On Tuesday of this past week, I got out of work at 6:00 pm (I work 6:00 am to 6:00 pm on Tuesdays) and decided to go to the barn because it was supposed to rain for the rest of the week. I wanted to ride but I really didn't feel like riding alone in one of the paddocks. On my way to the barn, I texted Kathy; "Are you at home?"
Me: "Want to go for a quick ride?"
Me: "Ok! I'll be there in 20."
It had not rained all day but it was definitely overcast, which meant it was pretty dark by the time I pulled up at the barn around 6:30 pm.
Kathy had Queenie in the barn and was getting her ready. I fetched Gracie from the field and had her ready to go in 10 minutes flat.
I originally really wanted to go riding in the park, despite the darkness, but Kathy wasn't comfortable with the idea precisely because it was so dark: we wouldn't be able to see a thing in the woods. I acquiesced and later realized how right she was.
We decided to just ride around in the front field of the property, which is somewhere between 3 and 4 acres.
Kathy decided to mount up using the fence as a mounting block and it took two attempts before Queenie would hold still long enough for her to get on. Gracie was better for me, but the second I asked her to move forward I had some shenanigans: she did a couple of half-rears and spins in protest while we were still by the gate. I brought her to a halt and made her stand. "Gracie. I just want you to walk. We are just relaxing and having fun." I tried again and Gracie walked forward, ears pricked.
We basically walked around and around the field for the next 45 minutes, following the fence line and enjoying riding in absolute darkness.
We had a great time. Kathy and I were able to talk nonstop and catch up on things, and we ended up covering about 3 miles in the 45 minutes that we rode. Both Gracie and Queenie were stellar: neither seemed bothered by the lights of the cars, simply walking confidently onwards into the night. Kathy was amazed, and honestly so was I. I know horses can see quite well in the dark, but I hadn't actually experienced it before.
Afterwards we untacked the mares and lingered, talking, with only the motion sensor light from the barn as a lone beacon in the night.
I told Kathy I have a new item on the equine bucket list: riding under the full moon...in the snow!