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WWYD? Road riding in the dark?

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  • #41
    Originally posted by HillnDale View Post
    Imagine all the absolute worst case scenarios in your head and think how you would respond and if the risk is worth it to you.
    This. Fitting up a horse in the midwinter is not worth the risk. I am an avid cyclist (for fitness, not for necessity/commuting) and I would NEVER ride on-road after dark. People are moronic enough when they have full daylight ... talking, texting, generally not paying attention or (even when they do see you) not giving you adequate space. (Which brings up yet another issue: Should you need to bail off the road for a car, do you know everything off the side of the road so you can jump in the weeds without risking your horse?)
    Do you plan to ride facing traffic, like a pedestrian, or with it, like a vehicle? In this situation, on another living creature, BOTH are bad ideas for their own reasons.
    Unless you count on your horse for transportation to work, this is NOT worth it.
    I evented just for the Halibut.

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    • #42
      As an endurance rider, no, I am not a fan of this. I would on trails, oh yes, and have, but not on a road with cars. Logging roads with no traffic, at night, deep deep snow at night, moonlit nights, ice on roadways at night and day, pouring down rain on trails at night and daylight, yes. I have had to road ride though when I was in a "situation" at night on a very busy night(no other choice due to bad circumstances). I was on a grey horse on a totally moonless night. Couldn't even see the ears on this horse it was so dark until a car came. But, never on a regular training basis on a road with cars. You just can NOT trust the traffic. Traffic is the deal breaker imo. I have no problem ever with cyclists, day or night. Cars, YES. Just takes one to change your life, forever. For.ever.

      I have road ridden ALOT btw. ALOT. But, not after dark. Idiots are just careless fools. They just do not expect a horse and rider.

      Hit some trails at night. FUN FUN. No cars. Hit the trails at night in 3' snow on a moonlit night, FUN FUN.

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      • #43
        Originally posted by rmh_rider View Post
        But, not after dark. Idiots are just careless fools. They just do not expect a horse and rider.
        It is absolutely not idiotic to NOT expect someone riding a horse down the road. Even the most careful driver does not expect a horse on the road.

        This is the second decade of the 21st century, not the second decade of the 20th.

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        • #44
          Originally posted by caballero View Post
          It is absolutely not idiotic to NOT expect someone riding a horse down the road. Even the most careful driver does not expect a horse on the road.

          This is the second decade of the 21st century, not the second decade of the 20th.

          I have to agree. I live in major horse country and I would not expect a horse and rider on the road after dark...where I would expect them during the day. I would however been on hyper alert for loose animals and deer on our back roads...which are harder to see than a well marked rider.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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          • #45
            Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
            I appreciate everyone's concern and didn't realize that, for some people, riding on the roads was so very very taboo. It's not really a big deal around these parts.

            This is not a spooky horse. The worst he does is eye the cows and puff up across the bridge over the creek - road lines, dogs, sheep, cars, big diesel trucks, funny looking stuff, puddles, garbage, street signs, gunshots, play structures, junk, running water, none of that bothers him. He's a lazy, nearly 15 year old OTTB. I would never consider this on a different horse. My biggest concern would be staying visible to drivers - flashing lights, reflective gear, whatever is necessary.
            I don't think riding on the roads is a big deal to most people -- it's riding on the roads after dark that borders on lunacy.
            I used to live in the Rocky Mountains - the snow was way too deep to ride in the fields, the trailers were buried under snow so no going to indoors -- so we did all our riding on the (plowed) dirt roads. Leg yields, half-pass, transitions within the gaits, hillwork ... all great for the winter. So ride on your roads, but do it on the weekends or whatever days you are off work and can ride in the daylight.
            It's great that you are trying to be responsible and thinking of the things you think you can control (your horse, his spookiness, your visibility), but there's so much you can't, and all it takes is one driver who either doesn't see you because he's busy texting or reacts the wrong way to an unexpected sight showing up 20 short feet in front of him and blows his horn, swerves, whatever...
            If you can't afford to haul to an indoor, you certainly can't afford the vet and hospital bills. If either of you make it that far. Please be safe.
            I evented just for the Halibut.

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            • Original Poster

              #46
              Originally posted by NeverTime View Post
              If you can't afford to haul to an indoor, you certainly can't afford the vet and hospital bills. If either of you make it that far. Please be safe.
              I was just going to let this die, but this assumption really chaps my hide.

              You have no clue what my financial situation is, so please, don't do yourself the disservice of assuming that you do - and that I can't afford a vet or hospital bill.

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              • #47
                Originally posted by Heinz 57 View Post
                I was just going to let this die, but this assumption really chaps my hide.

