Nearly everyone likes to see the magnificent fall foliage. What better way to observe nature’s beauty than from horseback?
Trail riding is the No. 1 horse activity, but horses need to be prepared for trail riding. Your local Stockdale’s, a Horse Supply Store, and a Western Clothing Store have all the feed, animal health products, and accessories you need to get your horse ready to ride this fall.
Consider these tips for safe, enjoyable horseback riding:
- Cooler days make rides less strenuous than in the hot, humid summer. But horses unaccustomed to being ridden all day or for a weekend over strenuous trails can be a risk. If you usually ride in flat, sandy areas, several hours over rougher mountain trails can fatigue your horse.
- Have your horse properly shod. Shoes wear out quicker on rocky trails versus sandy soils. You don’t want to be miles from camp when a horse loses a shoe.
- Bring hay or grain your horse is accustomed to eating. If your horse is finicky, try adding a flavored powder to drinking water to get them accustomed to different water.
- State law requires horses of different owners have a current negative Coggins test when co-mingled. Most owners like to ride in groups and often trailer or tie-out together.
- Don't tie horses to trees; they’ll eat the bark. Most managed areas specify where and how you may picket horses.
- Some areas may require permits to camp and ride. Always check first.
- Although insect pests are less of a problem in the fall, bring along bug spray for you and your horse. Also pack a first-aid kit for both you and your horse if you will be riding for several hours.
- Wear easily seen, bright orange clothing, especially in hunting season.