One of the best parts of being an equestrian is having the ability to pack up and head out with some good friends and some great horses to spend some time with nature.
A long trail ride is the perfect way to de-stress, relax, and enjoy some time in the saddle, but it’s important to ensure that you are fully prepared for the duration of your getaway.
Continue reading for tips on how to plan the perfect extended trail ride so you can spend less time worrying about the little details, and more time having fun.
Consider The Destination
The preparations you will need to make for your trip are completely dependent upon where you are headed.
For instance, if you and your group are headed into a mountainous area, it may be a good idea to pack some warmer clothing and footwear that can handle uneven terrain.
Keep in mind that the more challenging the terrain, the more energy your horse will be using. Make sure that you compensate by packing an extra amount of feed and water.
Also another major factor is how long you intend to go for. The allure of a weekend away riding needs to be matched by making sure you have all the essentials with you which include:
- Water (obvious but it is easy to not take enough).
- Sunscreen (often overlooked).
- All weather gear (nothing worse than being wet and cold).
- First aid pack (common sense).
- Swiss army knife (how are you going to open that can of food?).
- Whistle (If you get separated or fall down a mountain).
- Mosquito repellent (or one of those new mosquito watches!).
- Compass (always reliable, never loses it's signal).
Follow A Checklist
The excitement as your trail ride trip gets closer may cause you to forget things, and you don’t want to wait until you are out on your trail ride to remember that you have forgotten something important.
If you need to, take a walk through the barn while you make your checklist.
Double check the list with others that will be going on the ride with you; two heads are always better than one! Make your way down your checklist and ensure that absolutely everything is packed up and ready for the trip.
Taking the extra time beforehand to ensure that you are prepared will make a world of difference later. If you find that you may need to make some purchases for the trip, make sure you get it all done well before you head out.
Map Out The Ride
If your ride is going to be of any distance, take the time to map out your ride, ensuring that you will have spots to stop and camp safely and with plenty of space.
Depending on how long your ride is going to be, you may need to plan some stops, whether it be to stop for the night, to feed, or even just to allow the horses to take a breather.
Making an overnight stop near a river or stream is always a good idea, the horses have plentiful water to drink, just make sure you have that mosquito spray if it is a balmy night!
Make sure that you have permission to be on the land that you plan to be riding on, and make sure that you have permission to camp there as well.
If you find that your trail may pass through private property, either reroute the ride or make the necessary arrangements to gain permission to be on the property.
In Case Of Emergency
Make sure that someone at your stables has a way to contact you on the trip and a copy of the planned route, as well.
This will help ensure that no matter what happens, someone back home will know where your group is and will be able to help if needed.
Make sure that you bring along flashlights with brand new batteries, as well as a fully-stocked emergency first aid kit.
Trail rides are an amazing experience, and an excellent way to bond with your horse and good friends.
Following the information in this article, you will have no trouble planning the perfect trail ride for your group.