Published by Sarah Racheter-Loftin · 26 August 2022
Trail Riding - What to Pack
Ladies. Please, please, PLEASE quit putting your cell phones in your front packs, horn bags, etc. If you skip the rest of what I write today, please find a way to secure your cell phone on your person while you are riding. And, let's take that one step further and say your bra strap does not work. Two words: Boob sweat. It isn't good for your phone either. Also, have you ever pinched one of the girls because of your phone? No? Just me?
On Your Person
So now that we all have a hip pouch, fanny pack, ankle locker, or one in the amazon shopping cart - what do you need in there besides your cell phone? You need a map. If not a map, you need to download the map to your cell phone. Do not assume you will have signal the entire time you are out. The next item you need is a good compass. A good compass is around $7. You may not know how to use it but you will be able to help yourself out in a pinch. You also need a survival whistle on your person. I have heard of people being lost or injured and rescuers could not find them because they could not be heard. The next really important item in this section is a good pocket knife or multi-tool. Have you ever discovered a Chicago screw is loose? Have you ever gotten a rock in a shoe? Have you ever needed to make an emergency tack repair?
Front Pack: Horn Bag, Swell Bag, Pommel Bag, Etc
Here are the items you would like handy during your trial ride. I always keep pain relievers (start these early and take them often), chap stick, lengths of paracord or zip ties. I keep water bottle holders up front because the holders on saddle bags are too complicated for me. I also take extra water with me - just in case. You also may want an emergency protein bar or similar. Have you ever gotten lost and took a trial ride longer than expected?
Saddle Bags or Cantle Bags
Yes, I have three packs with me. No, I do not need most of the *stuff* I pack but you know what, I would rather have it and not need it then wishing I had packed it! I keep a good first aid kit with me. Not just a boo boo kit. I have lots of gauze, wraps, a splint, tourniquet, medical tape, antiseptic, cold packs, and who knows what else (If any of you have ever met my youngest child, you will instantly know why I carry all of this). I also keep a rain coat in here. You know what, if you pack it, it is unlikely you will need it! Also, this is setup so that if we go tent camping without the horses, I grab the first aid kit out of my cantle bag and go.
I also want to mention I know this adds weight for my horse to carry and for me to lug around. I attach these after I saddle my horse. I then unsnap them when I unsaddle. This makes it easy to clean them out when you are done riding or add/subtract items easily.