No one likes to go trail riding in the name of fun, only to suffer injuries and other problems that could have been avoided. Add some be-prepared insurance to your next trail outing by asking these questions, and preparing accordingly:
1. What potential weather or terrain hazards might we encounter (precipitation, altitude change, cold, wind exposure, rocky terrain, etc.)?
2. What mishaps might these cause to horses and/or riders?
3. How well supplied and experienced are we, in order to cope with these issues?
4. What are the unique dangers of our destination (wild animals, roadway traffic, insects, remoteness, etc.)?
5. What problems might these cause to horses and/or riders?
6. What gear and strategies would we need for coping?
7. Who in our party is responsible for the first-aid supplies, and who knows how to use them?
8. How would searchers know when and where to start looking for us, if we're lost or detained?
9. What would we do if a horse were unable to continue the ride, and had to be treated, hauled out, or--worse-case scenario--put down?
Read "Trail Ride Tips & Tricks" in the May 2008 issue of Horse & Rider magazine for 50 hints and bits of advice to help you get more fun out of any trail ride.