We are using all local Chilean saddles and gear. Most of this equipment is made by our local saddle maker Leandro Antpan Antilef from Villarrica. Saddlebags and Chaps we sew on our 1936 Singer ourselves. Alejandra has quite a talent for plaiting and makes some of the headgear.
We use typical Chilean "Avio" working saddles, designed for a long days on horseback and are very comfortable for both rider and horse. The base is a wooden frame held together by pieces of metal in the front and back. The seat is formed by a broad band of rawhide tied in between the frame. It's covered by a wool-filled pad, followed by 2 - 6 layers of sheep fleece and a leather cover. All parts are strapped together by the "cincha" which holds the saddle on the horse's back.
The original Chilean stirrups are made of wood and are beautifully carved. Unfortunately, it is hard to fit your foot securely inside unless you're wearing the traditional pointed boots of the Chilean Huaso. Our saddler makes extra wide leather-covered "capacho" stirrups, so that wider shoes, like hiking boots, can easily fit. They offer good protection while riding through bushes and prevent branches and vines from tangling about your foot. We can also provide classical open stirrups for those who desire them.
Our half chaps are worn around the calf and are reinforced to protect your legs and prevent them from being rubbed and pinched by the stirrup strap. They also protect your trousers from the horse's sweat and guard against bushes, prickers, and thorns.
We use them on every ride, from half-day to several-day trail rides.
You can find bridles and reins made of many different materials across the Chilean countryside, including leather, PVC, and ropes. We use the traditional hand-plaited reins, inox bits, and simple rawhide headstalls. Some of our horses are trained to be ridden without a bit; just slip on a halter or a rope and jump on. You can try out this method in the pasture if you like!
While trekking, all gear is packed in saddlebags we make ourselves out of sturdy leather. Tents and sleeping bags are stored inside waterproof bags to protect against rain and horse sweat, and then placed within canvas sacks and attached behind the saddle across the horse's rump.
Felt pad, saddle, girth, and "capacho" stirrups.
We use dome tents, and our standard tent is the "Salewa" Denali triple and "Robens" Lodge 3. Firm, lightweight, but spacious with two entrances, they are perfect for two sleepers. We also use Lodge 2 and Denali 2 for single sleepers
The bags are "Doite" a Chilean brand. Comfort zone: -7-0 degrees Celsius/ 19 - 32 degrees Fahrenheit. We wash them after each use and they do not have more than 3 seasons of use.