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enjoytheride
May. 23, 2010, 03:20 PM
We found a super trail system 15 minutes from the barn and we plan on getting our horses out more often.

I have a jump saddle and my friend has a dressage saddle, we both have arabians.

We would like comfy stirrups, reins, something to haul water in the trailer with, and maybe a halter/bridle thing so our horses don't take off as soon as we undo their halters (ahem my horse ahem).

Any good websites and what do you find essential to take with you?

We come across mountain bikers and people with dogs so anything helpful for them would be good too.

JollyBadger
May. 23, 2010, 03:46 PM
Well. . .a lot depends on what your preferences are.

I'm kind of a tack collector. . .I just have acquired a ton of random stuff over the years after finding what I liked/didn't like. I just use a standard brown leather English bridle on my TWH (which I decorated a little using conchos from a local hobby store). On longer stops, I often take the bridle off entirely and tie my horse using a free-head collar (which rolls and stores easily in my saddle bag)

I have one of the biothane halter-bridles, but cannot say I cared much for the style because the cheek pieces attach independently. Not only did it look bulky, but the whole design made changing the bit a pain. You pretty much had to disassemble the whole thing. :mad: Some manufacturers offer a design where the bit attaches using a single piece that slides over the ears (like a crownpiece) and snaps into the halter. I've considered looking into those, but what I have now works just as well and I'm in not a hurry to change it.

I prefer riding in "Western-style" split reins, other people prefer the standard English-type that buckle. The reins I use are leather, though I also have an assortment of biothane reins. While I've never had an issue with the biothane getting "slick" when it's wet, I still prefer the weight and feel of real leather.

The Stowaway saddle bags are something I've had a lot of good luck using, and just bought another last September. Tons of pockets, and some models have built-in water bottle holders (sport-type water bottles included). The saddle bags attach close to the saddle, so they don't flop around or bang into the horse's side.

As for hauling water, one method would be to put a large plastic garbage-type bag into the water bucket the same way you'd line a regular garbage can at home, then fill it with water and tie the bag closed. When you want to water the horses, simply open (or puncture) the plastic bag and empty it into the bucket.

enjoytheride
May. 23, 2010, 07:02 PM
I'd like english style reins (maybe something with grip) and some sort of halter/bridle thing. Nothing that I have to attach the bit to with clips, but maybe something I can stuff on over a halter type thing and then snap on?

Any suggestions on cheap tack stores?

jeano
May. 23, 2010, 07:03 PM
http://www.horsesdacor.com/ Real nice folks, good service, lots of the same (or very similar stuff as:

http://www.longridersgear.com/ which truly has everything you'd ever want plus some stuff you never knew you needed. Including, I think, the saddle rack water tank of your dreams to stash in your tack compartment.

JollyBadger
May. 23, 2010, 11:30 PM
Thanks for those links, jeano!

The Zilco bridles are what I was thinking of but couldn't remember the brand name!

To the OP - I'm curious about where the trail system is in Indiana? I'm just across the state line into Ohio and have camped a few times in Brown County, and enjoy day rides at the loop in Liberty, IN. Indiana takes great care of its horse trails!

Simbalism
May. 24, 2010, 01:07 AM
I use a clean plastic gas can that I bought at Walmart for carrying water. I use a western head stall bridle with brow band /no nose band(my horse uses a hackamore). For reins I use a flat rope rein(I mostly ride English) that is one continuous piece with alligator clips at both ends. I like those as I can unclip one end if I need to lead my horse. For actually tying my horse I have a rope halter with attached lead that I carry either tied to my saddle or in saddle bag.

phoebetrainer
May. 24, 2010, 03:49 AM
I use a rope halter and long, natural horsemanship style lead line (just because I don't like the system, doesn't mean I can't use the equipment). I take the nose band off my english bridle and just put the bridle straight on over the halter, wrap the lead around the neck and tie it off. This means that your horse won't run off in the space between hlater and bridle, because there isn't any space!!! Also means you have a long lead for leading or tying up in an emergancy.

Malda
May. 24, 2010, 09:50 AM
I have one of these http://www.hought.com/end.biot.t.html (hope the link works!). It's the one which you slip on, not the bit attach at the cheeks. I love it! Not only do I no longer have to deal with taking the halter on and off, but I can ride over to friends' barns and put my horse in the cross-ties and hang out for awhile. Hought is rather expensive, there are cheaper halter/bridles out there.

I bought EZ Ride stirrups a couple of months ago. They're very comfortable, much better than regular english stirrups. Definitely worth buying.

Erin

SonnysMom
May. 24, 2010, 12:15 PM
In the camping section at Walmart there are 7 gallon water jugs. I have a blue one and a green one. I prefer to use these rather than a gas/kerosene one. I never want to risk picking up the wrong container and filling a gas can with water that used to have gas in it.
The green one and blue ones are clearly marked as water.

For longer trail rides I like a seat saver. I picked up one at our local used store. It is a fleecworks but I only paid $10 for it. There are also gel ones.

