Florida Horseback Riding Trails
Florida has hundreds of horse trails in county,
state, and national parks. Here is a link to a
current directory of all trails as listed by
Florida trail riding groups. This list includes
guided trail rides for those who want to ride on
rented horses, but is mostly links to trails where
you will ride your own horse.
Preparing for shorter horseback trail rides and day
rides means accounting for water for you and your horse
as well as some nourishment along the way. Watch these
informative videos about the basics of trail riding
and horse camping.
Water is a must for rider and horse and how you
carry water is important. For rider use,
come in plastic or stainless steel with insulated
carriers that fit over the saddle horn.
You will also want to have a
bucket to bring water to your horse. For a horse
that is has been worked, give the horse small
amounts of water of eight to ten sips every five
minutes until the horse has cooled down and is no
longer thirsty. Hay bags and
nosebags are a necessity if you intend to feed
your horse along the way.
Water sources for your horse will part of your
trail ride planning and can be made easier with the
use of a
topographical maps loaded. It's generally wise to be
prepared when heading into unfamiliar territory, and
a GPS can provide protection if conditions turn out
to be less than ideal. Bad weather can reduce
visibility and wash out trails. Fog, rain, or snow
can all be problematic and make trail finding a hit
or miss proposition. A GPS can also save you on
early-season horseback packing trips where snow
might hide an otherwise obvious trail.
Food and Snacks
Preparing for shorter trail rides and day rides
means accounting for water for you and your horse as
well as some nourishment along the way. Trail snacks
are an easy and fast way to carry food for short
trips. These may include a trail mix or
that can easily be stuffed into jacket pockets or
For longer journeys, dried meals provide a light
weight alternative that offers easy preparation and
a satisfying hot meal. These meals require boiling
water so you will want to plan on having pot to heat
the water and a safe way to make a fire.
Suitable rain gear for trail riding can consist
of a simple poncho or rain suit that can be folded
into a small package and stowed in your saddle bag.
If you are packing, don’t forget a tarp for covering
your gear. Overnight stays will require a tent or
waterproof shelter to stay dry and comfortable.
And speaking of rain, don't forget your phone,
GPS and other valuables need to be kept waterproof
from rain or an free from dust along the trail.
Consider these reusable
that are guaranteed to keep you gear water and dust
Often underestimated is the effects of the sun
while on the trail all day even in the winter. The
best protection for your face and neck is a wide
brimmed western hat plus a 50+ pf sunblock lotion.
Consider a western handkerchief tied around your
neck to prevent painful sunburn on the back of your
rash guard clothing with spf factor of 50+ is a
must. Most blue jeans provide superior protection
against the sun, but all shirts don’t offer the same
level of protection. Long sleeve shirts with wicking
capabilities will provide protection and coolness
during those hotter days.
Horseback Camping in Florida
When preparing your horse for overnight camping
on the trail, it is important to get your horse used
or picket lines before you go. The same goes for
a horse being used a pack horse for the first time.
Your horse will have to feel comfortable with pack
load and with ponying behind your trail horse.
Watch these informative trail riding videos with
John Lyons riding topics about horseback riding.