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Re: [RC] [RC] night riding/headlamps - April

Hey, Susan,

I do a lot of road riding. I'm lucky in that I can do a 9-12 mile ride where much of the time we're on the side of the road off the pavement (safer). We know the route very well since we do it a lot. On my older less active horse, Serts, I use an LED headlamp that is attached to his bridle brow band. That actually works very well for him. We can canter (because I know where it's safe to do so) without issue. It only took a day or two of riding from dusk into dark to teach him the light was ok.

My endurance horse, Tanna, I just ride without any light because he knows the route so well, I think he could do it blindfolded. The neighbors usually have lights on in their house so I know where I am and what the footing is like because I ride this route often. If the moon is out even a little, we can see well enough. If I needed light on him, I'd probably train him to have the head lamp on his browband like Serts. Tanna used to be really freaky about riding at night but I just started riding and then came home more and more after dark until we could start in the dark. Probably the same routine I'd used to get him used to the head lamp.

Another night road riding tip. I got a small rectangluar red LED rear bike light from Walmart. Takes a AA battery and has 3 different flash settings. One of them is a steady blink-blink like a turn signal or flashers on a car. The light can be attached to a bike seat, but also has a belt clip. I clip this to my hip pack waist strap so that the light is behind me. That way cars coming from behind are more aware of me. I also use a reflective vest and Tanna has a reflective brow band. I got the light after a neighbor/friend told me they almost hit me once because even with the reflective gear, they could not see me until they were almost on me. I also have a smaller red LED light that I got in the jogging aisle of Walmart that works well also. Drivers are aware of me way before their headlights ever touch my reflective gear. The reflective gear helps to define what we are (my vest says "horse and rider"), but the red light alerts them that something is ahead.

Oh, brand of headlight. I have a Petzl Tikkina that I got at REI about 3 years ago. Still going strong. I use it at rides, too, to saddle up in the AM. (Unless I'm parked next to Angie F., then I just share her nice trailer light! ;-))

My husband has an Energizer that he uses. Not on horses, but his is a good one, too, and has red and white light settings. He got his at Walmart in the camping section.

Good luck.

Nashville, TN

On 9/30/05, Jerry & Susan Milam <milamj@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Due to the darkness now so early and wanting to continue at least once in the middle of a week riding, does anyone have experience with using a headlamp on a helmet for seeing where you're going.
We tried road riding the other night and ended up walking most of it cause it was so dark. Made reflector bands for the horses legs and tails/bridles but we can't see.
Saw a bunch of brands and didn't know which way to go with the light issue. Any recommendations would be helpful.

[RC] night riding/headlamps, Jerry & Susan Milam