Trail Riding Tips... for me!
I've gone on two trail rides in my whole life. The first was at a camp, where all the horses did was walk. And the second was with my old instructor and one of the stable hands. Each was short.
But if/when I lease/rent this horse, I'm wanting to do a lot of trail riding to prepare myself for endurance racing in the spring with a different horse (I'll end up leasing that horse before the actual races and all).
I'll be riding ALONE, but it'll be through villages and farms, so it's not like I'll be out in the middle of nowhere. I'll be riding on concrete, asphalt, and dirt roads/paths. Here are the things I'll be bringing with me EVERY time:
1. helmet (I'll be wearing it)
2. mobile phone (it's always in my pants pocket)
3. bag with:
a) water bottle
b) extra lead rope
c) basic first aid kit
d) my small camera (for pics... DUH)
4. a large towel/piece of cloth for various reasons
Here are my QUESTIONS:
1. What kind of bag should I use since saddle bags aren't an option? (something I can either clip to the saddle or have one me)
2. Is there anything else I should bring... just in case?
3. Seeing as I'll be riding in the autumn, as it's getting cold, what kind of clothes should I be wearing?
4. What kinds of precautions should I take? I'll be gone for around an hour to two hours per day...
And... well... any tips that ANYBODY might have about this... well... they'd be welcomed and accepted. :D
Why are saddle bags not an option? I have a saddle pad with built in bags or when I need more room, or it's to hot for the pad, a couple of bags that attach to the D rings on my saddle.
1. I don't have the money to buy one.
2. The stables where I ride don't have one.
So that's why I can't use 'em... :P
I sometimes take a back pack, I don;t have saddle bags either. The back pack can be kinda annoying at trot and canter, everything moves about, so I have it on pretty tight and high up on my back for comfort.
I would dress in layers, when you first move out you might be cool but once you start your body will warm up.
Sometimes having a hoof pick with you can be handy too, never know when a rock will wedge itself in the hoof.
When in doubt as to which path to take in hairy situations, ie muddy, narrow, rocky paths etc, give your horse his head and let him pick the path, he will know which way is best.
And most of all relax and absorb your surroundings and have fun :D
You can buy various cantle or horn bags on Ebay for $5.00- $15.00 They are not expensive. If you can't afford a $10 bag, you will not be able to afford the entry fee for an endurance race. Around here they usually run $75 per race. Just do a search on Ebay for Cantle or Horn bag.
We rode 4 hours today. Mostly at a walk/running walk. All my daughters and I took with us was some snacks to eat along the way, two bottles of water each, of course my daughters had their cell phones ( they never go anywhere with out them) and their helmets. In the fall we tie a jacket on the cantle with the strings, Then if we get cold we can slip it on.
Endurance horses are pushed harder. Usually you tro the entire distance. So as you condition your horse, I'd take watch with a second hand so you can count his pulse and respiration. Count the number of heart beats or breaths in a 15 second period. Learn what is a resting rate for both of these vitals is for your horse. Your horse will increase these rates as he is worked. But should return to lower rate with in 10 minutes. My horses will be at a 8-9 beats per 15 seconds after 10 minutes of rest.
Learn to recognize when your horse is dehydrated. Learn to do a gum press and see how quickly the color returns to the gum above the tooth line. Also a skin pinch on the lower neck of the horse.
I always take a knife with me. If a horse gets tangled in a rope, reins, halter gets caughts, I can cut it off.
Another thing u might want to bring with you is a hoof pick, that could come in handy if you encounter some stoney areas, or even mud which could hide objects stuck in the hoof.
And if you really wanna be prepared carry ID , purhaps with an emergency number attached.
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