How to Prepare for a Horseback Hunting Trip

Aug 27, 2021Gear, Tips & Advice

Horses offer a major advantage for Kawdy hunters and we use them to access difficult terrain. They also make life easier when packing out an animal. We understand that not all hunters are horse people, and a day in the saddle can certainly leave you sore.

Even if you have no prior horseback riding experience, don’t let that part of the hunt intimidate you. Preparing for a horseback hunt is easy and our horses are great for beginner riders.

Before your next big hunting adventure, there are a number of important things you can do to prepare. We like to talk about being in good physical condition, shooting your rifle and testing your boots and other gear. Getting into the saddle is another one of those things.

Before you begin, here are a few things you should know about horseback hunting trips:

Anyone Can Do It

Like the rest of your fitness training, horseback riding becomes easier with repetition and practice. Anyone can prepare for a horseback hunt. If you’ve had bad experiences on horseback trips in the past, it doesn’t mean that you’re hopeless. Cardio exercises aren’t easy at first. Neither is horseback riding. It just takes some time.

Before riding a horse, it’s a good idea for beginners to try and become familiar. Take any opportunity to spend time around horses. Get used to how they move and act. Like dogs and most other animals, your attitude is an important factor. A calm and confident demeanor is important.

The horses at Kawdy are extremely adept at carrying passengers. They are well socialized and hard working. Treat them gently and with kindness and they will do the heavy hiking and lifting for you. This makes the horses your best friends on the mountain.

How to Prepare for a Horseback Hunt

Ride at Home

Just because you’re in peak pre-hunt condition doesn’t mean you’ll find riding easy. It requires a totally different set of muscles. Hunters who are in excellent shape might be frustrated when riding kicks them in the rear. Like many activities, you’ll probably be sore the first couple of times you do it. That’s normal.

Take advantage of every opportunity to ride at home. It will build your riding muscles and help you find a rhythm in the saddle. Ideally, you can work on mounting and dismounting, as well as basic riding and control skills. If you’re able, you might consider taking a lesson. A few helpful tips can greatly reduce fatigue. Try taking a half-day ride. Then take a full-day ride. Stick with it and you will notice the improvement.

Best of all, you’ll be in much better shape for riding that first morning when you saddle up for your hunt! Hunting vast expanses of wilderness on horseback is an incredible experience that you will never forget. Getting in better riding shape before your trip will make it all the more memorable.

Prepare for a Horseback Hunting Trip

How Horseback Hunts Work

Horses are the perfect way to cover lots of ground in this big, wilderness country. You won’t be shooting from the saddle or using them as a shooting rest. While those actions look good in the movies, they just aren’t realistic or safe.

What you can expect, is to get in the saddle each morning as we ride to a hunting location. From there, we will get off and tie up the horses to begin glassing and/or hiking. When we find an animal that we want to pursue, we might use the horses to get closer. Or in some situations, we’ll strike out on foot to make that stalk.

When an animal is harvested, having horses to pack out the meat, hide and antlers is a major asset. Depending on where the animal dies, we can sometimes bring the horses right up to the carcass. In other situations, we may have to carry the meat, hide and antlers a ways to a spot where we can get the horses close.

Contact Us With Questions

If you have questions about how to prepare, please feel free to contact us. You can also visit our Gear Page for more tips on how to prepare and pack for a trip.

If you’d like to know more about our hunts at Kawdy Outfitters, please explore the rest of the website. We offer remote hunting in northern British Columbia for moose, mountain caribou, mountain goat and stone sheep. Please don’t hesitate to contact us for availability or any other details.

Horseback Hunting in Northern British Columbia

Written by Zach Lazzari & Ryan McSparran

Zach is an outdoor writer, a hunting and fly fishing guide, and very proud to be a part of the Kawdy Outfitters team. You can follow Zach’s adventures at