In Defense Of The Fanny Pack

I took my horse out for a local hunter pace a few weeks ago. We’re not really the regular trail riding types. But it’s fun to get out of the arena sometimes and make new friends. 

After riding a few hours through a beautiful state park, I came across a group of teenage girls and their horses at the end of the trail. Two of them were wearing fanny packs. 

I was intrigued. Their fanny packs looked older than they were. One had faded neon colors – clearly a relic from the 80s. The other had a pouch for a water bottle. 

What an ingenious idea, I thought. 

Now wait a second. Just hear me out. 

My horse was lathered in sweat and I was pretty winded from the 9-mile ride. How great it would have been to have had that fanny pack, with a cold water bottle in it. I had left my phone back in the truck as well, too fearful of losing or breaking it in my breeches pocket while galloping around. 

So the next time I visited my favorite thrift store, I made mental note to look around for a fanny pack. 

Hipsters and indie fashion types have breathed new life into fanny packs these days. I could buy a cool $40 one online if I really wanted. But I’m not in this to look cool. I just wanted something functional. 

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There are equestrian products out there that offer a similar experience – stretchy fabric-type belts with pockets, that remind me of those weird “money pouches” my grandma used to use on international trips to ward off pick-pocketers. But they’re not equipped to hold a bottle of water. 

And I have tried a CamelBack backpack before. It’s great to use while snow-skiing, but it sloshed around too much when I was in the saddle. 

Luckily for me, my thrift store did not let me down. 

For $8 I took home a light blue and grey bad boy pack that looked like it once belonged to a serious road biker. It had the water bottle pocket I was looking for. It had two additional pockets – one for my phone and another for, you guessed it, snacks. 

I tried it out at the barn one day. The fanny pack stayed firmly in place around my hips while I cantered around and even jumped. The water bottle never fell out. 

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Now, do I think I’ll use my fanny pack for regular arena work or cross-country schooling? Probably not. But is it the perfect, albeit embarrassing, accessory for a trail ride or hunter pace? You betcha. 

I understand that the fanny pack life isn’t for everybody. But you just can’t waste your time worrying about what other people think of you (and your cool fanny pack). Ain’t nobody got time for that. 


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