Never thought people would be so dependent - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-29-2017, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Never thought people would be so dependent

This was in my email this morning, I never would have believed it. IMHO, if you cannot ride at night when there is a FULL MOON, without a flashlight, you have NO BUSINESS riding Tevis. I can see carrying a headlamp, or a flashlight for emergencies, but NOT to show you the way. Your horse can see perfectly fine without a flashlight.


**IMPORTANT** HEADLAMP POLICY - 2017 TEVIS CUP RIDE


In the early days of 100 mile rides, riders would carry flashlights when riding at night. The problem was that riders couldn’t hold the flashlight still while riding. The bobbing light would bother the horses and give the riders motion sickness. Etiquette did evolve for the use of flashlights during this period. Riders did not ride upon other horses with their flashlight beam flashing about and riders turned their flashlight off when asked. Flashlights were mostly used for an emergency or for equipment repair.

Now there are LED headlamps. They weigh almost nothing, mount nicely to a rider’s helmet, and for under $25, one can be purchased with lumens ranging from 150 to 2,200. The use of these headlamps is displeasing to many riders as the lights have become more common and brighter. There are complaints that these lights scare horses when coming from behind, these lights make it difficult for other riders and the horses to see in the dark as the beams are blinding, and the lights make some riders motion sick. Some riders complain that these bright lights ruin the enjoyment and solitude of riding down the trail in the dark. This is a situation where the equipment of some riders ruins the enjoyment for other riders.

After many years of complaints, the Board of Governors is now addressing this issue. The BOG has decided to implement a rule limiting the size of lights/headlamps and educate riders to the etiquette of their use. Of course the use of headlamps for emergencies and equipment repairs is always acceptable. The Cup Committee will enforce the following rules regarding the use of headlamps/lights during the ride.

Headlamps or any other devices providing light during the Tevis Cup Ride are subject the following policy:

• Headlamps shall not exceed 250 lumens.

• Riders shall turn their headlamps off as they approach other horses and riders from behind.

• Riders shall turn off headlamps at the request of other riders.

• Glow sticks attached to the front of a horse are allowed.

The Cup Committee will monitor for lights that are too bright and ask riders to not use them. The Cup Committee will also address complaints about riders that are disrespectful with their use of headlamps. The intent of this rule is to find a middle ground where some lights can be used but not to the annoyance of other riders.

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post #2 of 9 Old 03-29-2017, 08:59 PM
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Why wouldn't the riders that want a light go to a red or green light

I haven't seen studies with horses but I know our eyes adjust back to darkness much faster when using red/green and since getting a new headlamp for christmas that has a red setting my horse doesn't seem nearly as bothered when i'm putting a halter on her after dark to bring her in . she was good before but even on a low setting would look away a bit, red light she just waits for me to lead the way
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-30-2017, 09:48 AM
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I ride 100s with lights. However, the terrain we are riding through here on the east coast is quite different than that of the Tevis trail. I don't care how full the moon is, you aren't gonna see jack in the middle of the deep woods at the Old Dominion. And unlike Tevis, NE ride weekends don't vary by the moon phase, so I have ridden 100s with no moon at all, regardless of cloud cover. I agree the horses can see much better than we can, but that isn't helpful in the case of a low-hanging branch the horse will get under but the rider will not or the horse adjusting it stride to navigate an obstacle they can see but the rider is left behind the motion, flopping around on the poor horse's back. It has nothing to do with not trusting my horse, but in wanting to be the best rider I can be at night.

Personally, I ride with a couple glow sticks at the shoulder and a not-very-bright small lantern on the base of my breastcollar. It is enough to illuminate the trail about 3 feet in front of the horse so I can see trail changes. I also use a headlamp on the red setting to help me avoid branches. It does have the option of a white light, so I can turn it on briefly to check markings if needed, etc.




I have found this set up keeps the light below the level of the horse's eyes and in their blind spot for the most part, yet it gives me enough to react to trail changes. I have never had a horse react poorly to this set-up, including ones not my own that were never introduced to this set up until at the ride itself.

I also get terribly motion sick riding at night. I take medication to help reduce it, but I know it's just going to happen if I ride after dark. The diffuse light of the lantern is much better than a solid point of light moving all over though.

I find it disheartening that people would rather create a rule than train their horses. If your horse doesn't like lights coming up behind it, then work on its training until it does! If my horse doesn't like being passed during the day, for example, nobody is going to make a rule saying that isn't allowed.. it is on the rider to train their horse to accept the things that can be expected to happen in the ride. Those people better never come East and ride the Vermont 100, as every runner (and there are hundreds of them) on trail has either a headlamp or a handheld flashlight or in many cases both!


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post #4 of 9 Old 03-30-2017, 10:14 AM
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**Disclaimer, Unlike PhantomHorse, I have never done and probably never will do Tevis, so take this with a grain of salt.

IME the complaint perhaps isn't whether or not the light wreaks havoc with the horse but with the rider. We walk a lot in the dark including crossing a creek on slippery rocks and moonless nights through thick dark forests. My husband always uses a light. I see better without one and it zaps my visibility when we are walking together and he is behind me using a light, which is often moving with his movement. I ask him instead, to walk a good distance in front. A red light would help though not eliminate the issue.

