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When is it worthwhile to pack water?

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  • When is it worthwhile to pack water?

    Forgive me if this has been asked and answered; 20 minutes of googling has not given me the information I'm looking for.

    I finally have a horse who's fun to trail ride, and I have the good fortune to board at a place with easy access to miles upon miles of trails. At some point (after ample conditioning), I'd like to pack a lunch and do the full 15 mile loop around a nearby mountain. My concern with doing that is that this is an arid region and there is no guarantee I'll find water in the creeks and ponds along the trail (and if there is water, there's no guarantee the park service will allow access to the sensitive wetland areas).

    At what point is it a good idea to invest in a collapsible bucket and bring some water bladders along in your saddlebags?

  • #2
    For 15 miles? Don't bother. Your horse will be fine. Most horses won't drink until 20 miles or more. Water is heavy, and more of a burden on your horse. Take water for yourself, and leave the horse's water at home.

    However, if you are concerned about your horse having some fluid along the way, and there is nothing available, bring along some carrots. That veggie is full of water, and natural e-lytes.

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    • #3
      Agree with gothedistance. You're horse probably won't drink in 15 miles anyway. Besides the carrots, you could always give your horse a "soup" of beet pulp before you go to tank up ahead of time.
      "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
      So you might as well have a good time"

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      • #4
        I have never packed water on the trail for my horse, and in 40 plus years of riding can only think of one time where we could have used it. I always have water for myself on the trail, and always have water for the horses in my trailer even if we are on a short trip.
        "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White

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        • #5
          I like to bring a gallon bag of watermelon for my horses when I'm out on a ride during the summer. They love it!

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          • #6
            Largely depends on where you are. If you're in the desert southwest riding at mid-day a "water bag" might be a nice to have but may not be necessary. During WWI a British cavalry force traveled more than 36 hours across the desert in Palestine to attack the Turkish forces at Bersheeba. There are many other examples of horses traveling long distances in arid country without water and suffering no ill effects.

            Water for a person is, IMO, a necessity if you will be on the trail and away from the barn for any length of time. Even if it's just a regular bottle it will be godsend if you have any sort of mishap or just get thirsty.

            G.
            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

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            • #7
              I don't think you will need to pack water, however, one thing I have found really useful for riding in areas with some but minimal water is a scoop cut out of an old beach bottle (http://diyhomedecor.com/wp-content/u...5/06/Scoop.jpg) . Its great if you can get to the water, but can't get your horse in. You can carry scoops out to your horse. That said, not every horse will be willing to drink out of one, but feeding some grain at home out of one can be helpful. Its also great for cooling your horse down.

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              • #8
                An hour before I ride, I feed my mare a mash of soaked alfalfa pellets, using about 1.5 gallons of water. I try to start the ride with her well hydrated in case there are no streams along the trail.

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                • #9
                  Endurance mentors have told me you should provide water about every 10 miles. However, that may be dependable based on the weather and how much the horse is sweating. In colder weather and lower elevation, I'd feel better about going a few extra miles.

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                  • #10
                    might that 10 miles be based on an endurance horse pace as opposed to those of us who mosey along and gossip?
                    Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

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