My horse and I have acquired just a few items that we find essential to enjoying a great ride. Everyone has their favorite ____________, so here are some of ours.
Saddle: Aussie!! The Downunder Longreach. For trail riding I just have not had a better saddle and I have tried as many as I could. The best of English & Western, this saddle is secure, comfortable and fits my horse to a T. I do love a good english saddle for arena work but our passion is trail riding and the Aussie is awesome.
Bridle: Nurtural Bitless. There are quite a few options for those who prefer not using a bit (that is a whole other debate) and we have found this option is one our horses really … really like. They flex and bend like they should but this is more forgiving if the rider does do something stupid, you don’t have to switch out to a halter when taking a break, no cold metal to warm on winter days and well, we just are not fond of bits. Personal choice. If you are interested in bitless this bridle is great, but there are many more you could try as well based on the same idea: a cross under strap system that works on poll & Cheeks pressure.
Boots: Cavallo. We don’t shoe and use boots if in really rocky territory.
Cashel trail kit: Attaches to the pommel and keeps a map in clear view while holding extra hoof picks, horse treats or whatever you can stuff in there!
Double D horse trailer: Their tack around idea is brilliant, their workmanship fantastic and their overall trailer a solid safe place for our horses.
Helmets: I like my skull intact. I REALLY like my kid and husband’s skulls intact. The best horse in the world may not be able to help tripping and sending you flying into a big fat rock.
Mountain horse boots: Pick any of them. They rock.
Maternity pants: Ok, I know this sounds silly, but hear me out. I don’t like jeans for long rides, or breeches. One day we had not errr gotten laundry done so I tossed on an old pair of my maternity khakies for a quick ride. OMG. Perfect. Lots of pockets for cell phone, keys, snacks, whatever… they grip my legs, the waistband moves with me instead of cutting in like jeans and the fabric allows me to mount and move without denim fighting me on all of the above. Perhaps this is a fluffy riding issue but whatever, even when I get skinny again I will buy maternity khakis for riding. Bliss! (Breeches just aren’t my style unless riding English while doing arena work.)
Cashel horse helmet: Don’t trailer without them.
Luggage tag attached to saddle: My name and number if the horse and I part ways unintentionally. See main blog photo above and you can see it and my awesome Aussie. And bitless bridle. In jeans though. ugh. This was before my aha moment on pants.
Roping reins: I love them but the loop always seems to catch somewhere so I use some simple leather split reins. They are a good fit most of the time.
Side Step stirrups: These are amazing safety stirrups that are also amazingly comfortable. They don’t force you to twist the stirrup leathers and feel great for knees & ankles. On trail rides I get many compliments and inquiries on them. After 10 years they are still going strong.
Wheel chock: BAL X chock. Goes between the wheels, locks in place and if you have one on each side makes a very nice theft deterrant. Even if theives have a spare on them for flattening one, I doubt they carry two or more extra tires! So you have a very secure and stabalized rig. Also, they do not touch the ground so you don’t have to worry about them sinking in or freezing in place, or rocking your trailer onto them.
Photography vest: What? Why?! Pockets I tell you! Emergency blanket there, camelbak water bladder in the back pocket, cell phone here, big pockets in front for horse treats, rider treats, knife, whistle (studies show people with whistles get found faster since their voices do not give out when yelling for help), mine has a clear pouch for Photographer ID that I keep my NATRC patch in, and so on. Pretty much it holds everything I would want on me if seperated from my horse. The horse’s gear has a knife & hoofpick as well.
I’m just not a fanny pack girl.
Anyways… I have the links to many of these items listed you can just google/bing/yahoo away anything there is no link for. I used their official names if known.
So there is the list of the major items I find perfect for us.
Disclaimer: This post does not include brushes, breast collars (zilco*cough*), halters, or every single other horse related item I have. That would be really crazy. Yah.
————- Some wish list items: ————-
http://www.rocktamers.com/ -+- Save the front of your trailer from looking like it was used for pellet gun target practice.
http://pullwithcody.com/CodyGooseneckCushion.htm -+- Very interesting concept. Hope to try it out one day.
http://www.happijac.com/prod-qd/qd-overview.php -+- Slide out tool box. I have also seen this attached to horse trailers on the jack wall. Very cool. Won’t work on my trailer though as we already have to much stuff where it would fit.
http://bakfliptonneaucover.com/bakflip_home -+- We have this on our truck and it works as advertised. Fabulous find.
http://www.dyson.com/fans/ -+- If you fear your horses ears or tail getting chopped… here are amazing fans to install in the trailer to keep em cool. Not that I can afford these, but still. They look awesome.
Do you know of some lesser known item that deserves to be shared? Word of mouth is how many of these small companies are able to keep growing and providing their great products. So share away and let me know if any of these worked or didn’t work out for you!
*I do not make any kickbacks and I’d be surprised to find out if any of these companies even knew I was shouting their products on a blog. A few of them do know I love their stuff due to e-mailing them so but that is about it!