Throughout the summer, I continuously asked myself whether or not I would wish to continue horse riding in the Autumn and Winter months. Not only would it be getting colder, it would be getting darker, and I’m not sure that horse riding in the dark is something I would be comfortable with.
It was one of the reasons I didn’t loan my own horse, because I didn’t want to commit to something that I felt I couldn’t continue with after a couple of months.
I went out on Cassie with Lynne this week in the dark for the first time. Usually, we manage to get out and have a little ride in the field and get back before it gets dark, but on Wednesday night, we were riding out when it was still twilight.
We turned the lights on in the school and headed over. Lynne had set up a few jumps for Cassie and I to go over, and I was looking forward to trying them out. It had been a while since we had been in the school, so I was interested to see how Cassie would be.
She loves going in the field, but in the school she’s not so keen (probably because we’re just going around in circles), so she wasn’t as easy to get into canter and stay in canter.
I did however, manage to get her going after a while, and we managed to go over a few jumps. The jumps are never very high because of Cassie’s age, so we should just sail over them nicely.
Now, I don’t know if the shadows put her off and distracted her or if she saw something I didn’t that spooked her, but she jumped one of them stupidly high and I wasn’t expecting it. I ended up being bounced up in my seat and losing my stirrups, but thankfully I managed to stay seated!
I felt like a bit like John Wayne, but rather than getting off and calling it a night I decided to give it another go. Thankfully, Cassie jumped it perfectly the second time around!
We did a little work on our turns and did a few circles in trot without the stirrups so I can work on my balance and posture, and decided to call it a night. We took Cassie back to the yard and gave her some dinner, and I said goodbye until next time.
So, now I’ve had my first lesson out in the dark, I have to say that I would definitely do it again (even though I nearly came off)! Looking forward to the next ride already.