Number one thing on my list is SHOES. Although there are some areas with easy footing, for the most part the footing is pretty rough and dictates shoes all the way around. Of course there are exceptions to every rule, so I’m sure there are horses that are OK without shoes. I would certainly advise shoes until you have
ridden it for yourself and decided otherwise. I have seen too many horses come tip-toeing off the mountain because their “person” did not think they would need shoes.
Foul-weather gear is a must no matter what time of year you are riding. Be prepared for rain and cold. If it’s not dead-summer, be prepared for real cold weather to come up suddenly. Fog also tends to come in quick and thick, but not much you can do to be prepared for that. Just be sure you know where you are going and pay attention. The visibility drops to about eight inches in front of your horse’s nose, or less!
Banamine should be included in every ride everywhere. Someone in the group should carry banamine paste and be familiar with the dosing directions. Can absolutely save a horse’s life in case of colic. Does need to be administered fairly quickly, and correctly, hence the need to somewhat know the dosing directions beforehand. Somehow, reading the directions on a tube of paste becomes extremely difficult when a horse is dying in front of you. Make sure you have a reasonable idea of your horse’s weight. It’s not rocket science so don’t worry about precision, but it does matter whether he weighs 500 lbs or 2500 lbs. Invest in a weight tape and use it regularly to check your horse’s weight. You can check each time the season changes. Another good way is to check when you are de-worming. That way you can know the dosage for the de-wormer and get his weight to remember. All you have to do now is, REMEMBER. Easier said than done, I know.
Definitely recommend the basics, which are good no matter where / when you ride. These include, but certainly are not limited to, a hoof pick, First Aid Kit (stocked with human and equine supplies – that’s a whole ‘nother story), vet wrap – preferably bright pink or purple – nobody wants to be inconspicuous when hurt right?, an extra leather belt (can be used as a sling, repair / replace a stirrup leather or other tack), sharp knife (dull knives only hurt people and horses), and a loud whistle. I have never carried an ez boot, but some people swear by them. I’m sure there’s more; feel free to add your suggestions with a comment.
Thanks for listening, oh I mean reading. You can’t actually hear me, right?