Gearing up for the Trail
Hit The Trail Prepared by Weaver Leather
There is nothing like tacking up your horse and hitting the trails with friends. Trail riding is a great way to de-stress and can offer a much-needed change of pace for your horse. Depending on which area of the country you ride in, most trails have hills and embankments which are a great way to build and strengthen muscles without doing repetitive ring work. To keep your trail partner working at their best, it’s important to have functional, properly fitting and quality tack that allows your horse to move freely across different terrain. We’ll take a look at a few pieces of tack that will be sure make your trail ride safe and enjoyable.
Let’s start with your horse’s headstall. The headstall is an incredibly important piece of tack that should not be overlooked. There are many types of headstalls on the market today including, but not limited to, headstalls with browbands, sliding ears, and split ears. When going on the trail, the safest option for a headstall is one that has a browband and throatlatch for the reason that the headstall cannot be a pulled off your horse’s head from an overhanging limb, hard head shake or itch. A wonderful bit attachment is leather laces. Top quality and easily secured, they do not traditionally fall out and if in case on an emergency can easily be replaced with a lace from your chinks or spare in your saddle bags.
Your breast collar needs to be equally safe and efficient. The breast collar’s job is to keep your saddle from sliding too far back when traveling up steep inclines. When choosing a breast collar, a wider width will help distribute the weight across your horse and make your horse’s job much easier. Having a breast collar that is both durable and sweat and water-resistant will eliminate scary tack failures and hassle-free maintenance.
It’s hard to believe that Fall is already here and with that, hunting season will be in full effect. If you plan on trail riding between October and December, it is a good idea to get tack that will make you stand out Brahma Webb® Trail Gear Headstall, Reins & Breast Collar and prevent any confusion that your horse is a deer to the assuming hunter. The Brahma Webb® Trail Gear collection, by Weaver Leather, offers a durable, easy-to-clean solution for trail lovers that comes in bright, bold colors. To make your trail experience safe and care-free, the lightweight synthetic material, Brahma Webb®, consists of a coated webbing designed to be weather-resistant. The low maintenance webbing wipes clean with soap and water so you can spend more time riding and less time cleaning your tack. Top quality leather is also another great trail option throughout the year. Good leather, stitched and properly finished, will last you a lifetime of dependable performance.
Now that your saddle and bridle are securely in place, let’s talk about the additions! A common sight on the trail are saddle bags. Whether you are riding for an hour or for the entire day, whatever you attach to your saddle needs to be tough enough to withstand snags from trees, be waterproof against rain and stream water while allowing you to easily retrieve your belongings without a struggle or being too bulky for your horse.
As a precaution for first time users on green horses, it is always a good idea to test a saddle, pommel, cantle or water bottle bag on your horse in a secured setting such as a round pen before hitting the trails. If your horse is not used to having additional weight bouncing around on them, the horse can spook and injury itself or the rider.
Another great accessory to consider on your saddle when setting out for the trail is a set of hobbles. You can easily take a lunch break and allow your horse a short break for recovery. It is important to note that your horse should have experience being hobbled prior to the trail. If hobbling is not a good option for you yet it is always safe to pack along a good rope halter that is easily folded and lightweight in your bags. A rope halter with reflective tracers will keep you safely tied at a dark trailer or even under a bridle trailing at dawn or dusk.
Trail riding is a blast! Hopefully these little key notes will help you and your horse prepare ahead of time. Gear is essential and it is very important to continually check over and clean your items. Make sure there are no burrs or twigs stuck where it could poke your horse and keep an eye on all hardware, laces and latigos to ensure top safety for you and your horse. With these tips in mind, saddle up and enjoy the cool weather and fall foliage with your trusty equine partner!