Trailhead Supply Blog / Trailhead Supply
Good morning to all of you! If you haven't heard, Andy and Jesse are at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA! Today marks halfway through the show! For coffee with Andy this morning, Andy decided to do a Facebook Live video. This is our very first video blog! Check it out below, and make sure to like us on Facebook to see all of the other fun updates from PA. Sit back, relax, and pour a cup, it's time for Coffee with Andy!
What a great day yesterday!!! Odie the shop dog and I took a road trip. Got out of the store for a day and out on the highway. We traveled over to Idaho to pick up a load of timbers we had custom cut for us. Once home, we then take these timbers cut them down again and then again, in our own shop, one step at a time to create the bars for Trailhead Supply’s own Decker pack saddles. One of the exciting things for me on the way back to Montana was that every time I stopped, let it be for coffee, snacks, or just stretch our legs, someone would point at the flatbed trailer I was pulling and say, “What are you building?” When I would reply back "pack saddles" you got the deer in the headlight look. I think they were expecting a new deck, or something along those lines. Then I would have to explain the whole process of building a saddle and how they are used on a horse or mule to transport gear and equipment in and out of the forest, etc. etc. etc. Then would continue with why my daughter and I started Trailhead Supply, over my fresh cup of coffee. While I tried to explain the whole saddle building thing to them, they would stop me and say “By hand?” “You do this all by hand? Yourself? You just don’t buy them, you build them yourself?” They’d ask. I would explain I did most of the tree construction and my son in law did most of the leather work, while my daughter fills and pushes us both along. Its truly rewarding to build a product by hand knowing is will last a lifetime while at the same time help people get out on the trails, live their dreams and keep their passion for the back country alive. Go pour another cup make some new friends along the way….
See you on the trail.
Well it’s trade show season!!! It’s that time of year when all of us here at Trailhead Supply juggle our schedules, covering both the store while also taking on the weekend shows and seminars. Every year we kick off the season with a late February show at the Montana Sportsman Expo. This is the show we dust off our trade show hats and start really getting into the groove of talking to hundreds of guests that visit our booth, tour the wall tent, or sit in on one or more of my packing seminars. This is a great show to start off with, it’s close to home (3 blocks from the store) easy to run back and grab anything we forgot to bring…Like that would ever happen. See all our missing customers and friends that have been hibernating all winter, with our never-ending snow.
We love to get out and show off all the new and exciting gear for the trail riders and in the world of packing horses and mules. What we are proudest of this year is Trailhead Supply’s new line of pack saddles. At first glance they look the same as last year, so what’s different? The decker trees are being made right here in Trailhead’s shop. Out pack saddles are 100% Trailhead made right here in Montana from the tree up!!! We all put a lot of time, quality, and pride in every decker rolling out our doors. Don’t worry we haven’t lost our focus on everyone who just wants to trail ride. We have an endless list of new tack and gear for you too!!! If you can swing by one of the upcoming events we would love to meet you and get to know all of our customers on a personal basis.
What is it about horse/mule expos? The food is always better; and it seems I always bring another mule home with me………….
See You on the Trade Show trail……..
Backcountry Horsemen of Washington Rendezvous
March 17-19 Ellensburg, WA
Backcountry Horsemen of MT State Convention
Mar 24 – 26 Polson, MT
45th Annual Salmon Select Mule & Horse Sale
April 6-8 Salmon, ID
Mile City Bucking Horse Sale
May 18 – 21 Miles City, MT
Jake Clark's Mule Days
June 14 – 18 Ralston, WY
For more details on any of these events, visit our Events page.
With hunting season just around the corner, everyone is making plans, and beginning to start packing up for that adventure to the high country. A trip to the store is in order to buy some of that latest and greatest gear for this years trip. But what color gear are you buying ??? This has been the discussion around the coffee pot at Trailhead Supply. The bow hunters always arrive first picking up certified feed and a new bow scabbards to protect that new big dollar investment. They all seem to want camo, or green, maybe brown. So, I ask why not orange?? Their answer… “I bow hunt.” Ok I get that, but you’re not chasing down that 6 point bull and shooting off the back of a galloping horse. Your trusty riding mule isn’t belly crawling behind you through the brush and resupplying you with arrows till you make that perfect shot like some over paid caddy on the PGA tour. No, you left him somewhere way down the hill side, tied to a big old tree, where he will stand until your return. Then they ask, Well what color should I buy?”
I say orange, I use orange…..give them a little help while tied to that tree, or going down the trail. I’ve taught hunter education for 20 years, have hunted since I was 4 years old, your stock needs color. I know there are some folks in the woods that if it’s got 4 legs it needs to be in the freezer. Brighten up those animals, orange pack pads, saddle bags, bow scabbards, we even have orange tree savers to help add some color while they are highlined. You never know you might not run into the highline this year and hang yourself while walking around camp. Bonus!
All of you non hunters, if you think that just because you don’t hunt means you shouldn’t sport some flashy orange, you’re wrong… BE SEEN while enjoying the great outdoors. No matter why you are out enjoying some great autumn riding and fall colors, be safe and be seen.
Happy & Safe Trails,
Need to add orange to your string? Stop by the store, or shop online.
Confidence to get out and pack on your own is probably the biggest hurdle every new packer faces. I tell everyone just get out and go, but what holds everyone back??? It’s the fear of having a wreck, a yard sale, planting potatoes, just the plain scattering of your belongings all over the hillside. Wrecks come in every shape and size. You call them what you want and most good ones end up being named. It seems that hurting your animal and or yourself in the process is secondary in our thought process……It’s the “wreck” that scares us. So, how do you avoid disaster in the middle of nowhere?
When the turmoil starts it’s hard to stop the chain of events to follow; let it be a lead rope around the leg or the dreaded rolling saddle. It could be as little as a rattle deep down in a pack or tying an animal in the string in the wrong order. Most wrecks are avoidable; well with the exception of running over a ground nest of yellow jackets, but even then all you have to do is turn around. What made me think about this subject was as I ride down the trail and follow the other folks I pack with I notice they never turn around. They are all just looking ahead. Take last week, I’m following a buddy down the trail and I see his second saddle back leaning to the right. I yell up at him and say “Your saddles leaning left.” He never turns around and yells back ok. Then a few minutes later “HEY !!!! she going to roll” “OK I’ll find a flat spot,” 5 minutes later she rolled……….All he would have had to do was turn around, see the issue, stop and fixed it. I spend about a third of my time looking backwards at the string.
Why do saddles roll? A number of reasons. Why do horses step over lead ropes? Who knows, some are just challenged. But as those normal problems on the trail start to occur, you can spot them. Stop and fix them before all hell breaks loose. Just turn around…