Hubby has had this week off at home. He has been working so much, that he has had little time to ride Flag lately. And when he did have time, I was often gone with the trailer, and he had no way to get them to the trails. Little guy was feeling rejected and neglected. (Flag, not hubby). So, with the the Texas heat, we decided to go for an evening / night ride tonight. The moon was full a day or so ago, and has been super bright. So we loaded up Flag and Hank, and headed over to the trails. Hank has been hanging out all week, eating lots, and seemed to be wanting some attention, and I figured an easy 10 mile ride would be good for him. Besides, he has been ridden in the dark, and Flag really hasn't, so we did not know how Flag was going to behave.
The sun was setting as we hit the trails. Even though it was getting dark, it was still mighty warm. Around 95 or so. I had hubby lead the way through the woods, so he could be in charge of knocking down all the spider webs. He did a fine job, and even used his face to remove a few (shudder)
Flag was being such a good boy. Cheerful as always, but not charging or tugging to go faster, even though he had not been out in awhile. He is such a different horse than we he came to live with us. In the beginning, he would fight to go faster, even if he was out front. Now, I am sure he will still do that for awhile when we get him to some more events, but he and hubby seem to really get along so well. I don't think he has bonded with a horse this well since he lost his favorite mare about 10 years ago.
We rode most of the way without lighting the glow sticks I placed low on the fronts of their breastcollars. I put them on for a bit, through some dark woods, but hubby actually liked it better without. He used to work in a photo darkroom, and has excellent night vision. Seems Flag did too.
He never took a bad step, knew where the trail went, and did not spook, even with the Armadillo ran across the trail. Hank was happy to tag along, not have to think much, and just watch Flags glowing white pinto spot on his butt in the moon light. They always say for a ride like Tevis, get behind a grey or white horse that has done the ride before when you get to the night time stuff, and follow them. Easy to see and follow.
We stopped at one of the ponds for water, and I took a photo, catching the moon, its reflection in the water, and even some "Orbs" in the photo. Some believe when you get them in a photo they are good luck, others feel they are spirits. I just think my lens is dirty. ;-)
Finished up the 10 mile loop, and loaded the boys up, and headed back home. Hope everyone gets a chance to ride at night under a full moon some time or another. You become very aware of how much you need to trust your horse. Also, many find how much they depend on the visual to be balanced when they ride. Hubby rode along with his eyes shut a bit, and said he could feel where he was riding crooked etc. Many have trouble with vertigo in the dark while riding, so if you Do plan to do a ride like Tevis, find that out ahead of time!