Winter has brought super-short days here in Colorado and in most of the continental US, and I’ve had to get creative with my riding times.

Some mornings I get to the office a little after 8 in the morning, having ridden from 5:45 to 7:45. Those mornings, I usually smell of hay and horse. Other nights, I haul to the county fairgrounds to get in a ride at the heated indoor arena for $5 a horse.

Then, there was last night. Being Monday, I of course slept through my alarm to get up to ride. I came home from work with a headache from the headband I had worn all day in lieu of a proper hairstyle, so I decided I’d skip riding. When boyfriend Corey got home from work around 9:30 p.m., he had other plans. His horse, Skeeter, hadn’t been an angel when he rode earlier that day, and he didn’t want to settle for a “just OK” training day. He suggested we turn both vehicles towards the arena, with high-beams on full blast, and get in an extra ride. My thoughts: It was 20 degrees, my horse would hate me, and, well, I still had a headache.

In the end, we did indeed ride with the help of our headlights, and it was probably a great experience for Skeeter, who has never seen a rodeo under the bright lights. Naughty was not impressed with this escapade, as I predicted she would not be, as she’s had her fair share of late-night rides at rodeos and did not feel this practice was needed. Will I do it often? Probably not, I’m dedicated, but not that dedicated. I’ll stick to my earlier mornings and hauls to the arena. 

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