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Tips for Trail Riders

Posted on: June 24, 2022 by Macaire Stinner

For me, trail riding is a great opportunity to explore nature while strengthening my relationship with my horse.  It’s important to remember that even if you are a trail rider, your horse is working hard, and we should be supporting them to the best of our ability to make them as safe and comfortable as possible!  Some trail riders and horses go out for many hours on uneven terrain, steep inclines, and at varying gaits, while others go out for less than an hour on flat, manicured trails. It’s also important for both horse and rider to be safe and comfortable. There are many ways we can support both types of horses and riders and all those that fall in between.

  1. Supplements

As I mentioned before, there is a massive range of trail horses and there are many things to consider when choosing an appropriate supplement. The first thing to consider is workload. Is your horse going out for many hours at a time and cantering up hills or are you taking them out short distances and remaining at a walking pace? These are important things to consider when deciding what supplement is right for you. The second thing to consider is age. How old is your horse and what does their history look like? I personally give SmartStride Ultra to my horse, Kimchi and it has worked well to support his joints, tendons, and ligaments. I love that it includes the tried-and-true ingredients, such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and hyaluronic acid for joint support along with innovative ingredients, such as turmeric and resveratrol for supporting normal response to inflammation.

SmartStride™ Ultra Pellets

2. Tack

There are many important products that can come in handy when you hit the trails! I never go without my trusty saddle bag. I use the Cashel Small Horn Saddle Bag and is has been a game changer for me when I go out on longer rides. This allows me to comfortably bring snacks, water, a hoof pick, sunscreen, and many other items that come in handy when on a long ride!    

Kimchi is barefoot and can be sensitive on rough terrain. When we go on trails where I’m not sure what the terrain will be like, I bring my Easy Boot Soft Gloves. These hoof boots are awesome! They truly fit like a glove and stay on during the most aggressive trails when used with the Power Strap. It’s important that Kimchi is comfortable when we go out for rides as we tend to go out for a couple hours.

3. For the Rider

If you are looking for added safety gear while trail riding, I recommend a helmet and a safety vest.  My personal favorite helmet for trail riding is the Tipperary Sportage Helmet. This helmet is lightweight, ventilated, and comfortable. It’s one of the lightest helmets on the market!

Tipperary Sportage Helmet

Tipperary Sportage Helmet

If you like to have even more safety gear, the Hit Air® Equestrian Super Light Weight Vest is a great option! This vest attaches to your saddle via a lanyard, which clips to your vest. If you unintentionally separate from your horse, the vest inflates like an airbag which helps to protect your neck, back, and hips from the impact that may occur.  The best part about this vest is that it’s incredibly lightweight, so you won’t get too hot on long trail rides.

Trail riding can be a great way for you to get out in nature and unwind with your horse. When it comes to trail riding, there are many great product options for trail riders and their horses. The most important takeaway is that you and your horse feel safe and comfortable when riding out, whether it be for less than an hour or for an all-day trek. Stay safe and happy trails!