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TrailMeister February 2016 Newsletter

Trail Meister Logo February 2016


Are You Prepared?

I’m not a fan of the late winter / early spring season. The novelty of winter is fading like the snow into a melted mess of dirty grey. Those inside tasks that I’ve saved for the cold season have either already been completed or will most likely stay unfinished. Saddles have all been cleaned and oiled but that new shelf for saddle blankets is still a random pile of wood waiting to be assembled. It’ll wait a bit longer. Soon we’ll be riding again and venturing out on the trips we excitedly planned during the the first heavy snows of the year. But what to do in the interim?

Enter the “Possibles Bag”. I generally call my assortment of “stuff” for an unplanned night on the trail my “Emergency Kit” but the term “Possibles Bag” has much more flair and panache. I heard the word recently when talking about the new movie The Revenant. It’s about legendary mountain man Hugh Glass and his “adventures” after having had all of his equipment taken and being left for dead in the wilderness by his friends.  The story made me think about both my choices in riding partners as well as the small of collection of items that may well save my life should a trail ride take an unforeseen turn.

If and when I’m forced to spend a night along the trail, I want to have all the essentials required to stay alive. How much gear “insurance” to carry is a matter of healthy debate and varies from person to person. For me the point of these items is to proactively answer two questions: First; Can I respond positively to an accident or emergency? Second; Can I safely spend a night out?  What follows are the gear systems that accompany me on every ride.

Common Sense – You can’t put it in a bag or carry in in your packet but it’s arguably more important than anything else. Having the right gear is one thing, knowing how and when to use it is another. Experience, know-how, and good judgement is what will save your bacon not a pile of stuff that you purchased and never took the time to earn how to use. Make the effort to cultivate the knowledge to use every item to its fullest potential.

First Aid System
Navigation System
Insulation System
Illumination System
Fire System
Repair Kit System
Hydration System
Shelter System

From everyone here at, we wish for you a wonderful 2016 full of good horses, safe trails, warm camps, and joyous memories.



The Trail Challenge Contest is going swimmingly with riders from across the country are uploading their rides! The TrailMeister Trail Challenge is a great way for you to win valuable prizes while doing what you love – Trail Riding! Simply record your rides on TrailMeister and you’ll be entered to win prizes valued at $1,000! Learn more about the contest..

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Featured Review

We’ve all wondered what our animals are up to in the trailer behind us. A strange bump has caused me to pull over and check on more than one occasion.
Enter Trailer Eyes. If you value peace of mind when hauling you won’t go wrong with this. Read more about why we like Trailer Eyes.

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Featured Trail

The trails heading out from MN’s Tamarack Horse Camp can be challenging as you make river crossings and traverse bridges and hills. But it’s very much worth it! Did I mention the Horse Camp? A visit is well worth your time!  Many thanks to TrailMeister user MN Ryder for sharing this fabulous area!
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Riders Route of the Month

TrailMeister reader caroleschuh from Washington has submitted several excellent horse riding routes in the Chamna Natural Preserve area near Richland.

caroleschuh uploaded the GPS files from her rides at Chamna and it looks like a fabulous place to to explore on horseback! Many thanks caroleschuh!

Have you uploaded your rides? Every trail area has a Rider Routes tab where you can upload, download, print and share your favorite ride.

Need more reasons to upload your routes? Check out the TrailMeister Trail Challenge!

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Featured Article of the Month

Escure Ranch – Wild West in Eastern Washington – As published in the January 2016 issue of the Trailhead News. Eastern WA is home to the BLM’s Rock Creek Management Area but the name that it’s best known by is Escure Ranch. The high desert offers wonderful early season horse riding and camping. Check it out!

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February Events

There are a lot of horsey events on the calendar for February! From Expos to NATRC and ETS rides and even TrailMeister Trail Riding Clinics!

Click here for the full Event Calendar

Have an event that you’d like to share? Click on the Submit Event button and get the word out.


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