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Camping with horses

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  • Camping with horses

    I'm contemplating joining some friends on an overnight trail ride this fall. Site does have corrals but that's it.

    I'm not a camper, haven't camped since a school trip in middle school.

    What types of things would I need for my self and my horse? I know buckets, feed, hay, manure fork, halters, for the horse but what else am I missing. I do have a goose neck trailer but it doesn't have sleeping room or anything.

    Also, I've never been on a trail ride in a public place, only on private land. Anything special I should consider bringing? It would just be a day ride around a local lake. I've got saddle bags, I normally keep an extra knife, a snack bar, and water in them but not much else.

  • #2
    I am starting to plan for doing exactly this next year.

    Have you ridden your horse in open country in a group w t c and do you know how he reacts to cows dogs deer bear?

    If you are already able to do a day trip trail ride or horse show and picnic lunch, the big thing for camping will be organizing the human end of things. Will you get a tent, or will you sleep in the trailer? Do you have a sleeping bag and mattress? Do you have camping cookware and utensils? What do you want to bring for meals? You will need to cook all your meals while you are there.

    What facilities are there, do you need to bring a camp stove, firewood, drinking water?

    I've checked out camp sites like the one you mention and horse care looks easy. Pop them in a corral with a hay net and water bucket. The human end of things is just like car camping, better if you have an RV but still manageable with a tent.

    I find car camping in general to be not worth the effort but I love the idea if doing it with a horse!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
      I am starting to plan for doing exactly this next year.

      Have you ridden your horse in open country in a group w t c and do you know how he reacts to cows dogs deer bear?

      If you are already able to do a day trip trail ride or horse show and picnic lunch, the big thing for camping will be organizing the human end of things. Will you get a tent, or will you sleep in the trailer? Do you have a sleeping bag and mattress? Do you have camping cookware and utensils? What do you want to bring for meals? You will need to cook all your meals while you are there.

      What facilities are there, do you need to bring a camp stove, firewood, drinking water?

      I've checked out camp sites like the one you mention and horse care looks easy. Pop them in a corral with a hay net and water bucket. The human end of things is just like car camping, better if you have an RV but still manageable with a tent.

      I find car camping in general to be not worth the effort but I love the idea if doing it with a horse!
      Yes, he's pretty well exposed. We've been out and about, done mounted patrol, been to shows and clinics, ridden on several hundred private acres, etc. Luckily, we're not in bear country cuz I'm not sure I'd handle that well, nevermind him lol

      Those are all fantastic questions about the human side that I hadn't thought of, I never considered anything past am I going to sleep in my truck? or borrow camping gear from my outdoorsy sister? Guess I better hop over to google and see what's out there. Luckily (unluckily?), I'll only be about 45mins from home and 15 mins from town so it's not like we have to rough it too much.

      All else fails, I can just haul over in the morning then go home to my climate-controlled house haha

      Comment


      • #4
        That's actually a great try out for camping! You can just go overnight and do a test run of your gear. That's what I need but I don't think there's a campsite within 3 hours of where I live. Perhaps I need to go do a trial run at a friend's farm, set up the tent, etc. The camps I have in mind are really back country. Anyhow I will follow this thread to see what the folks who really know what they're doing have to say!

        Comment


        • #5
          Teach your horse to lead with a headlamp or a flashlight. When we used to go camping, it never failed to amaze me how many people who had horses that they couldn't lead in the dark. All of my old crew would even lead with a Coleman lantern, the old kind that "hissed"
          Good luck, and have fun!

          Comment


          • #6
            Check the forecast before deciding where you'll sleep.
            If it won't be too cold you can put a sleeping bag in the GN & be comfy - a foam pad under the sleeping bag will keep you warmer, but a chilly night could make even that a bit too cold for comfort.
            I've slept in the back of my Ford Explorer & been fine for a weekend w/foam & sleeping bag.

            If you aren't parked close to bathrooms (or if there are none) you can improvise with a 5gal bucket lined with HD garbage bag & filled w/kitty litter, Store in your trailer & Voila! private potty,
            Some people even get a toilet seat to plop on top the bucket,

            If you can't get a corral, be sure your horse will tie on a highline.

