With the summer holidays around the corner — and many of us enjoying staycations this year — many riders will be tacking up and heading out to hack many miles over the next few months.
It’s always best to be prepared; so what should you be taking when you’re hacking out? Our #Hack1000Miles challengers share their top tips.
1. A hoof pick
“I have a hoof pick clipped to my saddle,” says Abbi Thorpe.
“You can buy the fold-away hoof picks so they take up less room,” adds Jane Fergs.
Felicity Brown agrees: “I’ve got a fold-up hoof pick and it’s great.”
It’s also good for safety.
“They fold up very small, so fit into a pocket and won’t injure you if you fall off,” adds Lynda Buckingham.
2. Bailing twine
As all horse owners know, bailing twine is handy for all sorts of things.
“I always have bailing twine on me in case I need to tie up my horse,” says Jules Bowes Davies.
“Twine is always good in an emergency,” adds Laura Jane Walton.
Becky Clare adds: “The world is built on bailer twine!”
3. First aid kit
You never know what could happen out on a ride, so it’s best to be prepared.
“I keep a human and equine first aid kit in a bum bag so I can take it everywhere,” says Rebecca Minto.
Abbi Thorpe does the same: “My bum bag has a roll of vet wrap, tape and panty liners inside — panty liners they make a great emergency dressing.”
4. Water bottle
Staying hydrated is important, especially on long rides when it’s hot.
“I have two saddle bags: a small one for short trips and a larger one that can carry a picnic. I always take a water bottle,” says Jules Bowes Davies.
Cathy Dance also takes a drink with her.
“My mum bought me a large bum bag to use while riding. It’s big enough to fit a water bottle in and some other useful bits,” she says.
If you are carrying a bum bag or using saddlebags, just keep an eye on its weight and bear in mind how much your horse can manage. If you use more than one, try to balance the weight out on either side of your horse’s back.
5. Contact information
Should you and your horse become separated while out riding, it’s important that you can be reunited.
“My contact and insurance details are on a tag attached to my horse’s saddle,” says Abbi Thorpe. “If he runs off, his saddle is likely to stay on and he can be identified.”
Karen Odonnell agrees. “I have a saddle tag, a bit like one from a dog collar, that has my contact number and postcode on it.”
And the incidentals…
You know yourself and your horse, so don’t forget to consider your individual needs. Cathy Dance takes a small bottle of fly spray for her horse, while Monica Russell packs a torch and whistle. Kay Robinson always makes sure she has an inhaler and antihistamines with her.
No matter what you pack, remember to enjoy your ride!