But in this case, it worked out. Tonight I didn't get to the barn until around 7:30. Posie had already been fed, and only a few boarders were there just wrapping up. As I groomed Posie and refilled her salt bucket, the arena lights were turned off, leaving only the stall lights glowing and the radio humming. The last woman there kindly showed me how to close up the barn when I was finished, and I had the whole place to myself.
The dark arena seemed too good to pass up, and I decided to take Posie in for a quick session on foot. I led her in and let our eyes adjust to the single bulb in the far corner, and the light coming in from the moon and reflective snow outside. Since horses have built-in night goggles, Posie wasn't phased in the slightest, and she worked out beautifully. She was sound and true as a whistle; her ears were pricked and her energy high. She jogged in perfect beat to the Pink Floyd coming over the ambient speakers. For a moment, it really felt like the dark side of the moon.
I took off her halter to let her move on her own, and she took off at a run and gave a good spring buck. She and I played in the dark for awhile, running back and forth across the dark flat dirt before she slowed down and walked toward me, letting me hold the weight of her head in my hands. I gave her scratches in her favorite places, and then walked her back to her stall for the night. I gave her the apple slices out of my happy meal, and turned off the lights.
It was kind of a badass night at the barn.