I carry a crop when I trail ride even though my horse tends to be pretty forward. It is great for brushing flys off of him. I used it to shake at a GSD that was being a bit too curious for my taste- it kept him from getting under Finnegan's front legs. I also need the crop for water crossings- Finnegan goes into the water just fine but he gives me clear signals that he would just love to roll in the streams.

jeano
May. 24, 2010, 02:09 PM
Ha. People do give me funny looks for trailriding with a dressage whip, but you can sure reach out and touch aggressive dogs with one better than with a short crop. Ideally I'd have a nice kangaroo hide cracking whip and a horse broke to the sound....

ChocoMare
May. 24, 2010, 04:01 PM
In the camping section at Walmart there are 7 gallon water jugs. I have a blue one and a green one. I prefer to use these rather than a gas/kerosene one. I never want to risk picking up the wrong container and filling a gas can with water that used to have gas in it.
The green one and blue ones are clearly marked as water..

Ditto Sonny! They're called Aqua-Tainers and I have 3... sooo handy :D

pnalley
May. 24, 2010, 04:55 PM
I love to get stuff cheap that works as well as the specifically made for horses stuff that comes with a much higher price tag.

Natural sponges with a handle from Walmart $3
narrow dog leash to attach to sponge so you can drop it inthe creek to sponge off the horse $2+/-

I use the gas cans for hauling water. We use a different color (yellow) for water.

Zilco endurance bridle. I would love to have more for the remaining horses.

Sheepskin seat saver $40 at Horsetown. Love it!

saddleup
May. 24, 2010, 05:18 PM
Don't forget first aid supplies. And Vetrap. Also, Johnson and Johnson makes a first aid cream that will take the sting out of bee or wasp stings immediately. I'm really allergic, and have been stung several times out on the trail. You have to get the cream on right away, but it has worked every time. I always carry it, even when I'm just going for a quick ride.

pnalley
May. 25, 2010, 08:42 AM
You can pick up a pretty good first aid kit at costco for about $20. We carry one. Than I have a little one on a caribiner that I carry on trails. We really should carry an epi pin. But so far I have forgotton to ask my vet for one.

That would be I forgot to ask my DOCTOR for one.

jeano
May. 25, 2010, 10:16 AM
All y'all in the deep south, dont forget the snakebite remedy....hic.

I am in the distinct minority here, I manage to ride without insulated saddle bags that hold a six pack of beer.

Went to ride with my buddy in the wilds of Hancock County on sunday, came across a couple of fellas doing some yard work, they started asking us if we knew so and so who has horses (nope, nope, yep) and one of them asked did we ever go on the Sparta wagon train or trail ride?

I said perfectly serious, No, I prefer to do my drinking at home.

pnalley
May. 25, 2010, 06:27 PM
The very first wagon train we went on was Sparta. We had NO idea of the amount of booze that was involved. My husband drove his Appy with a meadowbrook cart. When we got to the first water crossing this little old lady said to him "sonny, if yule unhitch that horse we will get some guys to carry that buggy across the creek for you". Very sweet. Needless to say the meadowbrook did better than the car tire'd buggies. I had some drunk lady riding next to me telling me my "'orse mus a got inta ants". She had her nickers in a twist because her stable mate was so far ahead.

Everyone should attend ONE of these. The stories will last a lifetime

katarine
May. 25, 2010, 06:50 PM
Essentials?

The padded stirrups like EZ riders.

ear nets

beta or biothane or nylon reins/bridles so all of it gets rinsed and air dried at the end of the ride. Done.

Afterbite

the ice cube 'sheets' that go in your saddle bags to keep your beer cold. and your water. And your beer :)


I really don't care for the halter/bridle combos. So bulky. I do rides with rope halters w/ integrated leads- those get tied onto the saddle for breaks. It's so dang hot down here I won't cover a horse's head in halter and bridle together. They get so itchy :(

US Rider for flat tires and dead batteries :)

jeano
May. 26, 2010, 09:37 AM
The very first wagon train we went on was Sparta. We had NO idea of the amount of booze that was involved. My husband drove his Appy with a meadowbrook cart. When we got to the first water crossing this little old lady said to him "sonny, if yule unhitch that horse we will get some guys to carry that buggy across the creek for you". Very sweet. Needless to say the meadowbrook did better than the car tire'd buggies. I had some drunk lady riding next to me telling me my "'orse mus a got inta ants". She had her nickers in a twist because her stable mate was so far ahead.

Everyone should attend ONE of these. The stories will last a lifetime

Actually my mare Sadie's former owner is one of the guiding lights of the Sparta club. She's led the ride. It only took about 9 months to deprogram her from her conviction, as the (former)Adult Horse of an Alcoholic, that she HAD to be in charge every minute of a ride.

No need to go on the ride, we can just turn on the scanner and listen to the emts as they go along and scoop up the casualites.

Tell you what, though, maybe GA cothers could gang up and attend as a sober posse. With cell phone cameras/videos in order to post some of the more hilarious bits here.

JollyBadger
May. 26, 2010, 09:43 AM
All y'all in the deep south, dont forget the snakebite remedy....hic.

