backpacking and with horses

jordanrw23

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Joined
May 31, 2021
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16
Location
Montana
I've done this for years. A buddy and I take an annual trip to the back country for 7-10 days on horses. Was curious if anyone else here hunts with horses in the back country? I am always looking for things to improve on and safety is priority. Even though I've hunted this way for a long time and use my horses on 75% of my hunts I am still wondering what everyone else takes with them? do you highline, hobbling, packing in feed....etc?

I usually pack in a bag of alfalfa pellets and a bag of cob feed. usually put into dry sacks and hang in trees away from camp since I live in grizzly country. DO NOT forget fly spray as well! Most of our camping is done close to water so no need to pack in water. I also take my Kifaru Tut tent and a Kifaru stove that we use and my buddy has a similar tent we put all of our rifles/bows and saddles in to keep the elements off. We also take in some insulated posts or clips to nail to trees, along with electric fencing string and a battery charger that energizes the fence. Not necessarily to keep bears out of camp but to keep horse from taking off back to the truck in the middle of the night( aslo have a story about that). It does give you a piece of mind however. Recently I upgraded my Kifaru backpack(Mountain Warrior) to and Kifaru Stryker bag with a Kifaru camp bag. Now I can dump all my clothes, camp gear, & personal stuff into the camp bag and into my Utah bags which for those that don't know are basically a very big open top bag that you put on each side of the pack saddle. So when I get to camp I can dump that bag and my pack is already for day hunting. Before I had to unpack everything and then get the pack ready for day hunts. I also take some vet wrap and horse linament for theirs and my sore muscles and joints LOL.
 

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dmj

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Nov 16, 2013
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948
Usually take about 50 to 100 lbs of grain depending on how many animals we are talking. Hobble during day and tie them up at night. But I've always been lucky. My wife goes with me. So she hobbles and turns the horses loose and keeps track of them until I return. So they get to graze all day. Always take good waterproof horse blankets for them. Put them on at night. Snowing or raining will leave them on all day. Yes take some vet wrap and always take along a bottle of banamine (not sure I spelled that correct). Usually throw in a couple of the rubber horse shoe boots of different sizes, just in case. To much snow always pushed us out because we just didn't have enough forage for the animals. Wife always has a set of saddle horn bags she uses as a first aid kit. Don't know how many times we have needed some little thing in that bag for one of the animals both 4 and 2 legged. Sure if I went out and started packing up getting ready to go there are many more items, but these are a few of the things we take and do. Hunt safe and be careful.
 

Muddyboots

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Feb 7, 2013
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Michigan
Eye salve is one thing I always carried. Sticks, bugs and whatever that irritates the crap out of them. Plus horse shoeing stuff. Pre-turned a couple of shoes, nails, nippers and pullers. Rocky crappy ground can be tough on shoes. I liked to use a heavy rim shoe on front for better dig for horse and heavy plate with borium on rear. Borium added to shoe really allows better grip to hard stone surfaces. Yes, was a farrier for a few years so little more anal about shoes.

Drawing salve like ichthammol ointment is nice to have for everyone! Really sharp heavy duty gripping tweezers for everyone. Great for grabbing nasty stuff out of hide (horse and man!). +Hemostats. I assume sutures and other standard medical is already accounted for in pack. Latigo, flat piece of leather for repairs. Flat leather is also good to cushion bottom of hoof with tape if need be for punctures.

Thread brought back nice memories from many years ago when I had horses and now when I book an elk hunt, the horse aspect is a really big deal to me now. I appreciate riding into the back country now more than ever since I no longer have horses. But just can't stop looking at the fit of the shoes😅. Just a normal look at how they are set etc. Brings back both good and bad memories shoeing! Try to lose the kicked memories but sometimes think I still can feel them!
 

jordanrw23

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Joined
May 31, 2021
Messages
16
Location
Montana
Eye salve is one thing I always carried. Sticks, bugs and whatever that irritates the crap out of them. Plus horse shoeing stuff. Pre-turned a couple of shoes, nails, nippers and pullers. Rocky crappy ground can be tough on shoes. I liked to use a heavy rim shoe on front for better dig for horse and heavy plate with borium on rear. Borium added to shoe really allows better grip to hard stone surfaces. Yes, was a farrier for a few years so little more anal about shoes.

