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View Full Version : A new remuda, building the ultimate backcountry packstring?



Edelweiss
04-10-2013, 04:30 PM
As we get closer to coming home from Australia, I started thinking about getting together a string of 4-7 nags to get into the back country with.

This is how I grew up hunting elk, and to me, it's the way it is done.

The first 5 years in the Navy, the old man was closing out his packstring and down sizing to the point he had 5 or 6 BLM burros, a couple foxtrotter horses and a mule. He eventually got hurt to the point he wasn't able to take care of all that and sold the lot off.

What do you guys think about breed/donkeys/mules for a new backcountry remuda?

I am thinking a Norweigian Fjords, and if I can find good enough cheap enough get into some mammoth mules.

Colorado Cowboy
04-10-2013, 05:45 PM
I'm no expert, but I really like riding big mules. My last back country/wilderness trip I rode a really giant mule. He was surefooted, smart and very comfortable. At one time I was considering getting some stock to ride and pack with and looked imto riding mule. Remember it was a breeder in Arizona....pretty pricey too as i remember.

Edelweiss
04-10-2013, 06:31 PM
That's the problem with them. The 2nd problem is you really can't ride the bastards until they are 7 or 8, as they are a little too rascally. I think you could probably pack them at 4.

AnthonyVR
04-11-2013, 12:21 PM
Mules are incredibly smart, smart enough in fact that they will absolutely refuse to do something they don't want to do. A good horse would do anything for you, which could get you into trouble. Personally I would lead with a good horse and pack the mules. I have worked around the big mammoth crosses and they are impressive to say the least. Quarter/Draft crosses make excellent mountain horses but can be some rough riding sonofaguns.

Bitterroot Bulls
04-11-2013, 12:27 PM
I ride and pack horses. Geldings only for me.

Edelweiss
04-11-2013, 03:22 PM
I ride and pack horses. Geldings only for me.

What breed do you use?

IdahoMeatHunterHorseback
05-10-2013, 12:13 PM
I agree. Ride a GOOD mountain horse. Temperament and sure footed-ness are way more important than breed. keep in mind, QH's are bred to run. I ride a Shire x QH cross. he's gentle, and 1600 lbs. I can pack my large self, a small camp, weapon, and hunting pack for 3-4 days. I can also pack an elk out if I lead my big guy out.
Ideally tho, the best trail stock would be a mule out of a Tennessee Walker or Fox trotter, or anything with a short back. These guys can really cover some ground.
Another really good thing to consider is feet (hooves). I am a professional farrier. I would never take an animal into the backcountry if he has bad feet. If you loose a shoe, you might be leaving him back there for a while.

mntnguide
05-10-2013, 02:25 PM
I start breaking mules around 2-3 years of age with packing. Depending on the mule, I will put a saddle & bit on when they are 3-4, but that all depends on the temperament of the mule. You definitely do not need to wait until they are 7-8 to ride them, TO many bad habits can be caused by then to ever get fixed from a pack mule to a riding mule. I personally ride horses and pack both mules and horses. I prefer mules for packing as they are much better as a string animal, where as long strings with horses usually end up in constant break-aways because they are always trying to get up next to the one in front or go around each other. That being said, I have had a few amazing pack horses, but I still prefer mainly mules with a couple horses if needed. The ultimate mountain horses are hands down Quarter horse/Draft cross. Big feet, sturdy build, and usually good Blue(hard) hooves. That is entirely what our dude horses are for hunting camp and pack trips. They are dependible and always well natured with the draft cross. I really enjoy the Morgan/Quarter cross in particular. Now I am saying these are for mountains, If you want a horse to go fast on comfortably every once and a while, those bastards can be some of the most uncomfortable gaits around, but amazing in the mountains. I personally have a couple young pure Quarter horses as my own that work great for me, but I still have to watch their weight all summer and change them out periodically on my trips unlike some of the draft crosses who hold weight much better. Happy Trails!
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Fink
05-10-2013, 02:38 PM
I agree. Ride a GOOD mountain horse. Temperament and sure footed-ness are way more important than breed. keep in mind, QH's are bred to run. I ride a Shire x QH cross. he's gentle, and 1600 lbs. I can pack my large self, a small camp, weapon, and hunting pack for 3-4 days. I can also pack an elk out if I lead my big guy out.
Ideally tho, the best trail stock would be a mule out of a Tennessee Walker or Fox trotter, or anything with a short back. These guys can really cover some ground.


That horse is huge, I'd need an extension ladder to get on board!

sjsmallfield
05-10-2013, 07:00 PM
I start breaking mules around 2-3 years of age with packing. Depending on the mule, I will put a saddle & bit on when they are 3-4, but that all depends on the temperament of the mule. You definitely do not need to wait until they are 7-8 to ride them, TO many bad habits can be caused by then to ever get fixed from a pack mule to a riding mule. I personally ride horses and pack both mules and horses. I prefer mules for packing as they are much better as a string animal, where as long strings with horses usually end up in constant break-aways because they are always trying to get up next to the one in front or go around each other. That being said, I have had a few amazing pack horses, but I still prefer mainly mules with a couple horses if needed. The ultimate mountain horses are hands down Quarter horse/Draft cross. Big feet, sturdy build, and usually good Blue(hard) hooves. That is entirely what our dude horses are for hunting camp and pack trips. They are dependible and always well natured with the draft cross. I really enjoy the Morgan/Quarter cross in particular. Now I am saying these are for mountains, If you want a horse to go fast on comfortably every once and a while, those bastards can be some of the most uncomfortable gaits around, but amazing in the mountains. I personally have a couple young pure Quarter horses as my own that work great for me, but I still have to watch their weight all summer and change them out periodically on my trips unlike some of the draft crosses who hold weight much better. Happy Trails!

That is a really cool pack string picture mntnguide.