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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2010
    Posts
    443

    Default Winter Riding- Headlamp an option?

    Hey all,
    So this year, for the first time, I am finding myself in the position of only being able to ride before the sun comes up or after it goes down 4-5 days out of the week. I am luck enough to have access to a nice ring, however there are no lights. Does anyone have suggestions for an economical way to rig some system that could give me enough light to do some flat work/trot sets in the ring with? I have a headlamp from edie bauer that i bought several years ago to try but it is not bright enough. So suggestions for other headlamps? I had thought about trying some of those little flood lights that just stick into the ground like you would use in a front yard... I do have an electrical outlet down by the ring, so something that I had to plug in might work. I just don't think putting in real lights are an option right now, so am trying to sort out a solution. Thanks for any insight!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2010
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    814



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2009
    Location
    Virginia zip 20120
    Posts
    490

    Default

    “Always saddle your own horse. Always know what you’re doing. And go in the direction you are heading.” Connie Reeves
    Jump Start Solutions LLC



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2000
    Location
    SE Mass
    Posts
    4,160

    Default

    I would go with the lights on stands. I think that Home Depot sells something like this too.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,445

    Default

    What about those solar lights they sell for paths?
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    1,287

    Default

    you'd need several hundred of the solar path lights.... I have a few for the porch and they give off just enough light to direct me toward the steps, not even enough to really SEE the steps.
    Look into high intensity flood lamps, Lowe's or Home Depot variety. There are a few fairly small ones that will work and could be mounted on a stand or side of a barn. They are wicked bright so mounting down low is a pain in the eye... if you can get one up high you're better off. You still might need two (in the middle facing both directions, or one on either end) to get enough glow for a small ring.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2006
    Posts
    5,444

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IFG View Post
    I would go with the lights on stands. I think that Home Depot sells something like this too.


    These work a treat! You would be surprised at just how much light just two of those can cast.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    It can be done with flood lights, but if you have any sort of weather at all, you're talking serious money and setup to make sure they're wind- and weather-proof, and probably a fairly hefty electric bill as well.

    I have a solar-charged LED light above my barn door which actually is quite bright, but it is meant to only stay on for a few minutes at a time (motion detector triggers it to turn on) and the solar panel, to accomodate how bright it is, is relatively large. It would probably take 50 of them (at $80/apiece) to light even a small arena sufficiently to ride, and the battery would give you maybe a half hour at constant brightness. But I don't like riding in very low light--maybe just a few of these would make for adequate light. I just don't know how long the light would last and whether the lights constantly flashing on and off would drive someone nuts!

    This is similar to the one I have, and half of what I paid!
    http://www.amazon.com/Cooper-Lightin.../dp/B001FB5ZW6


    It says

    Working Time: 30 minutes, 72 times, one time lighting 25 seconds

    So maybe a series of them would give you enough, each going on and off in turn?

    There are ways to do it, yes, but the practicality is limited unless one has unlimited funds.

    I've parked cars at either end of an arena--one with high beams and one with low beams--and ridden that way a time or two. Not the greatest, but it works and costs only the fuel to run the vehicles for 30 minutes.
    Click here before you buy.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2003
    Posts
    1,884

    Default

    I hate headlamps. They give you a very small area of light, and everything else is pitch black, because your eyes never adjust. I suspect the same is true of the horse's. I boarded for a couple of years at a place with no indoor and no lights, and just rode in the dark in the fields and ring. Once your eyes adjust, especially when there's snow and a moon, you'll be amazed at how well you can see. You won't be jumping, but it's good enough for flatwork and hacking in known areas. The worst was when I'd go hacking and someone would turn on the light above the barn door, thinking she was being nice - as soon as I got headed toward the light, I couldn't see a thing!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2003
    Location
    Northeast MA
    Posts
    4,038

    Default

    if you have power and a roof on your indoor, how about a string or two of the yellow-caged lights used for construction? I think they can be fitted with LED bulbs which will give you thrifty lighting no matter the temp (compact fluorescents take forever to warm up in the cold).

    We had a square dance in our indoor, and our regular mercury vapor lights were just too bright, so we hung 2 strings of construction lights in the rafters, and the lighting was perfect.

    I suppose these could be strung along the wall if there wasn't a roof but I don't know if they're waterproof.
    They don't call me frugal for nothing.
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2009
    Location
    Currituck NC
    Posts
    1,267

    Default

    I've had these out in my ring now for two years. http://www.tractorsupply.com/jobsmar...-light-3206833

    I've had to replace two bulbs, but they provide more then enough light for quality hacking for my entire ring (230 x 180) plus some jumping at the fences closer to the end with the lights. I have two large gravel piles on either side of one end, so just have them attached to a (capped) T post driven in. You would be surprised at how much light they put out.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2006
    Posts
    5,444

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jumper_girl221 View Post
    I've had these out in my ring now for two years. http://www.tractorsupply.com/jobsmar...-light-3206833

    I've had to replace two bulbs, but they provide more then enough light for quality hacking for my entire ring (230 x 180) plus some jumping at the fences closer to the end with the lights. I have two large gravel piles on either side of one end, so just have them attached to a (capped) T post driven in. You would be surprised at how much light they put out.




