't have problems with it. Once I get back to civilization where there is traffic, there is also streetlights so I am easily seen.

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Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog: http://robertsontraining.blogspot.com/
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