Whether we are riding for a few hours or riding for a full day, being prepared is our top priority.We have been known to put quite a few miles on our horses. During the summer months we ride anywhere from 50-100 miles a week. With this high amount of mileage, mishaps out on the trail can happen that could ruin our wilderness journey. Unfortunately riding on horseback always poses a certain amount of risk and although serious accidents on a trail are rare they can and have happened to us.
We are often questioned as to what we put in our saddlebag and sometimes even ridiculed for putting such large packs on our horses for a day ride. There are so many factors that can turn a pleasurable ride into a miserable one if not prepared. Things such as a change in weather, faulty tack, or pesky insects are just some of the few minor things that can happen. What about the more major things such as meeting unexpected wildlife, getting injured, or getting lost? While none of us really want to think about any of these things happening, the reality is they can and most probably will happen if you are spending as much time in the saddle as we are.
We recently read an article in EQQUS magazine that said you should create a “kit” that reflects the kind of riding you do. Our “kit” is definitely made for the more adventurous, rugged backcountry rider. From our personal experience things can happen on even the shortest of rides, so we always just pack our saddlebag and leave them that way throughout the season.
Here is a combined list of everything we carry between the two of us. We know some of your are interested in the different brands of things we carry so some of the things on our list also have a link included that will take you to the option of buying if you are interested.
Cellphone: While most of the rides we go on are very remote, we take it as a precaution. When we get up in elevation, we sometimes can get a signal. We would love to look into getting a satellite phone.
Flashlight & Headlamp: We carry both and each have our own set. We seem to end up riding out in the dark quite often and you never know when one of your devices will die. It’s always good to have a back up.
Wire Cutters: Some of the trails we ride have a lot of down fencing and while we watch for wire sometimes we miss it.
Saw: Sometimes the trail takes us in places that are just too overgrown with trees. We have had to cut branches more than once to make it through.
Gun: We once ran across some ladies on the trail who mentioned they carry the bear spray for protection against animals and the gun they carried was for protection against humans because you will never know who you will run into when out in the wilderness. 🙂
First Aide & Survival Items
Human Bug Spray
Matches: It is best to have waterproof matches, you never know what the weather will be like if you end up spending the night unexpectedly.
Duck Tape: This has a variety of uses such as taping a horses foot, securing tack, or fastening bandages.
Leather String: Can be used to repair tack such as a broken bridle, back cinch, or breast collar.
Banamine: The last thing you want to have happen is your horse collicing out in the middle of nowhere. We carry this as a precaution and have been with riders that have had to use it before.
Feminine Napkins: There is an alternative use to these, it might seem odd but they make great horse or human bandages.
First Aid Kit: Includes antiseptic towelettes, antibiotic ointment, sting relief, bandages, adhesive tape, gauze pads, butterfly bandages, tweezers, pain pills, finger splints, safety pins, razor blade, and cold pack.
Survival Kit: Includes survival blanket, compass, firelight sparker, tinder quik, whistle, rope, and ducktape.
Cortisone Cream: Good for bug bites or poison ivy.
Corona Cream: An ointment that will sooth and protect sores on your horse that could be caused by the saddle or even bad cuts while out on the trail.
Water & Food: We carry plenty of water and besides our lunch for the day we also carry protein bars and nuts that we always keep in the horn bag.
Hoof Boots: We have tried and use several different hoof boots, currently we use Cavallo boots and Renegades.
Gloves: We carry riding gloves and warmer winter gloves just in case we were to get stranded on a cold night.
Extra Clothing: sweatshirts, extra jackets, riding vests.
Once you get your gear together finding packs that are big enough to carry it all can be a challenge. We each have our own brands that we like. While red is Maggie’s signature color her saddlebags were made by the Amish and given to her as a gift. Amy uses the TrailMax brand for both the hornbag and the saddlebag. Both are quite roomy and we are able to fit all of our gear and then some. Also, Maggie wears a fanny pack which holds her cellphone, Chapstick, camera and Go Pro. Always make a plan and plan for the unexpected. You never know where the day will take you.