Horseback Riding in Alberta | Trail Tips for you and your Horse
Jan. 14, 2020
The Iron Horse Trail is a trail-users dream. 300kms of beautiful trails that are maintained by trail volunteers, plenty of stops along the way and endless things to see. Trail users are permitted on the trail on ATVs, bicycles, wagons, on foot and horseback. Horseback riding in Alberta is an exceptional way to experience a place like the Iron Horse Trail. The trail remains peaceful, without the roaring engine of an ATV and you see so much more going at a steady pace.
As with any trail ride though, you need to take proper care to travel down the trail safely. You need to leave fully prepared for any possible scenario. Here are some great ways to enjoy the trail on horseback and travel safely & worry-free.
Don’t ride alone & bring a cell-phone
If possible, always head out on the trail with a buddy or a group, especially riding the trail on horseback. If your horse gets injured, you encounter wildlife or you need help for any other reason, you’ll have someone there to help you. You are also less likely to have a bad run-in with wildlife if you are on the trail with multiple people on horses.
Bring a cell-phone (or several) with fully charged batteries. If an issue arises or your horse cannot carry on, you’ll need to call for help. If you’re on a trail section with no cell signal, have another group member ride to a spot that does and call someone.
Bring a first-aid kit
You should always have a first-aid kit with you when you’re out in the forest on a trail. Medical help is not always just a few minutes away so you need to have a proper first-aid kit in the event of an emergency. When you’re horseback riding in Alberta, or on any trail, be sure to bring a proper kit for your horse as well. Bring bandages, anti-bacterial spray and hoof pliers. Even non-emergency situations, like a rock in their hoof or a loose horseshoe can present themselves and it’s better to just be prepared.
Bring a map and stay on the marked trails
The Iron Horse trail is pretty easy to navigate and there aren’t many chances to veer off and get lost, but bringing along a map just brings some peace-of-mind. A map can come in handy if you leave the trail to explore one of the communities along the way and don’t remember where you need to go to get back on the trail.
Bring a good camera and enjoy the adventure
Horseback riding in Alberta presents so many photo ops. When you head down the Iron Horse Trail you’ll find old trains, wildlife, abandoned (but still standing) railway stations, water towers, lakes, rivers, bridges and so much more. You can capture some amazing photos or even video footage from the driver’s seat of a horse as you saunter down the trail.
Touring the Iron Horse Trail on horseback is a wonderful experience for all. By being prepared and following proper trail etiquette, you reduce the risk of accidents. Be mindful of other riders and be trail-smart. Happy trails!