Before you load up the horse trailer and head for the mountains to go horseback riding, there are a few items that you ought to know about and have with you that we always carry on the trail when we go for longer trail rides.
Top Ten Checklist
- The first must have item is rain gear. If you don’t want to carry a heavy rain slicker or jacket at least take along one of the light weight emergency type rain ponchos designed for back packing or hiking use. A lot of the summer time rain storms are hit and run. If you can sit out a short downpour and stay dry the experience won’t ruin your entire day. But when you’re soaking wet from a brief, 15 minute isolated rain storm, your trail ride instantly becomes an miserable, unpleasant ordeal.
- We always carry a Leatherman type utility knife with us. This can be used for removing a stone from your horse’s hoof or making minor repairs to tack on the trail etc.
- Sunscreen and insect repellant Moisturizing sunscreen plus protectant or spray are handy items to have for certain times of the year and different areas of the country.
- Energy bars like Power Bars or Clif Bars that are designed for hikers and backpackers. Sometimes a two hour ride can turn into a six hour ride and it’s nice to have some type of high energy food along.
- Water is a must have item for anytime of the year. There are all types of products designed to take water on the trail ranging from simple bottle holders to cantle and pommel pack systems that include water bottle storage.
- Duct tape can solve a multitude of problems on the trail from holding a bridle together to patching a rip in rain wear. You can roll up a couple of feet of duct tape around a pencil so it won’t take up a lot of room.
- An Easy Boot or Boa Boot is nice to have for longer rides in case you loose a horseshoe on the trail.
- A roll of Vet Wrap can come in handy and stores right inside an Easy Boot.
- A small first aid kit which includes matches or a lighter and possibly a snake bite kit depending on what part of the country you live in.
- Don’t forget your camera. You never know when you’ll come up on wildlife or a beautiful landscape.
Optional items might include: Reflective wear for horse and rider for night riding, leather ties or boot laces for tying things on the saddle or repairing tack, a stethoscope for checking gut sounds and pulse, gloves, bandana, extra clothing, whistle, flashlight, GPS, compass.