While preparing for our six-week ride along the Colorado Trail, I did a lot of investigation into the best packhorse equipment to use. After reading many, many recommendations from those who should know on the Long Riders Guild site, which is an incredible compendium of knowledge on the very specialist subject of ultra-long-distance riding, we opted to buy almost all of our kit from Custom Packrigging in Canada and have it shipped to a friend in the US. (On the way home, we taped the packs up and used them as suitcases.)
Kelly at Custom Packrigging was extremely helpful, and advised me on the best combination of items to fit three as-yet-unseen horses (who turned out to be very different in size and shape), and we were very delighted with how it all worked out. We had some issues with the Western riding saddles the horses came with, but none at all with the packsaddle, which I fully endorse.
It’s very difficult to procure packhorse equipment in Britain, so I don’t want to sell it – but I would be willing to rent it out to anyone planning a long distance journey who doesn’t want to pay for new equipment outright, plus the extortionate shipping costs that would incur.
If you’d be interested, drop me an email at cal [at] calflyn [dot] com, and we can discuss the details. Location depending, I could also help you tack up the first time. I have some tips on packhorse use here.
Available packhorse equipment is as follows:
high withered pack saddle, with bars that can be adjusted to fit most horses
solid brown plastic packs with sling ropes (large, waterproof)
- breastplate and breeching, brown, oiled leather with beta straps and brass buckles
- double cinch in mohair blend
- 4 black nylon latigos for attaching cinch (you can’t see these once the packs are on)
- large packsaddle pad
- lash cinch
And some other horse-camping necessities:
- 3x net feed bags
- 3x collapsible buckets
- portable electric corral kit, very lightweight, fenceposts fold down to fit inside pack, powered by DD batteries. Easily contains three horses overnight.