            Sounds like fun & I'm sure your experienced friends will help out
            Have fun!
            *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
            Steppin' Out 1988-2004
            Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
            Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

            Comment


            • #7
              I recently camped at Fairhill with the horses. The horses have stalls. Three of the ladies "camped" at the Hampton Inn. But two of us set up shop in my 2 horse straight load. We cleaned out the horse compartment well, put down a reflective tarp, the Queen air mattress and a 3 inch foam topper. We slept in sleeping bags. It was dry and the addition of the foam topper on the air mattress made a huge difference to the comfort of an air mattress.
              We had coolers and ice for food, water. The first night we were there we were able to rent a camp site with water, electric and a wood grill. So I made dinner on that grill. I have a little portable camping propane grill that decided to crap out this year but in the past we have used that to reheat quiche for breakfast, cook eggs/bacon and reheat coffee.
              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

              Comment


              • #8
                Here ya go:

                Here's my comprehensive checklist for camping with horses. I have several friends that print this list out and use it
                http://www.horseshoesandhappyhours.c...ping-w-horses/

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Thanks for all your replies!

                  Luckily, the horse is used to all kinds of flashlights and other odd lights. It always surprises me when horses aren't but it happens lol

                  I was out at the campsite a few years ago and there were runs you could rent, checked the website for prices and I don't see them now so camping may be out. He's never tied to a highline and I don't know that I'll have time to work on that in the next few weeks. He's an expert at untying himself so I don't trust tying him all night to the trailer or anything.

                  Thanks again guys, lots to think about!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I see in the original post your sure has a corral. That makes life easy. Remember to bring some bungies to tie up the buckets. Most other things have either been mentioned or are in the list.

                    I went camping for the first time with my gelding last year. It was just he and I. He was alert but not in a bad way. As soon as we got to the campground I backed him out of the trailer, picked his feet, then hopped up on him bareback in just his halter. We took a walk around the place. That seemed to put him at ease. It was really an enjoyable weekend!

                    Just relax and have fun. Bring some extra treats and visit your boy a few times. That's all I did. This year life got in the way of camping, but it's something I'm looking forward to doing again in the Spring.
                    If at first you don't succeed, get back on the horse and try it again!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I just went camping a week ago. The horses had stalls at the place we stayed. We clean out the back of my trailer(2h straight load), put down tarp and then a camping mat. We wipe down the walls with Chlorox wipes. We set up cots, with a thick pad or sleeping bag as the base and then actual sheets and blankets for covers. we rented a site with electric. We're old and like to have a few creature comforts. The site had a picnic table and we brought a folding table to hold my friend's Keurig, propane stove and allow prep space for cooking. I bring a pop up tent with open sides to go over the tables and allow a place to sit in our zero gravity chairs. What can I say? We like to be comfortable. We have a small heater we can use if needed and I always bring a handful of hot hands just in case.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I realize that I'm two months late in replying to this. I camp a LOT. In fact, I have to trailer away from home for every ride. Lucky for me Utah is 74% public land, So lots of places to ride. I usually take a long weekend at least once a month where we camp vs just doing a Saturday ride. I've tried about every combination of how to camp imaginable. From a pickup with a bumper pull to full-blown LQ.

                        My current GN trailer does not have any LQ inside of it. So I sleep up on the bunk, But all my living is done outside. I keep a two burner Coleman Stove to cook on. I have a small roll-up table that I can set up to cook on or eat off of. I keep several camp chairs to put around the campfire. I usually keep a cot/inflatable pad in the trailer for others who may not want to sleep on the bunk next to me. They can either set that up outside under the stars or we can sweep out the back and put a tarp down and they can set up in the horse area if it's stormy or we are in Bear country.

                        I always set up a Highline, since almost all my camping is primitive dispersed. My horses are very comfortable spending the night tied to a highline. If your horses have not learned this, teach them and learn how to set up a highline. Remember the rules of "7" Minimum 7 foot high, 7 foot between horses, and a 17 inch lead so the horses can not get a leg over the lead. Horses will try and scratch their chin with a hind leg and you don't want too much slack where they can get a leg over the lead. When I can watch them, I give them a little more lead so they can lay down or eat. But when I go to bed or leave the immediate area where I can see them, Their leads get shortened. Most problems from a highline are because of too long of a lead, or using rope that stretch.

