Letter Re: Equestrian Survival – Part 4


The author of this submission Part 4, recommends “saddle soap” be applied to bridles and all leather tack components. Based on 30+ years of equestrian training and almost daily use of leather tack use, I can say without reservation that the absolute worst product to use on leather of any type is saddle soap! Saddle soap contains alkaloids that strip the natural oils and any other oil compounds applied to leather goods of any type during manufacture and/or in the tanning process. If you’ve ever looked at old or antique leather holsters, tack, or saddles and observed many small spider web-like cracks or dry rot, this is the direct result of constant application of saddle soap over time. Never use saddle soap to clean leather products, period! The absolute best product to clean leather tack is a product called Lexol. (www.lexol.com ) Lexol cleans, moisturizes, waterproofs, and protects leather … Continue reading

Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 4, by R.M.

You can buy a lance head and boot at Cotswoldsport to make your lance. Bamboo is a good staff to use, but other woods work. Your ability to control the lance can be influenced; it’s the weight.

I don’t really know western gear. I was trained in the European tradition– German, Austrian, and English styles. So I use that kind of gear. Saddle, cinch, stirrups, bridle with snaffle and bit (eggbut/something soft on the mouth). Know your horse’s teeth. If they need to be floated, do it. All western bits look too hard on the mouth to me. You might know better. If you are controlling your horse (hard mouthed horse) mostly by the mouth, you might not have a horse you can count on in stressful situations. If that’s all you’ve got, make do.

I bring a rasp and prefer a horse who doesn’t need shoes. You can shape … Continue reading

Letter Re: Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out


I enjoyed reading Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 1, by R.M. and am looking forward to the remaining part(s).

If you’re serious about such you might want to find, download, print, read, study, and learn the info in FM 3-05.213 (FM 31-27) Special Forces Use of Pack Animals

My Dad was raised in West Texas in the 1920’s-40’s. This was long before rural electrification and other such luxuries. He cowboyed for his boyhood friend’s Dad for several years as a pre-teen and teenager. Dad and his friend, R.L., did it the old fashioned way, on the back of a horse.

I gave Dad a copy of the manual about 14 years ago and had him read it. His opinion – “worth the read, worth the knowing, and a good start.”

His final statement, “A book on mule … Continue reading

Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 3, by R.M.

It also pays to have practiced riding bare back. If you have to run, you may not have time to saddle up and will be fortunate enough to grab your rig. It’s like riding at a trot without posting. You will sit full on the back where the saddle would be, back straight up, allowing the body to become one with the horse’s up and down motion. Moving to the canter or full gallop is easier. Your body must be fluid with the horse. Running away, then collecting yourself, and returning on foot to take back gear might work and might save your animal. An undefendable situation requires retreat, even if you have to leave gear behind.

You might think that, if you have a gun, none of those things matter. First, let me say that we have a duty to preserve God’s creation. In most cases that includes … Continue reading

Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 2, by R.M.

Figure Out How Much Weight Your Horse Can Handle

If things head south, and you think you might have to use your horse under stress at some point in the near future, keep his weight right and work his chest. A firm horse is one you can rely upon. Using a soft horse for a strenuous endeavor is not fair to the horse and is a safety hazard to you. Every horse is different. A horse with bad conformation (bone structure) can’t have much expected of him; a swayback isn’t a long distance choice. You have to have a good idea of how they function/feel best. Most preferable is a horse who can’t wait to go for a ride.

Once you’ve developed an honest assessment of what you and your horse are capable of, it’s time to figure out how much weight the horse can handle. A day trip … Continue reading

Equestrian Survival For Bugging Out, Recon, Rescue, Projection of Force, or Hunting- Part 1, by R.M.

Assess Your Horse’s Capabilities and Temperament

We all love to think of our horses as part of the family. Some might love their horses. Let me begin by saying that before you do an overnight or longer trip away from all the comforts of home, you need to honestly assess your horse’s capabilities and temperament. Temperament is key here. I am careful to choose the horse for the job. I prefer traveling far with my dog as well. He is a great scout, level headed, and loves to ride. He often hunts for himself, but I always bring food for him. Mind you, once horse and dog are out for four or five hours, their temperament smooths.

I have made my horse aware of the terrain. He can surf down a steep mountain trail with loose scree or find his way home five hours out, through thick forest on … Continue reading

Letter Re: Donkeys as Pack Animals


Good info from B.W. We also have donkeys, miniature donkeys. They make excellent pets and fine companions on the trail. We hike and even camp with ours, as well as string them along with their packs behind our mules on trail rides. When introduced properly, they get along fine with the family/farm dogs. We have found their personalities to be very similar to dogs, and they will even lay their head in your lap for attention.

Donkeys also make excellent property alarm systems. Our little pair will begin braying at the approach of a car or truck long before I hear it coming up our long gravel drive. Their “radar” and those lovable long ears are impeccable indicators of approach or movement by wildlife. All I have to do is follow their gaze or the direction of those ears and more times than not there’s a … Continue reading

Donkeys As Pack Animals For Survival And Recreation- Part 2, by B.W.

