Trail Ride Checklist
The first must have item is rain gear. If you donít 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 youíre 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 horseís hoof or making minor repairs to tack on the trail etc.
Sunscreen and insect repellant like the Six Shooter SPF-20 Moisturizing Sunscreen plus Protectant or Protectant 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 itís 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 wonít 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. Ľ MORE†
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.
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.
Pre Trail Ride Questions
1. What potential weather or terrain hazards might we encounter (precipitation, altitude change, cold, wind exposure, rocky terrain, etc.)?
2. What mishaps might these cause to horses and/or riders?
3. How well supplied and experienced are we, in order to cope with these issues?
4. What are the unique dangers of our destination (wild animals, roadway traffic, insects, remoteness, etc.)?
5. What problems might these cause to horses and/or riders?
6. What gear and strategies would we need for coping?
7. Who in our party is responsible for the first-aid supplies, and who knows how to use them?
8. How would searchers know when and where to start looking for us, if we're lost or detained?
9. What would we do if a horse were unable to continue the ride, and had to be treated, hauled out, or--worse-case scenario--put down?