From Endurance to Dressage
Our long daylight hours are fast disappearing: every equestrienne's lament. It's been the common thread on many Facebook posts and blogs that I followed this week. Just when it starts to get cool enough to enjoy the afternoon here in California, it gets dark. I am sorry for all of my east coast friends because they're already dealing with rain and mud. Now they get dark, too. We just get the dark. Steady cold, rain, and mud won't make an appearance for another month or so, although rain is predicted for today.
RM's barn, as lovely as it is, has one tiny thing missing - electricity and lights. For more than nine months out of the year, the sun rises and sets at a time that works with regular barn life. It is only during the months of December, January, and February that the limited daylight hours pose a problem for a lightless barn. Since I get two weeks off at Christmas, it's really only about a ten week period of time where the limited daylight hours become a pain.
RM runs a "green" barn. She recycles everything, including the manure pile, and does her best to minimize the footprint that we, and the horses, make. Knowing this, I decided to tackle the Flashlight Battery Conflict. Flashlights, especially the big ones, gobble up batteries faster than a kid with a Bigstick popsicle. I hate replacing flashlight batteries. And knowing that I am at the barn nightly, battery replacement was going to get costly.
I started poking around on the internet and discovered that flashlights can be solar-powered. Who knew? (Apparently many others since the styles I looked at had a LARGE amount of reviews.) I looked at several different brands, but based on customer feedback, I opted for the Solar Light 2 Pack on Amazon for $37.78. Click photos for larger view.
The flashlights are supposed to recharge just by hanging in direct, or even indirect, light. They are also water proof and have a lithium battery backup. I got my first opportunity to use the flashlights on Saturday morning as I readied for the Ride-a-Test. I was surprised at how much light the two flashlights generated. They didn't light the entire barn of course, but it was nice to click them on and just walk away. I didn't worry about "wasting" the battery. There's one hanging on each side of the tack-up stall which will (hopefully) provide sufficient light for my post-lesson untack on Wednesday evenings.
Flashlight Battery Conflict - resolved!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: