What do I need to pack for a trail ride?
This may seem pretty obvious. DUH - your horse and you. As someone who has gone on trail rides for years and years in all sorts of conditions, I always have a list of items that I MUST bring with me. Just in case.
And to be clear - I'm talking about the 1 to 2 hour rides, not the Tevis Cup style rides.
- I always double check my tack before I go. Girth snug, all stitching good, bit under the tongue.
- Cell Phone. You never know when you will need it.
- Buddy. It's safer for everyone with a friend and her horse. The horses are more relaxed, and you have someone watching your back.
- Hoof picking device for rocks, mulch, twigs, aliens, or pebbles.
- If I'm babysitting a green horse or rider, I'll bring a lead rope to pony if I need to.
- Dressage whip. This is a good reminder that you are in charge up there, just in case someone below you forgets. I have unfortunately needed to it to scare off a stray dog, too. Using a dressage whip gives you a longer reach for scaring off strays.
- A way to get back on. I generally prefer to use a mounting block to get on, it's better for my horse's back. However, they better know how to be mounted from the ground!! And your horse better stand still doing it...
- Someone waiting at the barn for you. Tell someone what your route is, and when you should be back. Just in case.
No horses were harmed during this trail ride, the rock took all my strength to get out, but no bruise!
That may seem like a lot of stuff - but really the only extra things are the phone, hoof pick, and buddy, and unless your buddy is riding on your head, it should be pretty easy to pack. Safety first, and have some fun!