Outdoor Life

Planning for an overnight trail ride

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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horse in stall
Checking your horse out is important before you leave on an overnight trail ride
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Make the most of your trail ride by planning

When you're planning for an overnight trail ride, you have to consider many factors. While this is not an exhaustive guide, it will provide some suggestions and resources to help you put together an overnight trail ride.

Finding a Route

The first thing you usually do is select a location or particular trail you want to ride. You may hear from other riders about trips they've taken or read about featured trails in magazines or other horse publications; or maybe you don't have a clue where you want to go. If you need help finding a route, you may want to check out trail riding books, maps, or DVDs from an equestrian outfitter and supply store. These resources aren't limited to highlighting trails; they can also provide instruction, information, and tips that may improve your experience on an overnight rail ride.

You can also consult an online horse trail directory that lists riding areas by state. Although some of these directories don't look professional, they can still point you to parks, trails, and other places you've never heard about before.

Gathering Supplies for an Overnight Trail Ride

Planning for an overnight trail ride, once you've decided a location and time, involves getting together your supplies. Start with your saddle bags or panniers, choosing what is both comfortable for you and your horse, and what gives you the room you need. Depending on your plans and the rules on the trails you'll be riding, you may need a variety of supplies, including camping gear, tools, food, or first aid materials. If you thrive on lists, you may want to use a prepared packing checklist or ask a more experienced trail rider to help you make a checklist yourself.

Checking Your Horse and Trailer

An important part of planning for an overnight trail ride is checking that your horse and trailer are ready for the trip. If you don't know how to do this, you may want to check out the resources section at the end of this article. The horse trailer checklist can help you prepare for an overnight trail ride.

Making sure your gear, such as saddles, saddlebags, bits, and bridles, is in good repair also falls under this area of preparation.

Making Overnight Arrangements

In many areas, you will need to make overnight arrangements ahead of time. You may need to book cabins or reserve camping spots, depending on the trail's policies. Don't forget to make any necessary arrangements ahead of time. You'll also want to consider how far you will probably ride each day so you can plan your overnight arrangements properly.

Arranging a Pickup

If your trail circles around to its beginning, arranging a pickup doesn't apply to you. But if you don't plan to end your overnight trail ride at the same plan you began, you will need to coordinate with someone who can drive your truck and horse trailer to the end of your route and pick you up.

Sharing Your Itinerary

Even if your family or friends aren't going to be picking you up, you should share your itinerary with someone. Sharing your plans for your overnight trail ride with other people may help in the case of an accident or injury. If you don't arrive at a planned destination by a certain time, help can be sent immediately.


"Horse Trailer Travel Checklist," Lakota Trailers

"Horse and Mule Trail Guide USA," Horse and Mule Trails

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