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WesternSaddle.com takes pride in offering you only the finest selection of outfitter Horse Packing Gear available online today. We know that our customers look for quality and well made pack saddles. After 25 years packing & guiding in Wyoming and Montana, these products have our stamp of approval. M White
The horse and mule pack trains usually had about 100 pack animals, however, some trains were smaller and some were as long as 150 animals. Each pack animal had to be trained and usually carried 200 pounds. Depending on the size and type of animal, they could carry as much as 600 and 700 pounds. Both the mule and the horse were used in packing because they each had different packing abilities. Mules can carry more weight, work longer hours, need less feed and can manouvre more easily around narrow rocky areas on the trails. Horses, on the other hand, can travel through mud and swamps a lot easier than mules since their feet are broader. A packer had to take special care when packing the animals and make sure that goods that could get spoiled if immersed in water were packed on the mules and not on the horses. In hot weather, a horse will lie down in a creek to cool itself off and could damage the goods it was carrying. On a routine day, the packers were usually awake by 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning to get their animals packed before the flies and bugs came out and made them hard to pack. The men worked in pairs placing the packs on the pack saddles. It was very important to load the pack animals properly because a shifty pack could injure the animal's back or, even worse, send them tumbling off a cliff to their death. Once the packs were in place, the famous "diamond hitch" was thrown over the packs. When everything was ready, a bell was rung and the train was off, with an experienced horse or mule in the lead.
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