Horse Packing; I really want to go! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-19-2013, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
Foal
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
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Horse Packing; I really want to go!

So all my life I have wanted to ride my horse across the country, camping out under the stars. It sounds like soooo much fun and I really want to go horse packing. How do I get started doing something like that? Obviously my first few times I should go on an experienced horse with experienced people. But I would really like to take my own horse eventually (talk about great bonding time!). So yeah basically I know nothing about horse packing but it is something I really want to do!

Also, I found a college called NOLS that gives you college credits for doing adventurous things like backpacking and climbing. One of the courses they offered was a 3 week horse pack trip across Wyoming - for college credits! I was so excited until I found out it would cost over 5,000 dollars. We all know horse people don't have that kind of money lying around.
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-19-2013, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
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Packing can be as simple or complex as you desire it to be.

You can take one horse and throw some canvas panniers over the saddle, pack your belonging in and lead the horse up the trail.

Or

You can get a string of horses all with deckers and pack in enough supplies to keep a Forest Service crew fed for a week.

Start with the simple option. Learn how to balance the pack. If you have too much weight on one side, The constant bouncing of a horse in motion will cause the saddle to slide off that side of the horse. Sometimes it is better to have my horse pack a 5lb rock in one side up the trail rather than be unbalanced. You will frequently see me adjusting packs by slipping a rock in to even the weight.





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post #3 of 14 Old 07-19-2013, 12:43 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2013
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I would love to do this someday as well.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-19-2013, 01:03 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Christoval Tx
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There's a really great blog from a girl who did this, rode from Cali to New Hampshire.. She did have a friend following her in a truck but it seems like a really fun thing to try!!

Sojourner

Cowgirls don't cry... ride baby ride<3

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post #5 of 14 Old 07-19-2013, 01:09 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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This is a dream of ours (my husband and I). One day when the kids are gone we will just ride and camp. I just have to figure out a way to strap on our chiauhuas, I have a few years so I'll figure it out...lol!
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-19-2013, 01:51 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannahhh View Post
There's a really great blog from a girl who did this, rode from Cali to New Hampshire..
Only if I had a really big pair of scissors, and could paste
Wyoming up next to Pennsylvania
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-19-2013, 02:16 PM
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I go every weekend from memorial day to the end of oct.
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-19-2013, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheenanaginz View Post
So all my life I have wanted to ride my horse across the country, camping out under the stars. It sounds like soooo much fun and I really want to go horse packing. How do I get started doing something like that? Obviously my first few times I should go on an experienced horse with experienced people. But I would really like to take my own horse eventually (talk about great bonding time!). So yeah basically I know nothing about horse packing but it is something I really want to do!

Also, I found a college called NOLS that gives you college credits for doing adventurous things like backpacking and climbing. One of the courses they offered was a 3 week horse pack trip across Wyoming - for college credits! I was so excited until I found out it would cost over 5,000 dollars. We all know horse people don't have that kind of money lying around.
I would start off by going through a company that sets things like that so you can see what is actually involved and get a feel for what you need to plan for.
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-24-2013, 07:58 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2012
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The best thing you could do would be to get yourself started by going out on a few trips with someone who knows what they're doing. Doesn't have to be an outfitter, but that would be nice. Might get you spoiled, though, with them doing all the packing, cooking, and wrangling. A good friend, who doesn't mind teaching you is the best way, in my opinion...and cheaper.

If you don't have that available, I'd start out just doing a few overnighters without a pack horse. Pack all you need for one night on your horse. It will teach you what things are essential and what you can leave at the trailer. Once you get comfortable with that, then think about packing one of your saddle horses with a saddle panier, like Painted Horse suggested, for a trip of two or three days. Saddle paniers aren't all that expensive and they're great for short trips.

Then, if you find you really do enjoy packing, you can step up to a pack saddle and a dedicated packhorse or mule, and start putting an outfit together. Get good gear and it will last about as long as you will.

There are several good books out that go over all aspects of horse packing. I like "Packer's Field Manual" by Bob Hoverson, but then I have some experience. There are probably others that are better for your needs.
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post #10 of 14 Old 07-26-2013, 07:38 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
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Thenrie, I'd love to go packing with you! I'm in Vienna, VA and commute to Quantico. I just bought a saddle paneer. :)

New aspiring Endurance and Ride & Tie rider. :)
Check out "Wolf Trap Equestrians" on Meetup for weekly trail rides in Northern Virginia.
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