Drawing salve like ichthammol ointment is nice to have for everyone! Really sharp heavy duty gripping tweezers for everyone. Great for grabbing nasty stuff out of hide (horse and man!). +Hemostats. I assume sutures and other standard medical is already accounted for in pack. Latigo, flat piece of leather for repairs. Flat leather is also good to cushion bottom of hoof with tape if need be for punctures.

Thread brought back nice memories from many years ago when I had horses and now when I book an elk hunt, the horse aspect is a really big deal to me now. I appreciate riding into the back country now more than ever since I no longer have horses. But just can't stop looking at the fit of the shoes😅. Just a normal look at how they are set etc. Brings back both good and bad memories shoeing! Try to lose the kicked memories but sometimes think I still can feel them!
Yes sir! those experiences you never forget. We always take our greener horses to the mountains to be packed and I have been kicked pretty hard as well. 2 seasons ago we set up to shoot at a cow in the brush and my cousins two horses took off through the brush at the sound of the gunshot. I had to trail them through to a big opening where they stood. Thing that sucked was the packhorse that ran off was a huge 5 year old packing everything we had in those bags and on the way to finding them I was picking up everything along the way. He had torn the Utah bags to kingdom come and the pack saddle was hanging down around his legs. So when we finally got our crap picked up and back together we still had a cow to take care of. Breaking that cow down and just having to use ropes to mantie everything I slipped trying to tie up the hind quarter, spooked this big horse and I took it on my femur! Hurt like hell and luckily I didn't break anything. Definitely have pros and cons, but for me the pros win.
 

TonyRumore

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Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Messages
5
Location
Broken Arrow, OK
jordanrw23 - "Thing that sucked was the packhorse that ran off was a huge 5 year old packing everything we had in those bags and on the way to finding them I was picking up everything along the way. He had torn the Utah bags to kingdom come and the pack saddle was hanging down around his legs."

LOL!!!! Been there, done that on more than one occasion. When it comes to hunting with horses, EXPERIENCE is everything. When we started, we did a lot of dumb stuff and had a lot of wrecks. Later on, we got fairly salty, and the trips went pretty smooth.

Tony Rumore
Tromix
 

Coyote Shadow Tracker

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Dec 9, 2020
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Eye salve is one thing I always carried. Sticks, bugs and whatever that irritates the crap out of them. Plus horse shoeing stuff. Pre-turned a couple of shoes, nails, nippers and pullers. Rocky crappy ground can be tough on shoes. I liked to use a heavy rim shoe on front for better dig for horse and heavy plate with borium on rear. Borium added to shoe really allows better grip to hard stone surfaces. Yes, was a farrier for a few years so little more anal about shoes.

Drawing salve like ichthammol ointment is nice to have for everyone! Really sharp heavy duty gripping tweezers for everyone. Great for grabbing nasty stuff out of hide (horse and man!). +Hemostats. I assume sutures and other standard medical is already accounted for in pack. Latigo, flat piece of leather for repairs. Flat leather is also good to cushion bottom of hoof with tape if need be for punctures.

Thread brought back nice memories from many years ago when I had horses and now when I book an elk hunt, the horse aspect is a really big deal to me now. I appreciate riding into the back country now more than ever since I no longer have horses. But just can't stop looking at the fit of the shoes😅. Just a normal look at how they are set etc. Brings back both good and bad memories shoeing! Try to lose the kicked memories but sometimes think I still can feel them!
Been there done that. Had up to 17 Quarter horses at one time. You can't own horses without being a Vet, BlackSmiith, Trainer, and most importantly the Handler (feed them and muck them stalls out)! I like that you said you used "Borium", bring back memories, I used to oxy acet to weld studs on the shoes in the winter. Finish the hoof, place some tar and oakum on the "Frog" under a plastic plate and shoe on top. That way the snow doesn't ball up on the hoof between the shoes insides. Then the shoes are like studded tires on frozen ground.
 

Muddyboots

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Feb 7, 2013
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2,522
Location
Michigan
A simple plate with borium gives ridiculous traction on ground otherwise you find yourself under horse! You really appreciate borium going downhill on snow or hardpack! I sometimes think the horse knows it too! Love the tar oakum, old school protection that still works.
 
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