Carriage driving in the dark

Nudibranch

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Any tips for lighting our way? I've been driving 20 odd years but never got round to getting out after dark. Pony is bombproof and it's only a short journey, maybe a mile each way as part of a Christmas lights fun trail. The first half mile or so is in pitch black and then we will have street lighting. Extremely quiet roads. I can easily light us up to be seen; white lights front, red rear, flashing lights, etc, etc. My question relates more to us (and pony) seeing where we are going! Easiest solution I expect is to have the groom hold a torch. Any better ideas? It's getting the balance between lighting our way and ruining the pony's night vision!
Also, can anyone suggest where to buy bells for the harness?
 

ester

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My slight concern with strong bike lights are that they might not realise you are a horse, rather than just a cyclist as they can be pretty strong to incoming traffic (I actually turn mine down, but it would need to be on the carriage not the pony then).
You can get reasonable ones for about £15 on ebay these days as imports mine was a lot more back in the day!
 

millikins

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Please update your post when you've done it. I considered it a couple of years back, along with the usual wintry short days and shift work, we had a huge building project on my only non main road route and getting past in working hours was really difficult. I'm surprised by the answers, everyone here advised against it. In the end I didn't do it, didn't want to risk car drivers being confused by what we were and getting things wrong. I've hacked out in the dark off road using cycle lights and ponies coped fine.
 
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I used to hack on the road in the dark years ago I used to have reflective strips to put on the bridle and myself, I also had strap on lights for my legs and arms and a lit up reflective vest not sure I would ride in the dark now though. I find roads in daylight dangerous enough.
 

Nudibranch

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The dark section is from our house and is a dead end - we live at the end of it. I don't think I'd consider it on ordinary roads tbf, but the chances of a car actually passing are pretty minuscule and they'd most likely be neighbours and recognise us pretty quickly. My main concern is keeping the carriage on the tarmac!
 

ester

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Goldenstar

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28 March 2011
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Indeed ooh
have a google of Crotal bells .
I have a very old crotal bell that my father gave me I put through the tongue on the buckle of my neck strap if my horse is reactive to noise on the road .
I used it on Sky when he first came it works like magic.
 
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honetpot

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Cambridgeshire
I would treat it like any vehicle on the road, so some sort of head lights, rear lights ,and because its a long length, reflectors along the side. There are so many battery LEDS that are extremely bright available which are easily attachable. I gave up going out on the road, in daylight because drivers do like to overtake and cut you up, even on what I would consider private lanes, so the bigger you can make the rig look the better, they have to respect it as if it was a small lorry.
 

Goldenstar

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my friend usually comes for lunch on Christmas Day by carriage in the US years ago I got her a set off sleigh bells in a red leather strap you can hear her coming way before we see her .
 

Gloi

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8 May 2012
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7,058
Indeed ooh
have a google of Crotal bells .
I have a very old frontal heel that my father gave me I put through the tongue on the buckle of my neck strap if my horse is reactive to noise on the road .
I used it on Sky when he first came it works like magic.
Ordered. Hope they arrive before Xmas 🙂
 
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