One of the common first-time rider questions: what do you pack?
This is our third ride this year and our third season of LDs, and this is what I have ever-so-vaguely in mind (and some reasons why).
For the horse:
- tack. Whatever normally goes on the horse for a ride. In my case: halter-bridle (or halter + add-on bridle, not sure yet), bit, reins, breastplate, saddle, pad, girth, crupper. Saddle will have at least one saddlebag attached.
- Two lead ropes: one to tie to trailer, one for walking horse around.
- Grooming tools.
- Hoof boots, if used/required. I'm only booting her fronts for this ride.
- Heart monitor if desired. I'll put it on, but use it mainly coming into the hold(s) and finish.
For camping with the horse:
- full bale bag of hay (part alfalfa, part grass/alfalfa mix, would be part forage but there's no good stuff easily accessible to me right now). Two hay nets, pre-stuffed. One will go in the trailer with the horse. I don't regularly feed straight alfalfa, but in the few days leading up to a ride and the few days after, she can have whatever she'd like.
- large bucket for water (and maybe some bungee cords so it stays upright more than ten minutes, if you too have a horse that can be a problem child)
- smaller bucket or two for hauling water and/or sponging out of at the end of the ride
- container of water from home - this helps avoid hauling lots of water from halfway across camp, plus gives finicky horses familiar water to drink
- grain for mash, with and without elytes, and a small pan to feed the mash from
- pitchfork and garbage bags (if it's required that you haul away all excess hay & manure)
Extra for-horse stuff:
- bag of carrots, to go in the saddlebag and be fed frequently. Great for rides without a lot of edible plants along the trail.
- sponge and/or scoop. I'll be taking just a scoop this time around, since I know this ride does not allow sponging from troughs. I may throw the sponge on just-in-case but can't see using it much.
- plastic bag or two for rider card - keeps it dry!
- consider taking a spare boot if you suspect it may be needed or you're worried about your horse going barefoot til you can get to a spare
- blanket, if you're in the rest of the country and/or have a horse that isn't in full winter coat by mid-October. I'll take one and don't expect to use it.
For the rider:
- comfortable, proven riding clothes. Layer appropriately. For my central CA LDs, I've been pretty happy in a t-shirt all day - maybe I'm cold the first twenty minutes, but then we get moving and I'm fine.
- riding gloves, helmet, and half-chaps
- water! I'll take my Nathan hydration pack and plan to refill it at the hold (or swap it out for a pre-filled bag if I'm really efficient). Rider hydration is important. Use what works for you.
- Electrolytes for me, in the hydration pack so they're easily accessible
- on-trail snacks for me to nibble at as I get hungry. Several different heat-tolerant items is ideal. I like Luna bar type stuff, and expect to pack several, with at least one in the saddlebag so I can pull it out whenever I get hungry.
- Spare human water: know if your ridecamp has potable water or not.
- extra food of various sorts to eat before/after as your heart desires. (Immediately post-ride is not the time to discover nothing you brought looks appetizing, including whatever lunch is provided.)
- extra layers for the night before & a change of clothes for after the ride
For human camping:
- headlamp or flashlight of some sort. Great for braiding in the dark, navigating to the nearest portapotty, or finding your trailer after the ride meeting.
- camping chair - for the ride meeting and meals
- portable charger for your phone!
- sleeping bag, pillow, sleeping pad if so desired
- tent or car or something in which to sleep (I set up my own space in a minivan with the back seats down and the middle seats removed)
Anything terribly obvious that I'm missing? What's different for your lists?