The need for good horse equipment
It is important to remember that any equipment is used to be kept in a good condition and free from wear and tear. In particular, important items such as reins, girth, girth straps and stirrup leathers should be regularly checked to prevent wear and tear from going unnoticed and becoming dangerous. It is not only the stitching that needs to be monitored, any leather cleaner / saddle soap should be used to prevent cracks, weaknesses and tears. Whichever saddle you use, GP, western or synthetic, it should fit true and your bridle should sit comfortably and neither should rub in any place.
There are a wide range of safety accessories that can be utilised when hacking.
Boots and or bandages are the best ways of offering protection to the horses legs. There are many different types, fetlock boots; brushing boots; complete boots that offer protection to the tendons and fetlocks as well as wicking moisture away from the legs, preventing rubbing and over-reach boots. These can be made using many different materials, leather, neoprene, nylon and synthetic fabrics are all common.
When you know that the ground or footing in areas you will be hacking through the horses shoes can help in horse a firmer footing, helping to prevent dangerous slipping and sliding. There are other techniques that can help to prevent the build up of snow in the horses hooves that can be discussed with your farrier if you find yourself having to ride in snowy conditions frequently.
A mobile phone is now an essential of everyday life for most people. For safety reasons this should also be taken with you when hacking out, especially if horses riding out alone. This is best carried in a secure pocket with the ringer off so as not to startle your horse should it go off. In the event of the emergency you can use your phone to call the vet, your yard or your home should you need it. Even the most isolated areas should allow you to use emergency numbers, preventing you from being stranded in the case of an emergency.