Montana - The Last Best Place for the Horseman!!
Yes, Western Montana is a horse person's heaven. Miles of wilderness trails with views, fishing, camping, hunting, and every possible way to experience fun with your horse.
The Bitterroot Valley, as you will find out, serves as a jumping off point for the wilderness. From the valley floor, numerous trails extend both to the east and west into designated Federal Wildernesses. The very productive Bitterroot River flows for nearly 90 miles in a more northerly flow from the south end of the valley. The numerous streams from the east side of the valley bring nutrients to the river and those from the west side bring cool water from the Selway Wilderness. The result is that we have one of the most productive Blue Ribbon Trout rivers in the world, with some stretches boasting 1000 fish per mile!
Ok, let's look at what you should take with you on your day trip on a mountain trail. First, I want you to think ahead...at what could happen. You are responsible for yourself, companions and your horse, so prepare! Here is a list of basic items fro your horn bag.
Matches, knife, flashlight, canteen, compass, space blanket, rope, bandages/vet wrap, map and duct tape. (don't forget food too)
I also recommend a handgun...not that you will need to shoot anything necessarily, but it makes a good noise maker to scare both two legged and four legged "critters". In nearly 50 years of back country riding, I have only needed it to scare an overly amorous moose from my horses!
Good luck and let me know if I may assist you in your search for your piece of paradise! Next week we will present some ideas about overnight horse trips.
Horseman's blog written by: Bill Zader - firstname.lastname@example.org