Trail riding challenges your horse with an entirely different terrain than you’ll find either in an arena or on rolling cross country fields. You never know what’s around the next bend on a trail, whether you’ll encounter a deer, fallen log, or new water crossing. In order to ensure you’re prepared for whatever the trail throws your way, it’s important to have the right tack and gear on hand.
The right equipment can make a world of difference in an emergency situation. You don’t want to be caught facing an unexpectedly rocky stretch of terrain without the right leg and hoof protection for your horse! To be prepared for almost anything you encounter on the trail, we recommend having this list of trail riding tack on hand.
Trail Riding Saddle That’s Built for Adventure
Many trail riding adventures involve some sort of water crossing. Unfortunately, water can do some real damage to your typical all-leather saddle. A little water, like some rain, will not hurt a leather saddle or other leather products. However, a saddle that is saturated with water and then left to dry out without oiling, will start to rot and fall apart.
Mold and mildew are also a concern when your leather saddle is wet. These damaging fungi will set in at a faster rate when leather that is not completely dry is oiled. Mold stains the leather and causes it to lose elasticity and dry rot faster.
The solution is to choose a waterproof, durable saddle for your next trail riding adventure. The Mesace Water Warrior Saddle is designed specifically with the trail rider in mind. This saddle is made of 100% waterproof Equileather and rust-free hardware that is guaranteed to withstand the test of your next water crossing. Its shock-absorbing super-cushion seat is perfect for long days in the saddle across rough terrain.
Halter/Bridle Combo for Convenience and Comfort
After a long morning in the saddle, nothing feels so good as finding a shady, grassy spot, pulling out your lunch, and taking a break from your trail ride to eat. Doesn’t your horse deserve the same comfort?
Many horses struggle to eat with the bit in their mouth. While bits are excellent for control while riding, they’re not particularly great for eating and drinking. Many trail riders choose to use a bitless bridle or hackamore so their horse can benefit from being able to eat and drink unhindered. Unfortunately, this is just not an option for every horse and rider pair. Some horses truly do need a bit in order to keep everyone safe under saddle.
This means that some riders are left with one of two options: They either have to carry a halter and swap their horse’s headgear on the trail, which is inconvenient and possibly dangerous, or they can use a halter/bridle combo.
A Halter/Bridle Combo is exactly what it sounds like. This type of headgear offers the best of both worlds thanks to an easy on/off bit attachment. Built on a halter base, the bit is attached to two cheek pieces which are easily clipped high up on the sides of the halter. The bit is buckled into the other end and can be slid into or out of the horse’s mouth without taking off the entire halter.
Thanks to these combo headstalls, now when you stop for lunch your horse can eat comfortably, without the hassle of taking off a bridle and putting on a halter. Instead, you just unclip the bit, slide it out, and you’re good to go.
Hoof Boots for Trail Riding
Have you ever walked barefoot across a gravel driveway? For many people, those sharp rocks hurt your feet. While many horses perform excellently without horse shoes, some horses just aren’t able to cope with the rough terrain you might find on a trail ride.
That’s where this crucial piece of trail riding tack steps in. The EasyBoot Trail Horse Boot is designed to protect the soles of your horse’s feet while offering an aggressive tread for optimal traction. These hoof boots have a durable front shield that can take the abuse of being hit against rocks, sand, mud, or whatever else the trail throws at you and your horse. The rear safety strap and unique design ensure these hoof boots won’t come off, whether you’re just taking a relaxing stroll or galloping through the woods.
Don’t think you can get away without having a spare hoof boot on hand if your horse is shod! Hoof boots protect your horse’s hooves in an emergency, like if your horse loses a shoe. In this scenario, without a hoof boot your horse would have to walk home on uneven footing and possibly with a sore hoof. A hoof boot ensures that you can protect your horse’s feet, even on short notice.
Leg Protection for the Trail Horse
Some sort of protective layer around the legs is crucial for trail riding. Horse boots are the piece of trail riding tack that is most often overlooked. Riders may believe that their horse is sure-footed or that where they’ll be riding is easy terrain. However, this is not a guarantee that your horse will not sustain a leg injury. Any horse can trip, even just over their own feet!
Choosing the right type of horse boots is crucial to the success of your trail ride. If you choose to ride in polo wraps, be very careful not to go through any sort of water. Polo wraps will soak up the water and loosen, possibly unraveling while still on your horse’s legs. A better choice for your next trail ride would be a boot like the Professional’s Choice Pro Mesh XC Boot.
These mesh boots have a mesh outer layer that provides 360-degree protection with a lightweight ripstop surface that will not retain water. Instead, the water is allowed to run right through the boot. Plus, the unique design is breathable to help keep your horse’s legs cool on hot summer days.
Don’t Let Inadequate Trail Riding Tack Hold You Back
Don’t let inadequate trail riding tack hold you back from your next big adventure. Trail riding can be a truly fun and rewarding experience. The right tack can ensure that both you and your horse are well-prepared and enjoy a safe ride.
Explore more of our trail riding tack online at Breeches.com. Click here to shop now.
To learn more about horseback trail riding, check out this blog.