The recommended weight for a pack horse is 100lbs. The reason being a 200lb rider isn't dead weight, but moves with the movement of the horse.
you should see what some of us look like at the end of a 100 mile ride.. I bet the horses would be asking for packs!!
Sailorgriz, I am really interested to hear about your training and how the arab takes to it. I have never had the pleasure of dealing with packing/pack horses myself, so would love to learn vicariously!
Nokota, funny that your two horse trailer would have the same problem as mine. Durn thing only carries two horses!
Which is why I'm looking for a bigger trailer.
Phantom, I'll be posting to this thread periodically as I go along with the training and gearing up for packing. I'm always happy to share what I learn along the way--so others can, maybe, avoid my mistakes!
Yep, sometimes the weather doesn't always cooperate. One trip, on top of a pass, we had a thunderstorm. No trees for cover....it was really scary. The next day the sun was out, but we all looked less than "pristine".
I love all the pictures. I think there are others on here that could look at them all day. Hint hint. Hahaha. Do you have any books you recommend for those inexperienced who are interested in planning and preparing for their own adventures. Your pictures have motivated me. Michigan may not be as mountainous as the west but I'd love to explore it with Lola (my QH).
The thing with packing is that you can go with as little or as many creature comforts as you want. The more comforts the more pack horses you need to bring.
In the early days when I didn't have as large of a trailer or as many horses, I would pack my saddle horse and walk in leading the horse. Once camp was set up, I could then ride the horse around the surrounding area.
Soon I got two horses and would ride one and pack the second one. It was great when I just wanted to get away. A pack horse can usually haul everything for two people. So with one person two horses, I quickly forgot everything I had learned about back packing, No more Freeze Dried meals, But I was able to bring real food. Potatos, carrots, onions and some canned meat and make a real stew, or real eggs.
I've slept under the stars, I slept under a blue tarp, I've slept in small dome tents and I've sleep in wall tents. You choose just much protection and comfort you want to bring. And after doing a few trips, You will learn what works and what doesnt work for you. The biggest difference is did you get wet, did you get cold, did you have a misserable nights sleep because of the rocks under your back?
Daughter setting up a dome tent
The only thing you really need are some horsemanship skills. How do you take care of your horse in the back country? Can you put up a HighLine? Will your horses hobble? Will their be food and water in the back country for your horses or do you need to haul it in with you? If your horse throws a shoe, what will you do? I don't know where you ride at, But out here, There is no one to help. You loose your horse and you will be walking back to your truck, And maybe your horse will be there. They are pretty smart about knowing where the trailer is.
My advice, Just get out and do it, Make notes about what worked and what didn't, and next trip, fix what didn't work the first trip.
Painted Horse. What are your thoughts on two people, two horses, one night out. Is it possible to carry everything you NEED in saddlebags and on your person to do an overnight loop while riding, not leading your horses? We would use lean-to's on the trail so would not need a tarp or tent. Just sleeping bags, clothes, freeze dried food, a backpacker stove, hi-line equiptment, some grain for the horses. Probably forgot a few incedentals, but you get the picture. All the topics are about taking a pack horse, but I am talking about minimalist type camping. I only have a two horse trailer and it is 4.5 hours to where we will park the trailer so cannot make two trips for another pack horse. Any tips, suggestions, or words of wisdom? I can't seem to find much on the web about camping like that.
Nokota, that was my first thought, too. Minimalist, backpacking style, camping with just saddle horses.
I tried packing for it and found I WAS able to pack for a one or two night trip that way. I meant pretty full saddle and cantle bags, and big pommel bags, but it could be done. Any more than about two nights and I found stuff no longer fit.
BTW, that was NOT including anything for horse feed.
I may still do a trip or two that way, especially if I'm by myself for an overnight. There's a couple of places near here that would lend themselves very nicely to a one or two night solo trip. I might try to fit one or two of them into my summer.
But for longer trips I just couldn't make it work! That's why I gave up and made plans for a pack horse.
I, too, am interested in what Painted has to say since he's the Local Expert (I think I might be the one who gave you that title Painted. Congradulations.)
Nokota, if you try doing a practice pack up, let us know how it goes! Especially if you pack up and then go for a local ride to see how it all carries.
There is a 32 mile loop through the Adirondack wilderness area that my daughter and I are planning to do. Hoping to do it in one night. I figured we would be able to get it done without a pack horse by leaving early one morning, and getting back to the trailer in the evening of the second. This would give us the time to ride a little more leisurely and take our time. I have done 10 mile rides in a day in around 3 hours. Hunter paces and just trail rides so I feel 15 miles a day is not too much if we take our time and give ourselves the whole day to do it. Being one night, I figure there is a LOT less stuff needed so we could pack light.