As holiday lighting displays add sparkle to wintry nights, it can be very tempting to saddle up for an after-dark trail ride. A tour of the neighborhood decorations is a great way to add to the holiday spirit.
But keep in mind, while horses can see better in the dark than humans, motorists can not always see them. That’s partially because drivers don’t expect to encounter a horse on the road at night, but also because many riders neglect to make themselves more visible. If you’re planning a nighttime holiday venture, be sure to take advantage of the reflective products available on the market. There are reflective vests for riders, as well as leg boots and saddle pads that reflect the glare of headlights. When riding at night, be sure to stay on well-marked bridle paths and ride single-file along narrow stretches of the trail.
Finally, leave any rambunctious, balky or spooky horses back at the barn. Such a horse could easily bolt or sashay into oncoming traffic. Riding at night is not the time to school a horse that would really prefer to be home in bed.