Saddle Up for the Hunt: Why Horses are a Hunter’s Best Friend

Video hunting on a horse

Hunting has been a part of human life since the dawn of our species. The hunt is an age-old tradition, as well as an essential skill used to survive in the wild. But when it comes to hunting, one vital tool can make or break a successful journey: horses.

Horses provide hunters with unparalleled speed and agility that outstrips even the most talented of human runners.

Whether a hunter is tracking big game or hunting small game, having a trusty steed can mean the difference between success and failure.

Even though there are many things to consider when hunting with a horse, safety measures come first.

Before the Hunt

Taking proper protective gear and clothing, informing friends or family of your hunting location, learning the basics of responsible and ethical hunting, being aware of weather conditions in the area and local laws regarding hunting are some of the basic safety measures to take before the hunt.

It is also important to be mindful of other hunters that may be in the same vicinity. Knowing one’s own limits and abilities will help prevent accidents or injury while in the field.

Before heading out, always double check your firearm and ammunition to make sure everything is in working order. Depending on the preference, it’s better to be prepared and be sure you have enough ammo in bulk before starting the hunt.

While hunting, it is key to stay focused on safety at all times. If you are uncertain of a situation, take the time to analyze it further before taking any action.

The Benefits of Owning a Horse for Hunting Purposes

Horses offer a variety of advantages to hunters, from mobility and speed to the ability to traverse difficult terrain.

They provide a hunter with greater agility in the field, allowing them to cover more ground quickly and quietly.

Unlike motorized vehicles or ATVs, horses are able to go places that are inaccessible by other means – they can cross streams, go through thick brush, and move stealthily over uneven ground.

Horses also make it easier for a hunter to transport gear into the field and out of it.

They provide an efficient method of game retrieval. When a successful hunt ends with a kill, the horse can be used to transport the bounty back home quickly and easily.

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This is especially useful when hunting larger game, such as deer or elk, which can be a challenge to transport back to camp or home on foot.

Horses also provide companionship in the field, and many hunters find that having their horse along for the hunt adds an element of fun and enjoyment to their experience.

Horses are loyal companions, and many find the experience of spending time alone in the wilderness with their equine friend to be a rewarding one.

There’s also a certain romance associated with this age-old practice. Picturesque scenes of hunters on horseback have come to symbolize strength and courage in the face of nature’s wonders, making horseback hunting an experience that’s both nostalgic and timeless.

All in all, it’s easy to see why horses remain the hunter’s best friend. They offer a plethora of benefits that simply can’t be found in any other mode of transportation or game retrieval – making horses an integral part of the hunting experience for generations to come.

The Versatility of Horse Breeds

With so many different breeds available, there’s sure to be one that fits your hunting needs perfectly.

  • Draft horses such as the Clydesdale, Shire, and Percheron are perfect for hunters who need to cover long distances in a short amount of time. These breeds are known for their impressive strength and endurance, so you can be sure that your horse will be able to carry the weight of your supplies without tiring too quickly.
  • For those interested in tracking and pursuing games, the popular Quarter Horse is an excellent choice. This breed is known for its agility and speed, making it a great choice for hunters who need to move quickly over varied terrain. The Appaloosa also makes a good choice for hunting due to its sure-footedness and ability to pick up on subtle scents that other breeds may miss.
  • For hunters who need to traverse rocky terrain, the sure-footed and athletic Arabian is a great choice. This breed is known for its resilience, making them ideal for long days out in the field. Other breeds that are well-suited for hunting rocky terrain include the Icelandic Horse, Paso Fino, and Morgan.
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No matter what your hunting needs are, there’s sure to be a breed of horse that suits them perfectly.

Whether you need a strong draft horse for carrying heavy loads or an agile and resilient breed for traversing rocky terrain, there is a perfect horse out there to fit the bill.

Training and Bonding with a Horse

When training and bonding with a horse, hunters work together to develop trust and communication. A successful partnership between the hunter and their horse requires patience, dedication, understanding, and consistent practice.

The key to training a horse is to create an environment of understanding and mutual respect.

Every horse has its own individual personality, so it’s important for the hunter to take the time to get to know their horse before beginning formal training.

This can be done through activities such as grooming, long-lining, or simply spending time together in the paddock.

Once the horse and hunter have developed a bond of trust, formal training can begin.

This will involve teaching the horse to respond to basic commands such as stop and go, as well as more advanced techniques such as jumping or working in an arena.

However, it’s important for the hunter to remember that all horses learn at their own pace, and it’s important to be patient and consistent with their training.

Bonding with a horse is just as important as the training aspect of hunting.

This bond will allow the hunter and horse to become partners in the field, able to understand each other’s cues and anticipate each other’s movements. It also helps ensure the safety of both horse and hunter by allowing them to work together in harmony.

Training and bonding with a horse is an essential part of being a successful hunter. A strong bond between the two allows for smoother hunts and better results.

By taking the time to understand their horse, hunters can create a positive partnership that will last for years to come.

Safety Tips for Hunting with a Horse

As with all activities involving animals, there are safety considerations that must be taken in order to ensure the safety of both yourself and your horse.

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Here are some tips for hunting safely with a horse:

Wear the Right Gear

Make sure you wear appropriate protective clothing and footwear when riding a horse while hunting.

It’s also important to have the proper safety equipment, such as a helmet and back protector, in case of an unexpected fall or other emergency situation.

Be Aware of Your Environment

Pay attention to any potential dangers in the area, such as low-hanging branches or slippery terrain.

Make sure you and your horse are aware of their surroundings at all times to avoid any surprises that could cause an injury.

Keep Your Horse Calm

Hunting can be a stressful experience for both you and your horse, so try to keep your horse as calm as possible.

Make sure you give them plenty of time to rest and encourage positive behavior with treats or rewards.

Prepare for Emergencies

Have a plan in place in case of an emergency, such as a broken limb or illness, while out hunting on horseback.

Be sure to have the necessary supplies, such as a first aid kit or cell phone, and be aware of the nearest help available.

By following these safety tips when hunting with a horse, you can ensure that both you and your horse stay safe and enjoy all the benefits of hunting together. With careful planning and preparation, you’ll be able to make the most of your hunting trips for years to come.

Final Words

Hunting on horseback is an age-old tradition that has been around since horses were first domesticated.

Horses provide hunters with agility, speed, and stamina in the field, allowing them to cover more ground and have access to areas unreachable by other means of transportation.

Hunting with a trusty steed also adds an element of fun and adventure to the experience, as well as a sense of connection between man and animal.

All these things make the bond between the hunter and the horse special and provide a sense of comradery and fun to the hunting experience.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>