View Full Version : Outdoor Night Riding - Does anyone do it?

Feb. 22, 2010, 10:02 AM
Went for a 2 hour hack last night with a couple of friends. I truly thought it would be alot darker out in the fields and on the trail and was pleasantly surprised at how bright it was with the moon reflecting off the snow.

It was alot of fun and I'm kicking myself in the pants that it's taken me this long to try it out. :D

Horses were also alot better then I had anticipated. I guess it goes to show, you never know until you try!

So anyone else ride out at night?

Come Shine
Feb. 22, 2010, 10:09 AM
We've done a hack under a full moon. It really is bright with the reflection off the snow. It was so beautiful and quiet. We're hoping to be able to do one again this year.

Feb. 22, 2010, 10:32 AM
Many times in our outdoor ring, even when there's not much moonlight! My horse seems to like almost totally dark better than shadows from ring lights... And another benefit - I'm usually the only one out there :)

Feb. 22, 2010, 11:02 AM
I love hacking out under a full moon. It truly is beautiful. You need a horse you trust not to be a bonehead, though. Riding Casper on a moonlit night, uh no. Cloud, absolutely.

Feb. 22, 2010, 11:19 AM
I do enjoy riding at night, haven't done it much lately due to my overloaded schedule, but a friend hosts 'full moon rides' most every month.

Years ago, when I did the pair races in VA, the only time I had to get horses fit was at night- there was a pasture at our barn known to be hole-free and so I just galloped laps 'round that, near enough to fence to have a point of reference in the dark. In recent times, doing the Pony Express reride every June, we do go 'round the clock and have a chase vehicle following the horse to prevent getting run over by motor vehicles (some parts of the Pony Express route are still in the middle of nowhere, but we also have to go through downtown Salt Lake City and do a stretch on I-80 as well). I find that my horses don't really like having the chase vehicle's headlights lighting their way, they usually pick up speed to get in front of the headlight range, which of course means the chase vehicle tries to catch up in an attempt to be helpful, it can get pretty funny!

Feb. 22, 2010, 11:29 AM
I do many rides in the dark -- sometimes between the job, teaching, and riding other people's horses, that's the only time I have to get in trot sets! I know the field like the back of my hand, and the P-Monster is actually WAY less spooky at night then he is during the day.

The only problem is that if we draw a mid-day dressage time, he's not going to know what do do with himself! :)

Feb. 22, 2010, 11:36 AM
Used to, with regularity, in the summertime. I'd go for little short trailrides around the neighborhood. I always enjoyed it and the horses see just fine in the dark.

Feb. 22, 2010, 11:54 AM
Only once, and it was an accident when we went out on a trail ride late in the day and got caught about an hour away from the trailers when the sun went down. Luckily there was a full moon and nice, easy trails, so it worked out just fine and was actually pretty cool. I'd do it again.

Heart's Journey
Feb. 22, 2010, 12:06 PM
we schedule group night trail rides regularly when the moon is full or close to it during the summer as it's so much cooler then. Horses actually see quite well at night and seem much quieter. If you ride in the woods, though the moon doesn't help much - following a white rumped horse is the best way.

Alibhai's Alibar
Feb. 22, 2010, 12:21 PM
I LOVE riding at night! I agree that horses are quieter and it's so pretty.

A friend and I did a lot of night rides this past summer. We'd go out at dusk and ride til dark. It was a bit of a trust exercise, since the horse I was riding could see better than I could and we were weaving through some narrow trails, but he never failed to get me home safe and sound.

And a white saddle pad or a bright safety vest are great things to wear if you are riding the lead horse :)

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Feb. 22, 2010, 01:14 PM
Hypothetically, yes. When the ground isn't muck, isn't frozen, it is above freezing, it isn't raining. But apparently that no longer happens around here.

Feb. 22, 2010, 01:24 PM
I have to comment on the spooky factor. I was really convinced that it being dark would have them all "oh, it's scary" but I hadn't taken into consideration the lack of shadows in night riding. They were alot less jumpy then I've seen them on bright sunny days.

Feb. 22, 2010, 02:26 PM
I have, and hope to start again soon.:yes: But only on the farm.

I won't ride on the roads after dark.:no: Not even with horse wearing reflective leg bands and me in my day-glo "Please Pass Wide & Slow" reflective tabard. Riding my very light grey horse.

Cause horses see really well in the dark. But drivers? Ours don't even see all that well in the daytime.:lol:

Tom King
Feb. 22, 2010, 04:06 PM
Under a full moon is really not quite riding at night. When it's really dark you know your horse trusts you when you ask him to go on and he does. You know you trust him when he wants to turn around and you let him.