ridecamp@endurance.net: [endurance] night rides

[endurance] night rides

Sallijan Snyder (sallijan@ix.netcom.com)
Mon, 18 Sep 1995 23:44:35 -0700

Pam Haynes wrote, regarding 25-mile rides:
>One last word about distance: Karen Steenhof managed a night ride last
>summer, which had a modest showing of 25's and 50's. Her 9 mile trail ride
>attracted 91 riders. This year our local club said to heck with the
>endurance ride and sponsored just the moonlight trail ride. We had 124
>riders and *cleared* over $1,000. There may be no glory in trail riding but
>it sure padded our bank account this year!

Pam, I'd love to know what your club does in terms of length of ride,
pre-/post-ride activities, etc. How much do you charge? What are your

Anyone else have experience with night rides other than endurance races? I'd
love to hear more about them to help me work on plans for one I'm doing.

I've managed short moonlight rides in the past two Augusts for my local club
and am thinking of expanding the ride next summer. With virtually no
advertising outside the club newsletter (the note on rec.equestrian didn't
draw anyone as far as I know), we had 21 riders and made about $50. Now that
I've done it twice, I feel like putting on a bigger, more interesting ride
that will draw more people. This year we had a pre-ride picnic dinner and
post-ride hot chocolate and cookies to encourage folks to hang out and chat a
bit. It was a lot of fun, but over too soon! :-)

We have to pay a special use fee for night time use of the county park, plus
overtime for a ranger to stay and keep an eye on us after 10pm. That plus
the food amounted to less than $100 this year. I only charged $6 per rider
to cover expenses and make a little for the club.

A local endurance club puts on a moonlight ride in October, and makes a much
bigger production of it. They have an after-ride bonfire, poetry reading,
hot dogs 'n' beans, etc. They get about 50-60 gung-ho endurance riders
charging around the local park trails for a couple hours. I've ridden with
them and it's a blast, but not for the faint-hearted. :-) I think they
charge $10 a head.

I'm thinking of conspiring with a couple of other people to do a "watch the
fireworks" night ride next July 4th, whether it's moonlight or not. Our
valley is ringed with hills, among which are several parks with nice horse
trails offering good viewpoints.

Besides being fun, these are nice opportunities to get horses and riders
acquainted with night riding before throwing them into it on a serious ride.
Our area parks tend to be shut down at night to protect the local governing
bodies from liability suits and the parks from after-hours vandals (none of
whom ride, of course...).


Sallijan Snyder                        sallijan@ix.netcom.com
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