I want to talk to you about your water bottle carrier. You do it. I do it. None of us should really, especially in the summer time. We carry our fluids in a pack, on our horse. Ummmmmmm...really bad idea. I found myself in a situation a couple of years ago that came awful close to doing me in. I was only two and a half miles from home. Doesn't sound like much of a hike does it? My horse did a big 180 on an upward hill climb, hammered me to the ground, and the last I saw from her were hoof boots flying in the air and her at full gallop into the woods. (It was small tree limb that set her off btw)
So there I stand. It is hot, about 90 degrees. It is extremely humid that morning. My anxiety is pumping because I have no idea where my horse has run off to, and I set out on foot hoping to find her with the assumption that she will "most likely" run for home. No biggy right? 2 1/2 miles, easy hike right? Ummmm....wear is my water bottle? It is on the horse where most of us keep our water holder. So I start hiking those big hills towards home, I'm soaked in sweat, my heart is hammering like a caged bird in my chest, suddenly I get goose pimples all up and down my arms....goose pimples? Next thing I'm dizzy and my mouth feels like cotton. I'm have a heat related emergency and I'm still a mile and a half from home. That fast, that quickly I'm in serious trouble. It wasn't a fitness problem, it was a heat problem. Had I been wearing one of these
Or one of these:I'd have probably been okay.
But I was not okay. By the time I reached our back field and found my horse I was vomiting. I'm not sure how I got on the horse I was so sick. So sick that when I finally got home my saddle was left laying in the yard where I dropped it. Veins were standing up as big as my index finger on my face, I was beet red, and sicker than I've ever been. I got lucky. Lucky? Yes lucky. If I'd have not found the horse when I did, I don't believe I'd have made it home. My body would have gone into full blown heat stroke and I'd have probably died right there within visual distance of my home. My legs could not coordinate to carry me not ONE. MORE. STEP. I could have avoided that by having water on me, instead of my horse. I could have called for help, but guess what? Phone was in that saddle pack too. Use those saddle packs for things pertaining to your horse. For your personal essentials (water, phone, electrolyte packet, breakfast bar), keep them on your person in a fanny pack of some sort. It takes a little getting used to, but it is worth it. Just think about what could happen, out in the woods, five miles, ten miles, fifteen miles from anything or anybody? In most instances you are riding with a buddy and somebody has a water bottle, but some of us (me) ride out there alone. Be safe by being prepared. ~ E.G.
P.S. Wouldn't hurt to have an energy gel/ electrolyte in that pack.
P.S.S. I like the above pack called the Nathan Triangle it only has one water bottle, but one beats none, and I like the angle which would be more comfortable on the hip. If you went ahead and filled it with an electrolyte drink, drank out of the one's on the saddle, and reserved this one for an emergency 22 ounces of fluid would be real helpful.
Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance
Favorite Links for training, gear, and memberships!
- National Association of Competitive Mounted Orienteering
- HOW TO CMO
- What is CMO?
- Old Dominion Endurance Rides
- Renegade Hoof Boots
- Riding vs. Racing a discussion with the Duck.
- Trumbull Mountain's INTRO TO ENDURANCE RIDING
- Principles of Conditioning
- Conditioning the endurance horse by SERA
- Short Article: Feeding & Training the Endurance Horse
- Feeding the Endurance Horse, Swedish Author
- Preventing Dehydration In the Endurance Horse, Ontario Competitive Trail Riding Association
- Jim Holland's fantastic training links here!
- South Eastern Distance Rider's Association