I am in the distinct minority here, I manage to ride without insulated saddle bags that hold a six pack of beer.

Went to ride with my buddy in the wilds of Hancock County on sunday, came across a couple of fellas doing some yard work, they started asking us if we knew so and so who has horses (nope, nope, yep) and one of them asked did we ever go on the Sparta wagon train or trail ride?

I said perfectly serious, No, I prefer to do my drinking at home.

:lol::lol::lol:

I live and ride in an area where most people do the beer-in-the-saddle-bag thing, too. Rather than "taking a break" or "giving the horses a breather," those times are referred to generically as a "beer tree."

Frankly, while the company is often entertaining, the "beer tree" stops are so frequent and last so long that I get really bored and frustrated. Plus, it's just not a lot of fun to ride with a bunch of drunk people when they start riding like idiots. It's hard on the horses.

I still remember one ride in particular where we hadn't gone more than a mile or two when someone in the group called out "beer tree!" and I said out loud "oh, you have GOT to be kidding me!" They brag about being out all day on trail, but they never really go anywhere because they're always sitting around at a beer tree. Apparently I am in the minority of people in this area who actually goes trail riding for the sake of trail riding, not to get drunk and socialize.:confused:

But back to the OP - I do like ear nets/covers for the really buggy time of year. Use caution with the colored crocheted style, especially if you have a light-colored horse. A friend of mine bought a red one a couple of years ago, then went for a ride on his little palomino mare in the rain. . .the mare had a pink forelock for a week and will forever be known as the Barbie Dream Horse. . .:lol:

katarine
May. 26, 2010, 12:06 PM
Anytime- ok nearly anytime- there's a big organized ride, there's a whole buncha drunks. It's just true.

We were riding at KC Ranch in N AL some years back over a big ride weekend. Way out on the trails we came across a tired, kind eyed grey gelding. Alone. On the trail and dragging his reins. We gathered him up and took him with us back from whence he came. Not too far down the line, there sat a rather contemplative middle aged man, sitting on the side of the trail, pondering the sand between his boots. Yep, he got off to pee and his buddies left him. His horse, too. We didn't really enjoy handing old gray back to him, but he did seem to recognize his ride. Too bad. Drunk as a skunk. Never did see him get back to camp but I suppose he did.

I avoid big rides like the plague. We do drink beer and ride, yes ma'am we do, but not so much that we're a hazard to anyone or anything, much less our good horses. Drunks on horses are just pathetic :(

Auventera Two
May. 26, 2010, 12:54 PM
I have a little water proof zip up pack that I attach to my saddle pommel to hold a GPS, trail map, granola bar, lip balm, other small necessities to keep within easy reach.

Behind the cantle I have a small zippered bag that I carry some first aid essentials in (vetwrap, bandaids, wound cream, scissors, gauze pads, pain killers, bee sting stick)

For really long/remote/slower rides, I carry a larger cantle bag that will also hold extra water and food, hoof boots, carrots, forage pellets, extra leadrope, poncho).

Depending on the length of ride, I carry anywhere from 1-3 water/gatorade bottles in the Easycare bottle holders. I use the 24 ounce water bottles and freeze them at home so they thaw and stay cold on trail.

I almost always use a heart rate monitor so the watch is on my arm.

Whatever bags you carry - make sure they don't flop! Buy ones that have anchoring points front and back and top and bottom so you can snug them down to d-rings. Stuff that flops is highly annoying to you and the horse, can cause soreness, and beats the supplies up inside to a pulp.

Also a little velcro leg carrier for my cell phone.

For transporting water - I bought 5 gallon buckets with snap-on lids. A little dribbles over the edge enroute but it is very minimal. Just set them on a folded up bath towel.

We have a portable toilet for the horse trailer which is a 5 gallon bucket with a bag and scented kitty litter inside, and a snap-on toilet seat from the camping section at any sporting goods store (Luggable Loo brand)

Always bring a manure fork and some kind of manure disposal container - I use a square Rubbermaid bin with a snap-on lid. This way you can pick up any mess around, and inside your trailer, and seal it off from flies. At home just drag it out to the manure pile and dump, then wash it out.

Extra clothing! I always carry extras that I stash in a drawer in the dressing room - just in case.

And of course other camping essentials if you're staying overnight.

From the www.endurance.net (http://www.endurance.net) homepage, you can find tons of links for trail horse tack supply outlets. I use Action Rider and Long Riders Gear mostly.

I love the big organized rides but my friends and I make a point to leave on the trail FIRST as soon as they open it up. We are way out in front of the pack and we leave the drunks behind to mosey along. Every year we do the Colorama - the biggest trail ride in the Midwest - there are around 3,000 horses every year. Each year we finish the trail first and we are packed up and on the road headed home before most of the drunks even get on the trail.

Leather
May. 26, 2010, 02:31 PM
I find all sorts of neat treasures on the Hillview Farms website. It's a bit tricky to navigate, but worth it.

http://www.american-flex.com/coverletter.htm