Riding in the dark.

lauren123

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2007
2,862
913
113
East Yorkshire
#1
I was just thinking , I know its scary!!
With the nights getting darker and the mornings (when I have finished my night shift at 07:15 its still dark!)
Around yard is in a large village I guess you would say... The roads all around are 30mph and there are decent street lights. I am thinking if it would be stupid for me to ride in the dark? I would of course be wearing hi viz. and a light on my hat. Sox would be wearing a hi vis' rug, boots, ear thingy, reflective breast plate and anything else I can think off!!!.

Would you?
 

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
9,564
1,433
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Perthshire, Scotland
#2
If it was approaching daylight, my route was going to involve busier bits when it was lighter and I’d wear proper lights as hi vis alone won’t cut it for being seen (think light on ankle of your boot with red at back and white forward) and maybe one on your arm) as well as those tail lights as well. I’d also need to be sure my horse would cope. I’d take my lad out and have done, but he’s marginally more spooky in the dark. Generally when it’s dusky or getting dark at this time, I just choose to stay away from the road entirely and hack round the stubble fields. I can have my head torch on but generally I’d only need the moonlight as it’s quite open and your eyes adjust. But then I live in the sticks in Scotland and don’t tend to have any weird characters lurking about (other than me!)
 

Star the Fell

Well-Known Member
Jun 14, 2015
973
698
93
#3
I used to ride in the dark. Lit up like a Christmas tree!!!
However I live in a quiet village, it was only a short ride on the ‘main’ road then onto very quiet back lanes. My horse was very sensible and not spooky. I found that most drivers slowed right down as it took them a while to work out what was coming towards them. Looked like a series of lights suspended in mid air!
 

Jessey

Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
19,079
9,514
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Suffolk, UK
#4
I do it around the little housing estate by the horses, traffic is generally very good and I go out smothered in Hi-Viz and lights, met the police one night, it gave them a good chuckle :p
I got cyclists leg lights from Aldi, they are only about 2 quid for 2 and work great on Jess' legs, so she has 4 of those, a hi-viz sheet, neck strap and I have a tabard and hat band, then I have my head torch on my hat and normally and extra of those bands hanging from my stirrups. We scared a dog walked one night as he couldn't figure out what was approaching (on the dirt track with no street lights), he said he knew it wasn't a runner or cyclist as it was too tall, he wasn't sure if maybe it was a giant :p
 

Bodshi

Well-Known Member
Apr 23, 2009
6,085
2,749
113
Yorkshire
#5
Personal choice, I wouldn't do it on a road. Raf isn't good with large traffic at the best of times and headlights spook him a bit anyway. I could imagine him being really scared if we came across a noisy tractor with bright headlights coming towards us. We can hold it together in the daylight if he's allowed to stand to the side and watch it go past, but I think he'd panic if he could only hear the noise and see a bright light. We get a lot of tractors on our roads and at busy times of year they could be out at all hours.

If I could ride completely off road I would, I sometimes take the dog out in the dark and I actually love it, especially on moonlit nights. It helps that the dog is white of course :p

ETA - I was really frustrated last year when a couple of ladies I didn't recognise must have decided to start exercising their horses first thing on winter mornings. Although the problem wasn't so much visibility - it was starting to get light and they were well lit up - the time they chose to ride was when people (including me) were leaving the village to go to work and I got stuck behind them a couple of times, which was really annoying. They walked at snail pace, chatting away and not acknowledging drivers at all, which I thought was extremely rude :p
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Learning together!
Apr 30, 2010
16,718
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Surrey Hills
#7
I'm pretty brave and Ziggy is quite fearless of traffic, but I wouldn't fancy going in the dark on our little dark lanes with drivers going at 40mph. Around a lit, built up area I might, I suppose.
 
Apr 25, 2003
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#8
you are probably safer doing it in a town than on lanes and rural. I ride buddy early morning but only once it is light as I just don't think it's worth the risk unless you really are illuminated, problem is that people are not expecting to see a horse in the dark so aren't anticipating it.
 

Kite_Rider

Cantering cabbage!
May 18, 2009
7,728
4,757
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#9
Not in the dark no I won’t, currently we hack out just as it’s starting to get light, Belle has lights front and back, white/yellow led neck strap at the front, red led tail lights which are the full length of her tail at the back, plus hi viz reflective leg wraps, ear bonnet. I wear hi viz reflective jods/jacket and a flashing led hat band. We look like a Christmas tree but we are seen in plenty of time even by half asleep folk with foggy windscreens.
Our lanes are single track village lanes and not hugely busy at dawn.
I did ride in the dark yesterday actually but only off road. I can’t wait to do a moonlight hack off road, bet it’s magic.