Desert Riding Tips - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-04-2013, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Desert Riding Tips

I am leading a photo workshop in the desert north of Phoenix in a couple of weeks and I am getting back in the saddle (hard to ride too much in frigid SD in the winter) and I think I over did it. 3 hours on Saturday and 6 hours yesterday...I am Sooo sore...better now than in two weeks I guess.

Anyway, on to my question. We are using horses as transportation for this workshop (using an experienced outfitter who is providing camp and the horses etc., I am just teaching photo instruction) and we will be able to get quite a ways into the backcountry much easier than on foot. I do this alot but normally in the prairie or the mountains and my question to those who ride routinely in the desert...what are the biggest things I need to watch for? I have chaps for thorns, good boots, I have an on horse water system (camelback), gloves etc. anything I am missing of major importance that maybe I am not thinking of?

Any ideas you can provide would be most appreciated, I think I have it covered but really want to see if there is some great ideas out there that I am missing out on or not thinking of! It is 25 degrees here today, white out conditions with wind in the 50MPH range...the desert is sounding kind of nice. Thanks for the help!

Cheers!
Les


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post #2 of 13 Old 03-04-2013, 08:08 PM
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No suggestions as I am used the the humid heat as opposed to dry heat, but that sounds awesome! Have fun!

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post #3 of 13 Old 03-04-2013, 09:12 PM
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Bring a comb for cacti! I live in AZ and those cholla cacti can be awful sneaky... if your horse starts acting up, you know what to look-for. ;)
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-04-2013, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by existentialpony View Post
Bring a comb for cacti! I live in AZ and those cholla cacti can be awful sneaky... if your horse starts acting up, you know what to look-for. ;)
Good idea...hadn't thought of that. Thanks.


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post #5 of 13 Old 03-04-2013, 10:18 PM
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I don't ride in the AZ deserts and I'm sure there are some things that are different. But in the Utah deserts, I don't do a whole lot different than I do for my mountain rides.

Know how to watch your horse's hydration
Make sure you keep yourself hydrated. Soda Pop, Coffee, and Beer don't count for hydration. Drink water. Those others all have diuretics in them.

It maybe be warm when you leave. But temps can change rapidly, I always bring a jacket.

My desert rides are usually spring and fall, so temps are usually mid range, 30-60°. I avoid the desert once the temps rise. preferring to head for the higher alpine trails

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post #6 of 13 Old 03-04-2013, 10:32 PM
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Water, snacks (healthy) sun protection, needle nose pliers or leatherman for cactus thorns, lip balm and if you have allergies, zyrtec. Things in the desert is starting to bloom so this is allergy time.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-05-2013, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Painted Horse View Post
I don't ride in the AZ deserts and I'm sure there are some things that are different. But in the Utah deserts...
Humm... Didn't I see that picture on a NASA web site?
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-05-2013, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by existentialpony View Post
Bring a comb for cacti! I live in AZ and those cholla cacti can be awful sneaky... if your horse starts acting up, you know what to look-for. ;)

We call chollas "jumping cactus" cause it's like you don't even need to be close to them to get stuck!

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post #9 of 13 Old 03-05-2013, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
Humm... Didn't I see that picture on a NASA web site?

NASA website with horses?

I'll admit some of the places I've ridden do look pretty far out.
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-05-2013, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Painted Horse View Post
NASA website with horses?
I was thinking that the orange dirt & rocks looked an awful lot like the pictures from the Mars rovers, like for instance http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&sourc...62623890449461 Admit it, you just photoshopped in the brush

Last edited by jamesqf; 03-05-2013 at 09:39 PM.
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