Trail Riding Safety Essentials

Ten things that could save your life when you’re on the trail with your horse.
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Trail Riding Safety Essentials
Fill your saddle bags with emergency essentials you might need on the trail. | Photo: Kim McCarrel

I’ve been a trail rider for a long time, and I’ve experienced my fair share of trail emergencies. I’ve seen injured riders, injured horses, and damaged tack. I’ve fallen off and been hurt, been cold and hungry, and run out of water on a hot day. And I’ve taken a wrong turn and gotten lost.

I’ve learned from those experiences that having the right equipment with you and being prepared can make the difference between a mild misadventure and a disaster.

Experts advise hikers to carry the “10 Essentials for Survival,” including waterproof matches, a flashlight, extra food and water, and a mirror for signaling rescuers. These are important items for horseback riders to carry, too

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Written by:

Kim McCarrel is an avid trail rider and author whose guidebooks are “must-haves” for Pacific Northwest trail riders. She’s been mapping and writing about trails and horse camps since 2002. Her newest books are revised and updated editions of “Riding Central Oregon Horse Trails” and “Riding Southwest Washington Horse Trails.” McCarrel lives in Bend, Oregon, with her husband, Steve, two Portuguese water dogs, and a Tennessee Walking Horse mare named Tex.

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