We are fortunate to have a mother donkey and two of her offspring from subsequent years who are both females (jennys). We have had the younger ones since they were foals and have hiked with them and their mother since they were four or five months old. The mother was always on a lead, but the younger one were both on lead and off lead. By doing this we trained the younger ones to keep up with us off lead when we are in wide open spaces. As a result of this, we can hike in the state forests on old logging roads with the younger ones off lead even without the mother, and the youngsters look at us as the lead donkey and rarely ever get more than 100 yards away from us. The mother donkey can not reliably be turned loose off lead. She doesn’t run away, but … Continue reading

Donkeys as Pack Animals for Survival and Recreation- Part 1, by B.W.

Moving unobtrusively over land with pack animals whether for recreation or in an emergency situation is both enjoyable and possibly a lifesaving endeavor. This article concerns my experience with donkeys as a veterinarian and as someone who has prepared as much as possible over the years for whatever circumstances may arise in the world we live in. I hope this information will persuade you to look into pack animals, such as donkeys, in your preparedness planning if your circumstances will allow.

My wife and I have owned and ridden horses for the majority of our lives but got out of the horse business about eight years ago primarily due to a downsizing in pasture acreage. We have had donkeys now for the past four years. I did not consider myself “expert ” enough to write an article on donkeys, but after reading a few discussions about donkeys on other survival … Continue reading

Letter Re: Thriving With Airedales


It appears that the War Dog leashes I purchased may be available again. In looking up the company (T3gear.com) they are now carrying a leash that appears to be similar to, if not the same as, the ones I bought when I knew the people running the company. Link supplied merely to assist. I cannot vouch for this particular product; the leashes I have are amazing, and these look nearly identical. I have no connection to this company – “Food Guy”

Thriving With Airedales, by Food Guy and Treat Girl

The article “Surviving An Airedale” was a good start. The writer has begun a journey we started almost seven years ago, and the advice on raising a puppy is pretty good; we’d not argue with it. Crate training is very important, as is all training for these strong-willed and very bright dogs. We bought our Airedales in part due to JWR’s recommendation. The breed being hypo-allergenic was also a major consideration. The dogs are an ideal compromise in size for a couple whose childhood dogs were Great Danes and miniature Poodles, respectively. We considered standard Poodles as well, but the Airedales won out. They are at once a “Force Multiplier” and a joyous addition to our household. We are now a “pack”.

We’ve done and learned some things that perhaps warrant consideration:

Not Only One Airedale

You don’t want just one Airedale. Unless you’re a stay-at-home person who is … Continue reading

Bees: Security Guard or Grocery Store?- Part 3, by J.P.

Finding Bees: Before and After SHTF (continued)

You can take a piece of an active hive and wire it into a frame in your hive. (Suit up and use a little smoke, which makes bees think their hive is on fire and they have to eat all the honey to save it). If you pay close enough attention and can access the comb, you will find that some comb cells have what look like tiny grains of rice in them. Using a strong flashlight helps to see them; these are new bee eggs! The best spots to take have flat brownish coverings (called capped brood) with open cells with eggs circling it, and will be mostly in the center of big chunks of dark color comb. By taking just a piece of this comb from a wild hive (with some “nurse” bees that cling to it), you can put it … Continue reading

Bees: Security Guard or Grocery Store?- Part 2, by J.P.

Uses for Bees: Security

On the topic of prepping functionality, let’s discuss a topic outside of the traditional bee box; le’s talk about a human home’s security. Yes, it is usually a good idea to protect your hive to keep it safe, but what about the bee’s owners? Are they protected? I have noticed very quickly, since raising bees, the level of fear they invoke in humans. (I’d also like to make a suggestion that human-bee relations can be best improved with a 40-60-inch tall solid fence approximately four feet in front and also to the side of hive entrances; this forces the bees to fly upward rather than outward.) Since bees are like any other animal that will be grouchy if provoked, they can be counted on to do just that in certain scenarios.

A beehive can become a very valuable force multiplier in an engagement or hostile situation … Continue reading

Bees: Security Guard or Grocery Store?- Part 1, by J.P.

When I first woke up to the reality of what we, as humans, are being subjected to on a daily basis, I was indeed in a state of panic. With people killing innocents left and right, genetic “Franken-food”, the poisoning of food and water due to negligence, life can seem real heavy real fast. That feeling of fear was the turning point for me, telling me that I needed to slow my life down and enjoy the wonderful gifts that the Lord has granted us, humans, here on earth.

One marvelous gift that has been granted upon us is the lowly bee. It is amazing how beautiful of a creation they are. Even science was confused how they can fly and support their own weight during flight (not to mention surplus nectar). There are many varieties and species of bees. I will reference most of this article on the honeybee.

Continue reading

Letter Re: Airedales

Mr. Rawles,
Regarding the article about Airedales, I literally re-lived my childhood reading it. My family has had many Airedale dogs over the past 30 years.

These beautiful dogs are the “class clowns” of the dog world. You couldn’t ask for a more faithful, protective, humorous, and friendly dog. And they will turn incredibly vicious to protect their owner or if they are challenged by other dogs.

I recall as a young boy my father walking our Airedale when a German Shepard, that was much bigger and not on a leash, came racing over to attack our Airedale. Our little female Airedale had that German down in seconds in a lethal neck bite. It happened so fast my father didn’t have time to properly restrain our dog, which he had on a leash, and yet despite our dog being semi-restrained against the much bigger dog, she fought and took … Continue reading