                You have no clue what my financial situation is, so please, don't do yourself the disservice of assuming that you do - and that I can't afford a vet or hospital bill.
                But you stated that it was financial reasons you couldn't afford to trailer to an indoor more than once a week in the first post....as opposed to just stating you do not have time to trailer to an indoor.

                You put that out there.....NT didn't make an assumption. Not that it matters either way....no one really wants a vet or hospital bill whether they can afford it or not. NT's point was more that for most people...what you are proposing is a higher risk activity than most of us are willing to do on a regular basis.
                Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Dec. 26, 2012, 09:06 PM.
                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                • Original Poster

                  #48
                  Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                  But you stated that it was financial reasons you couldn't afford to trailer to an indoor more than once a week in the first post....as opposed to just stating you do not have time to trailer to an indoor.

                  You put that out there.....NT didn't make an assumption. Not that it matters either way....no one really wants a vet or hospital bill whether they can afford it or not. NT's point was more that for most people...what you are proposing is a higher risk activity than most of us are willing to do on a regular basis (for the benefits here).
                  I "put out there" that we cannot afford to pay fuel and arena fees to haul to an arena more than once a week right now. It was *assumed* that since we can't afford to haul to an arena, that we also cannot afford a vet or hospital bill.

                  Those two things fall into two different categories in my budget, negotiable (haul in costs) and non-negotiable (emergency fund). I suppose I should say we are choosing to spend (or save) our money elsewhere and the fuel and arena fees to haul out are not "worked into the budget" right now.

                  Regardless, I appreciate the feedback everyone has given. Lots of good things to think about.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    That makes sense....really though, unless you are legging up for a prelim+ event in early spring.....if you can ride on the weekend and once or twice during the week, you will be doing more than a lot of us in crappy winter weather. It is also surprising how great a lot of horses do with 4-6 weeks off. Unless they are like my big red horse...who self destructs if given more than a day or two off.
                    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      I used to ride on the road (dirt roads, hardly any traffic) alot and would be coming home at or after dark. Me and the horse had reflective gear and I wore a red "tail light" arm band. Horse was fine with it (ottb/ old campaigner so great with vehicles, lights etc), I was fine but stopped in deference to the moms of the junior riders at the barn who also thought they should do it on their not so traffic broke horses. This was before cell phones and texting were common, now I might not have as much faith that drivers are actually watching the road.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Personally I wouldn't do it. When I was a teen, one spring we had so much snow and ice built up it was impossible to ride and I was very impatient. I noticed there was a melted strip of dirt/grass next to the road so for a couple of weeks, that's where I rode my mare. Up and down the grassy shoulder. (at least we had lots of practice at turns on the forehand and haunches!)

                        Anyways, that mare was the literal definition of bombproof (for example, she was completely unfazed by a major fireworks display being set off next door) so I never had fear of her spooking. However, I got an eye-opening lesson on how stupid and awful drivers can be. This was a country road, paved but hardly any cars at all.

                        Most people were respectful and careful, but there was a surprisingly amount of people who didn't spare an inch, and even some who whooped and hollered or HONKED! And this was in broad daylight.

                        I trusted that horse with my life and I reiterate that she never, ever spooked, not even a little, in the years that I owned her, but jeez....

                        And after a couple of decades in customer service related jobs, I will never again underestimate the stupidity of the general public. So I don't ride on the road anymore. Ever.

                        I second the idea of finding a nearby field to ride in. If all your roads are dirt, this is a rural area, yes? There has got to be SOMEBODY who will let you ride on their land. Even if you can't offer money as compensation, perhaps there is something else you can offer as a barter.

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                        • #52
                          You make menervous - for you.

                          If the traffic is very sparse, perhaps cross over to the other side of the road when a car comes by - but then you have to have a head that swivels 360 degrees.

                          I just don't think you can guarantee that every vehicle driver is horse-aware.
                          Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Foxtrot's View Post
                            If the traffic is very sparse, perhaps cross over to the other side of the road when a car comes by - but then you have to have a head that swivels 360 degrees.
                            LOL! I'm picturing this.

                            I can hear vehicles long before I can see them. However... and this is a big however.... I do not road hack on windy days because it takes my early warning system away. It's scarey enough to be mowing your lawn near the road and have a vehicle come up on you unheard... and the lawn mower won't spook and commit suicide.
                            ::Sometimes you have to burn a few bridges to keep the crazies from following you::

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              The dusk/dawn thing is the big thing to me. I totally understand only having those times to ride, and unfortunately the typical day doesn't cater to us riders! But, I extensively trail ride (with a good bit on the roads) in the summer/fall around 4 PM, which is about dusk in the fall here in MA. By dusk, drivers can't see me, I can't see them and often the sun glare gets pretty bad. I can have all the reflective or flashing gear I want, but if they can't see me, they can't see me.

                              Hopefully you find a solution that works!

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