My problem with artificial light is that if you have pretty decent night vision, it blinds you to anything outside of your little orb of brightness. Kind of like getting light shone at you when wearing night vision goggles. It also makes the surrounding darkness, seem darker by contrast, so instead of being able to see ten or twenty feet ahead, you can only see what is in the lighted spot and have no idea what is coming next in the distance beyond. I have a huge problem with bright daylight and glare bothering me much more than night vision, he doesn't so maybe it can be chalked up to differences in vision?

Apparently, the human eye takes about 20-30 minutes for the chemical/natural processes responsible for our night vision to recharge after seeing in light. For those riders, not using artificial light sources, even a brief exposure to light might interfere with their vision for another 20-30 minutes.

http://www.nightvision.lv/the-truth-...-night-vision/

Perhaps the issue isn't so much that it is bothering the horses as it is causing blindness to the riders choosing not to use artificial light?
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Last edited by Reiningcatsanddogs; 03-30-2017 at 10:49 AM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-30-2017, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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@phantomhorse13 , yes, glow lights on the breast collar is what I did, it was recommended. I did carry a flashlight that had a red lens. I'm sure they've only made it a rule because so many people have taken to those really bright headlamps, and ignore the request by the other riders and manager of the ride, to not use them. I can see where someone could get motion sickness if the rider in front of them were using a headlamp, and you are use to riding in the dark. I too get motion sickness, but only on boats, airplanes and cars (if I'm in the back seat). But riding at night does not bother me.
I'm only talking Tevis, not Old Dominion or any of the other rides that are not held on a full moon. The part of the Tevis trail that is ridden at night is pretty clear of any low branches, can't say when they have to reroute it.


In the Vermont 100 do all the riders have their lights on all the time at night? Do most of them use the red setting? Is the trail not marked with glow sticks? Are there a bunch of low branches? I know my helmet has saved my head from low hanging pine cones I'm full of questions, I'm sure I'll never make it to the Vermont 100, or Old Dominion..............






I'm with ReiningCatsandDogs:

" My problem with artificial light is that if you have pretty decent night vision, it blinds you to anything outside of your little orb of brightness. Kind of like getting light shone at you when wearing night vision goggles. It also makes the surrounding darkness, seem darker by contrast, so instead of being able to see ten or twenty feet ahead, you can only see what is in the lighted spot and have no idea what is coming next in the distance beyond. I have a huge problem with bright daylight and glare bothering me much more than night vision, he doesn't so maybe it can be chalked up to differences in vision? "


Happy trails everyone

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post #6 of 9 Old 03-30-2017, 09:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEnduranceRider View Post
In the Vermont 100 do all the riders have their lights on all the time at night? Do most of them use the red setting? Is the trail not marked with glow sticks? Are there a bunch of low branches?
It's actually required at Vermont to have some sort of illumination front AND rear during the after-dark portions of the ride. That can be "real" lights or glow sticks.. but omg if I thought headlamps made me sick, watching the glowstick on the back of my DH's saddle bounce around was instantly vomit-inducing. Luckily he didn't mind my going first!

I would think the riders are about 50/50 in terms of people who use lights vs glow sticks. Of the ones using lights, some are red or green but many are normal light. Personally, I find the green ones to be pretty harsh as well, but again maybe that goes back to the lumens versus just the color. However, the runners all use headlamps and/or hand held lights.. and some of those are BRIGHT. Don't recall any of them using red or green ones. I can understand wanting to set limits on the lumens, as nobody needs a light that can illuminate the trail a mile ahead of them.

Having to duck branches seems to be common on the 100s I have done. Some rides are cleared better than others. The trail is marked with glow sticks, but like daytime markings, just how marked depends on the ride. One ride I did last year had the glow sticks as far as a half mile apart and the trail was not flat and open!!!
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-01-2017, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Glow sticks on front and back are a good idea. I've only done a couple of hundreds (I envy you being able to do a bunch), but I did stick a red glow light on my guys tail. I ALWAYS put a red ribbon on my horses tail, after a ride years ago with some buddys. In that ride, on a LONG single track trail where there was nowhere to pass, my friends horse had his rear shoes horribly twisted, and partly pulled off, because the rider behind him was on his BUTT so close. My buddy knew the lady was riding to close to him, but had no idea it was that close till we came to a stop. That person was lucky it wasn't me, I would have been a LOT harsher on her, as he just kept politely asking her to back off.

Alas........... Maybe one day I'll be able to do more 100's, I've not given up hope :-]
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-01-2017, 01:42 PM
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What an interesting conversation!
It's always so intriguing to read about the intricacies of other disciplines under the equestrian umbrella.

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-03-2017, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldEnduranceRider View Post
I ALWAYS put a red ribbon on my horses tail

My buddy knew the lady was riding to close to him, but had no idea it was that close till we came to a stop. That person was lucky it wasn't me, I would have been a LOT harsher on her, as he just kept politely asking her to back off.
I ribbon Phin's tail because he is still green enough to be worried if a strange horse is close behind him, though he's never kicked out. I don't bother with the older boys because they are so tolerant.

However, I am not tolerant and will quickly be not-polite if someone doesn't get the message. Riding so close to the person in front of you that you are stepping on their shoes is totally unacceptable!!


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