Last night T drove Ali'i & I to the 49 crossing to meet up with a new friend Karen, her horse & husband. Except for a few loosening up rides til Tevis, this was the last piece of the training I needed to do. Our goal ~ To ride the final 4 1/2 miles in the dark. I've been wanting to do this for months because I've heard that sometimes people get nauseous on a moving horse when they can't see where they're going. That'll be me.
I get nauseous in Walmart looking up and down the aisles among a bunch of other stupid things, so this was a somewhat worrisome situation that I wanted to try out BEFORE riding the final 32 miles in the dark. I let Tony tape on the glow sticks and lights to Ali'i's breastplate. I figure he's the one to be doing this stuff at Foresthill, so it was good practice. I also tried my Saddlelight http://www.saddlelights.com/) that I got at the Horse Expo last year.
Karen is a sweet, positive woman who just glows with wonder and excitement (AND she already has 3 buckles), so she and I were all goo goo eyed about our little ride. I think we're on the same page. What fun!!
Here is Ali'i with the Saddlelight and a couple of glow sticks. He also has a new purple front pack that I'm going to use to keep all my important things close at hand on the ride. The back pack will be used for stuff I hopefully won't need. It's too hard to get into and will waste time on the ride.
We waited til 8:50 pm to start out across Hwy 49 and up the steep little trail. We walked all the way and I tried the light on different settings and also turned it off, so I could figure out what works best. Basically the light is amazing, but does cast harsh shadows that the glow sticks don't. Going down one hill to a creek crossing, the rocks and shadows worried Ali'i so I had to get off. After that, he was fine. He is such a great little horse and takes everything in stride. I love him more now than I ever have, and I loved him a whole bunch before this Tevis journey. Could I love him too much??? I don't think so.
I took Dramamine an hour before we mounted and I think it will work except by the time we got back to the trailer I was sleepy! I felt a little bit of "strangeness" in my head the first mile or so, then I settled into how it felt and looked. The glow sticks work pretty well and I know I could ride with just those. So, it was a GREAT ride and we are all good and ready to go! The 24th is going to be here FAST!