We love long days in saddle, exploring trails new and old, taking in the sights and sounds with my four-footed friend, especially as the days get longer, warmer and drier. Of course, longer rides, particularly in remote locations, require the kind of accessories -- such as water bottles and snacks -- that don't fit in a pocket. Enter the saddle bag.
Right after D-rings and joddies with phone pockets, saddle bags have to be trail rider's best friend -- I know they're one of mine! From large rear bags you can shove a hoof boot (or two) in, to small pommel bags and water bottle holders the options are practically endless.
However, as fabulous as all the options and configurations are, they can make find the right bag tricky. We've made a list of some of our favourites to help you out.
As summer approaches, being prepared for hot days under the harsh sun is important, which is why we like to saddle up with water bottle holders and small pommel bags.
Cashel's Water Bottle Holder is a great option if you want to travel light. With multiple attachment options, it suits both English and Western saddles and easily accommodates most bottles, including both the handy Contigo Autospout 700ml.
If you need more storage, Cashel also makes a combination Water Bottle and GPS holder with a removable clear plastic pouch that's provides easy access to GPS device or phone.
Another handy, easy access saddle bag is the Small Pommel bag, a quick storage option for those smaller necessities, such as lip balms, muesli bars, mints and hoof picks.
Longer days in the saddle often require more stuff, and rear saddle bags are a great solution.
One of our favourites is Cashel's Deluxe Rear Bag. Not only do they feature a removable, insulated lining, they're big enough to carry a spare hoof boot or two (with room left over for lunch) and they have multiple pockets.
Cashel also makes a really great cantle bag with and without water bottle holders.
An unfortunate fact of saddle bags is that they don't always fit perfectly to your saddle, fortunately we have a solution for that.
Evolve Saddle Tie-Up Strings are made right here in Mansfield, Victoria and are godsend when you need to tie down a coat, flapping bag or any other accessories. They're a fabulous addition to any saddle bag purchase.