Here are some great trail tips from our members on the trail
TRAIL TIP: Keep a portable water filtration kit with you, small, and fits in my fanny pack. Also, I have a survival kit with duct tape and some equine first aid items, but the pack is very handy to keep in a saddlebag. It has a fire starter, compass, multipurpose tool, etc. Paracord to repair tack with or high tie unexpectedly on the trail. It has just about everything you would need in a trail emergency. And for gosh sakes, learn to ride bareback. I’ve seen too many people walking 20 miles home or back to camp after saddle failure. Teach your horse to ride bitless as well, in case your bit/bridle fails.
*Heidi Hochhausen FNP-BC / Itinerant Nurse Practitioner for NSHC
TRAIL TIP: My advice is always to ride with a nurse!
TRAIL TIP: No matter how long or short your ride is, always carry an emergency kit. I always have stop-bleed, gauze, vet wrap, and a leatherman. I do have a small number of other emergency items too.
*Sarrena Perry FF/EMT/Dispatch
TRAIL TIP: have a halter and lead with you or on under the bridle.
Lanette True Wilke
TRAIL TIP: Always be able to ride out on your own. You may be in need of assistance in an emergency.
*Krystal Huebner Paulson Nurse, EMT
TRAIL TIP: always travel with a snack and drink. Never know when you’ll need it,
TRAIL TIP:- We teach all our horses to ground tie. We ride with split reins and they’re taught to stop if the reins fall down. This has saved us twice from losing our horses in the woods over the years.
*Amber Magee Sheriff's Deputy Charles Magee Paramedic for EMS TRAIL TIP: Always carry a knife and hoof pick. If you are on trails that you are not familiar with or camping, always pack food & extra water, preserve the battery on your phone & bring along a first aid kit and lead rope in case you become lost or have an emergency. Side note: freezing water bottles helps preserve ice in saddlebags!
Sandra Rogers Maddry
TRAIL TIP - Stay very close to civilization. *wink
*Mitch Rieger Sheriff Deputy Terry Siess Emergency Department Nurse
TRAIL TIP: Terry always packs a knife and a hoof boot like a Scoot Bboot or Cavallo. Protects the hoof if a shoe comes off.
TRAIL TIP: Keep the lifesaving stuff on your body... med kit, pistol, knife, phone. lighter.
*Diana Murphy Paramedic TRAIL TIP: Wear a helmet, carry a phone on your person, and always let someone know where you are riding if you ride solo like I often do.
TRAIL TIP: You want your horse a little lazy but crazy. You want your spouse a little crazy but not lazy. *Wink
*Sam Westby Volunteer Firefighter/First Responder
TRAIL TIP: Especially if you are going riding on your own, tell someone your riding plan; Where you are going and the route you plan to take. Keep your phone on your person and wear a helmet.
Kay Berg Nurse
TRAIL TIP: RIDE WITH NURSES♥ For the longest time we had a group of weekend night nurses we all rode during the week! Also, I usually ride with my husband. He carries the “human” first aid kit (plus stuff if we get lost and have to spend the night out in the woods). I carry the “horse” first aid kit and at least a tube of Banamine, Bute, and electrolytes. There are so many cool things you can find on Amazon: snake bite kits, MRE meals, etc... oh and we both pack a gun and pocketknife.
*Kailey Pillman Critical Care Medic TRAIL TIP: Being a First Responder, Kailey sees the tragedy that not wearing a helmet can cause. She wishes more trail riders would consider this a very important piece of equipment on their rides.
Vanessa M Mink
TRAIL TIP: Tell someone your location (GPS coordinates), estimated ride time, and emergency time. Of course, an emergency med kit, too. Much of which corresponds between humans and horses. Although make sure to include a space blanket(s), duct tape, and a sleeping bag. They have ones that bunch into a ball and are lined with space blanket material. They can be used to drag someone behind a horse if need be.
Amy Griggs Hetzer
TRAIL TIP: Lessons learned from my “Gilligan’s Island Trail Ride”
- Rides are more relaxed and enjoyable when led by an experienced guide.
- Ride with someone you like - you might be with them a long time and have to problem-solve together.
- The exact same trail can be named something completely different on the map app and on the paper map.
- Turn the phone on airplane mode to save the battery. GPS will still work.
- Take more than one phone on the ride (We got back to camp with only 3% life on our only phone).
- When uncertain of a turn (or, even if you think you are certain), ride up 100 yards and check the app again. Don’t wait very long to confirm the right direction.
- Take much more water than you think you need. Between us, we had 6 bottles - plenty for a 3-hour morning ride...but not enough for 8 hours into the afternoon.
- If you casually mention to a nice young family of hikers that you are almost out of water - they will happily offer you some after they ooh and ahh over the horses.
- You will laugh about the adventure very soon after getting back to camp!
I hope this doesn’t make us sound like idiots - we did a lot of things right, rode trusty steeds, saw some stunning country, and had a wonderful time! Hope this might help other trail riders.
Summer Hope Cordon Police Officer / Dispatcher Liz Arvizu Paramedic Haley Camden Paramedic TRAIL TIP: It's supposed to be fun! Todd Gilkison
TRAIL TIP: When out west in snake country carry a piece of garden hose (if your horse gets a snake bite in the face) salt shaker (if no water for a horse just put salt on his lip), and feminine pads make great bandages for horses, apply and wrap it up with co-flex.
TRAIL TIP: Take fly spray with you!! Roll on or on a rag in a ziplock bag. Used to take the big bottle when riding without little kids and shoot their horses from mine.
TRAIL TIP: Always carry a Leatherman tool.