Whether it's for fishing or hunting, nature-watching or camping, or simply to get off the beaten path, there are better ways to travel through the backcountry than on horseback. And riding a surefooted, responsive mount that has been trained to carry you and your equipment over the most rugged terrain is the best way of all. To make sure that you and your horse are on the right foot, Dan Aadland, a seasoned horseman and pack-tripper, shares his expertise and experiences in THE COMPLETE TRAIL HORSE. Beginning with the criteria involved in selecting a good trail mount (and why Tennessee Walking Horses and other laterally gaited horses are especially suited for such work), the author suggests equipment and presents techniques and strategies for training both the saddle horse and the pack horse to cover demanding and often dangerous steep inclines and descents, narrow ledges, and other features of backcountry terrain in a safe and efficient manner. The book then goes on discuss tack and other gear necessary for trail riding, more advanced techniques (including contending with spooky, laggard, and overenthusiastic horses), and taking part in trail competitions. Concluding sections contain valuable information and insights into how to organize and then pack gear for the greatest comfort for you, the horse you'll ride, and the packhorse you'll lead. Written with authority and humor, THE COMPLETE TRAIL HORSE is the last word on ensuring that you and your horses will be prepared for, and therefore enjoy, your trips through the backcountry to the fullest possible extent.
DAN AADLAND, the author of Treading Lightly with Pack Animals, is a frequent contributor to Western Horseman magazine and other equestrian publications. He and his wife, Emily, live in Absarokee, Montana, where they breed Tennessee Walking Horses and organize pack trips.