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Trail Riding Tips

August 15, 2023

Trail riding is popular among both tourists and locals here in New Mexico. Spending a few hours on horseback is a great way to relax and soak up some gorgeous views. However, it is important to keep safety in mind. A local Roswell, NM vet offers some safety tips—and a few helpful hacks—in this article.

Basic Precautions

Some key trail riding rules apply no matter where you’re going. First and foremost: always bring water along. You should also let someone know your route and expected return time. We also recommend putting ID on your horse. Luggage tags are a good option for this. You may even want to look into GPS tags. Last but not least, make sure all of Silver’s tack is in good condition and fits properly.

Stay Vigilant

Roswell may be best known for, well, aliens, but you’re much more likely to have a close encounter with a rattlesnake than with an otherworldly being. Pay attention to the ground and terrain as you ride. Watch for things like rattlesnakes, particularly around things like logs and branch piles.

Pack Necessities

You don’t need to pack enough for a week, but you should have a few basic necessities, such as a first-aid kit, multi-tool, hoof pick, snacks, flashlight, and sunscreen. Fishing vests are great for the trail, as they have all sorts of handy pockets. Bring or wear reflective gear if you’ll be out at or after dusk.


You should always bring a charged cell phone with you. However, it’s a good idea to turn the ringer down and the vibration off. Your horse could get spooked by the noise or vibration. Make sure the phone is on you, not in a saddlebag. That way, if Silver spooks and bolts without you, you won’t be left without it.


You may encounter bikers, hikers, or other riders. Be cautious but calm. If you’re riding on the side of a road, move with the traffic, but stay as far off the pavement as possible.

Riding Order

Going out in a group? The most experienced riders should be at the front and rear of the line. If there are green horses and/or riders, put calm, experienced ‘buddies’ near them. If a horse spooks, move your horse away from it.

Do you have questions or concerns about horse care? Contact us, your Roswell, NM pet clinic, today!