    These work great!!!!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2008
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    1,088

    Default

    If you have access to a power outlet, I knew someone who strung a strand of white Christmas lights all around the fence of the ring. It at least gives you a boundary you can see, and if there are no jumps in the ring, it's not a huge deal to be blind. Flat work only, of course.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Location
    On the back of a horse somewhere in KY
    Posts
    1,127

    Default

    I routinely hack at the walk in the fields and do flat schools in the dark. I honestly find that it encourages horses to be more attentive and trust their riders. However, I do use a headlamp at time, esp if there is no moon. What you need is a spelunking/cave specific headlamp. 100 lumens or more is preferable. I have this one:
    http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com...storm-headlamp
    It fits easily over a helmet and does not bounce or flop. Good luck!
    "Gallop as if you were to die tomorrow, jump as if you were to live forever."



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,908

    Default

    One of my vets often has to ride in the dark. She will wear a headlamp (look into ones cyclists use. They are quite bright and light weight), and also attaches one to her horse's breastplate. She can do a decent flat school with that set up (but will, at times, turn the headlights on the truck onto the ring, too), and can also do trot sets around the property (has a mowed path and knows it VERY well).



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
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    14,445

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Divine Comedy View Post
    If you have access to a power outlet, I knew someone who strung a strand of white Christmas lights all around the fence of the ring. It at least gives you a boundary you can see, and if there are no jumps in the ring, it's not a huge deal to be blind. Flat work only, of course.
    This is sort of what I was thinking with the solar path lights - light your boundary, and as long as you know the inside is clear, you don't need all that much light.

    If you're in a canyon, it can get quite dark, but if you're in a more open area, moonlight or even starlight provide some lighting, and the horses see better in the dark than you can.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2009
    Location
    Gray Court, SC
    Posts
    666

    Default DIY Light Poles

    I don't have a ring, but a flat pasture right outside my back yard. To start, I don't like the lights on stands because they don't get the light high enough to illuminate well and you get a lot of glare.

    This year I set out to make my own light poles and the biggest cost turned out to be the light fixtures. I started with 2 10 foot 3" pvc pipes. They are light weight enough to raise and lower. You need a 3" connector and a 90 degree turn to mount the light fixture.

    I bought a standard two lamp outdoor flood fixture that takes the standard 120W bulbs (240W per pole). The fixture was attached to the 3" 90 degree pipe turn (that was that hardest thing to figure out). A plug was attached to the wiring of the fixture. I put the elbow turn on the end of one 3" pipe, attached a 20' extension cord and ran it down the inside of the 10' section, attached the connector, then the next 10' pipe with the cord coming out the bottom.

    I now have a 20' light pole that weighs next to nothing, cost me < $50 and lights up half my riding area. I made three. To support them I drilled a hole in a fence post next to where I ride and drilled a hole in the bottom of the light pole. Run a long enough bold (8") through both and you have a pivot point. I raise the pole up (remember it is really light) and secure it with bungies till I drill a second set of holes to secure the top.

    An alternative in an open area would be to post hole dig down 2', drop a 5" round 2' section of pvc that allows a cap. Bed the pvc then drop the light pole into the ground pipe. When not in use, put the cap on and put a rock or cone to dissuade horses from walking on it. Because the poles are so light it is easy to lift them up and in.

    The best part is that in case of bad weather I can quickly drop the poles down to the ground, it is easy to adjust lights and/or change bulbs. With three poles I have enough light to do flat work and even small gymnastics. Before I ride I plug the three way extender into an extension from my home outlet, when done, i just unplug.

    If interested I can post some pictures of my handiwork. I really hate winter for this reason. My other option will be to ride in the AM before going to work and work later.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2009
    Location
    Virginia zip 20120
    Posts
    490

    Default

    JP60, that sounds brilliant! Pics, please, at your convenience?
    “Always saddle your own horse. Always know what you’re doing. And go in the direction you are heading.” Connie Reeves
    Jump Start Solutions LLC



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2003
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    2,977

    Default

    JP60, yes, would love to see pics!

    I'm currently using my car's headlights/foglights to illuminiate the ring, which only works OK. I don't have to turn the car on in order to use the headlights, and fortunately only 25 minutes' worth doesn't drain the battery. The lights that are already set up in the ring need to be repaired, so I'm hoping that can be done soon!
    -my life-
    Translation
    fri [fri:] fritt fria (adj): Free
    skritt [skrit:] skritten (noun): Walk



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 30, 2008
    Posts
    3,125

    Default

    I've ridden plenty in the winter using a headlamp. I'd never jump with just that, of course, but for flat work in a safe place, I don't see a problem. If you need more light, get a better quality headlamp or add a second one beside it (it'll look like eyes). I agree with olympicdreams04 that it's good for the trust issue, so please make sure you have a fairly clear spot.

    Oh, and if you have a velvet, suede, or microfiber-ish covered helmet and you use your headlamps a lot, be prepared for there to be "rubs" from the elastic strap.
    Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

    You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.



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