                        Yes I bring hay and feed my horses. But I also have taught them to hobble. During breakfast or dinner, I take them off the highline and hobble them and let them graze on the natural grass in the area. Pack trips into remote areas, I can't haul feed in, So they have to graze on whats available.

                        I have taught my horses to come to me. Yes I've used treats and grain to teach them that when I call them, I want them to come, and I usually reward the action by giving them something. So I usually carry some large pellets or cubes that I can give my horses when I go to collect them. I don't want a horse getting loose and becoming hard to catch. Even in hobbles my horses can run faster than I can.

                        I almost never put a blanket on my horses. They are used to being outside in the weather. But for camping, I do keep some rain sheets and fleece liners in the trailer. If a horse is tired from an all day long ride and the weather turns and I am in an area where I don't have an abundance of feed. I will put the sheets on to keep them dry or keep the wind off. If they were loose they could move about to stay warm or find the best spot to get out of the weather, But tied to a highline they don't have that option. I live at 4400-foot elevation, But summer camp trips often find us at 10,000 foot or higher elevation where the temps can be cold even in July. If horses are in corrals where they can move about, I don't think it's as big a deal.

                        I sometimes will put up a hot wire around a meadow for the horses to graze in. But I always highline at night. I've had too many deer/elk/moose run thru my hot wire, getting tangled around their horns and go bucking off as they get zapped to trust my horses to stay put when I can't see them. At night they need to be securely controlled.

                        As far as people comforts. I keep basic camp supplies in the trailer. So even if I leave on short notice for a trip. I've got what I need to survive in the trailer. There is always a few cans of chili or stew, Some dehydrated hash browns, canned peaches, granola bars, bottled water etc. I won't starve. Most trips I put some potatoes/eggs/bacon in for breakfast, We bring some meat and veggies for dinner. Dutch ovens are easy to make cobblers in or cook up some great meals in.

                        You can see some of the places I ride in this video on Youtube. I collected a bunch of photos and videos from my 2016 rides to make it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIUQrydSQdI&t=9s

                        Most of all, Just get out and try short trips to get experience and gradually make for longer campouts.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you, Painted Horse. Very useful.

                          G,
                          Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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                          • #14
                            I have seen Painted Horse’s posts, as well as gorgeous pictures, on other websites as well as here. He knows what he is talking about!
                            "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Painted Horse- Thanks for the amazing reply!

                              Well to update, we didn't end up camping. There was a huge organized ride happening the day after we rode so all the corrals were booked.

                              We had a great ride and have been on 3 other rides since. I'm putting off my camping aspirations until spring and warmer weather. Hopefully, by then I'll take the time to teach him to highline.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Horse camping took us by complete surprise. We enjoyed a borrowed trailer so much the first time, it lead to a farm, several Truck & trailers later, and a life style.

                                Crazylife ... Don't purchase the highline kits sold commercially. I've described a DIY kit here on COTH that is much more functional and less costly.
                                Equus makus brokus but happy

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by hosspuller View Post
                                  Horse camping took us by complete surprise. We enjoyed a borrowed trailer so much the first time, it lead to a farm, several Truck & trailers later, and a life style.

                                  Crazylife ... Don't purchase the highline kits sold commercially. I've described a DIY kit here on COTH that is much more functional and less costly.
                                  Thanks for the tip, Ill check that out!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    As someone who takes camping reservations at a National Park I would suggest calling and getting the regulations for the campground. Some places wouldn't let you sleep in your car/vehicle and getting caught doing it can get you a hefty fine.
                                    Ann
                                    ~\"Think today so you will be here to think tomorrow\" Burma Shave~

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Bearx2 View Post
                                      As someone who takes camping reservations at a National Park I would suggest calling and getting the regulations for the campground. Some places wouldn't let you sleep in your car/vehicle and getting caught doing it can get you a hefty fine.
                                      Good to know, thanks!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        AERC has some great educational videos that might also provide some useful tips, including two on Camping with Horses: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqx...S753wqU5MCnJ4w

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