Will someone please explain a weeklong trail ride to me?
A bunch of people from my work are talking about going on a trail ride during the last week in January. The way I initially understood it was that it was a weekend-long ride, but now I think it might be the whole week.
How do these things work? From what I hear, it sounds like an excuse for a bunch of rednecks to get together and show off their horses and motorhomes while drinking beer.
I don't understand it - if it's a week long (or even a weekend), how are you riding your horse, yet sleeping in a motorhome? Is someone driving the motorhome as you're riding your horse, or do you return to the same spot each night? What do you do with the horses at night? Tie them up? Or are there pens to put them in? Does someone have to stay up and watch them?
This is taking place in Texas, by the way. Apparently that makes a huge difference. I'm from Maryland, and up there, going on a trail ride means that you're going to rent a horse for an hour or so and follow the butt in front of you. That sounds nothing like what a "Texas trail ride" is.
I don't know what their plan may be but if it was me, I would go out on the trail with all the supplies I would need for the week (requiring a pack horse) and make a campfire every night in a different place. Most places here though don't have enough room to ride for a week without going the same place over and over. I would guess that maybe they have a central area where they set up the mobile homes and you return to that place every evening. I don't know whether they would have the horses staked out or in pens though. You would just have to check with the person ramrodding the thing and see what the plans are. And as much as I hate to say it about my fellow Texans,
I was looking online last night for trail rides in the area on those dates, and apparently there's one that goes from Kerrville to San Antonio. That's like 65 miles.
How the heck do they get back to all of their stuff?
A lot of people do it different ways. They may be riding different trails in a central area and come back each evening to the same camp site (something I enjoy doing) or they may pack up and hit the trails and just set-up campsites each evening at different locations. Horses could be tied on a line or a temporary corral set up (they have mobil electric ones now). To travel like this allows you to ride trails in a different location that may be too far away and not worth it for just a day trip. They can be tons of fun!
I've never been on one but it sounds like what I would call a pack trip. Usually an outfitter will set them up. Some will supply all of your food tents and everything. Others you supply your tents and they supply the food. It just really depends on who is setting it up. They had a cattle drive here I think it was last year along the Santa Fe or Chisholm trail I don't recall which. I believe it was a you bring a bed roll, the chuck wagon brings up the rear. Just like in the old days.
We camp with our horses and either stay in the trailer (our horse trailer has a small area with bunk beds a toilet, sink and shower) or some have cabins you can stay in. We return to camp every night. I'm not a drinker so no drunk cowboys allowed in our coffee camp :lol: Some camps also have barns, stalls, or just a pen for your horse others don't. If they don't we put our horses in the trailer at night and keep them on a picket line during the day. It does make for some interesting sleeping with your horse munching, snorting and stomping right next to your head :lol: Vida has even on occasion lain down in the trailer, but it freaks me out.
Here is one of my favorites as far as facilities for horse and rider goes. We've only been once but hope to return http://www.horseheavenranchresort.com/
As stated, there are many ways it can be done. I used to ride in wagon trains a few times a year, they ranged from 2 days to 9 days. They generally averaged 20-25 miles a day.
For these rides we would tack the horses up in the mornings and have them ready to move out, then tie them or have a partner hold them while we drove our rigs up to where that nights camp will be. The people or organization putting on the ride would have a bus or trailer to drive the riders back to their horses. (Breakfast would either right before or right after moving up the rigs.) Once everyone was back to their horses it would be time for them to call "Riders up" and "Wagons ho".
At least every 2 hours was a water break for the horses (and potty break for riders). Sometimes we pack our own lunches and snacks, other times the food is provided by sponsors. (These were usually fund raiser rides for different charities.)
Once at the camp, the horses are cooled, watered & fed. They are either tied to the trailers, to trees or picket lines. If the horse is hobble trained it can be hobbled for the night. A lot of places frown on the portable electric fence or portable corrals, some allow them.
Then it's finally time to set up your camp for the night and have a meal before hitting the hay. In these rides there usually isn't a lot of late night drinking, because morning comes early and the horses have to be fed, tacked and rigs moved up to the next camp early enough so the train can get started, most of the time we would head out by 8 a.m.
In these rides the #1 priority is rider safety, followed by the health and safety of the horse. Oh, and drinking while riding is FORBIDDEN.
They were lots of fun!
Another type of ride is what is often refered to as a 'wagon wheel' ride. There is a central camp, each day the ride heads out in a different direction and makes a big loop, returning to the same camp each night. These are less stressful because you don't have to move camp each day, but there is also more partying going on these rides.
These are what I'm more familiar with. both looping on the ride and the getting looped when you get back to camp! :lol:
During the chuchwagon races ( 3-day event) there were trail rides every morning. It was a 2 hour ride that looped around different parts of the area and they always returned back to camp before the days events started. Just a peaceful time where you could enjoy the massive property.
I rode the fredricksburg (Tx) ride for 2 days last year..even though it was a week long you could choose how many days you wanted to ride. The next one is in March I think...what they would do is in the morning after you got your horses tacked up..you would have someone who was with you or another group that had several people, stay with the horses while you drive your truck and trailer to the destination point..everyone pretty much did a convoy there...once you get there they have a couple buses to bus you back to the starting point..and they would do this every morning...so your vehicle/trailer/camper was there waiting at your destination.. The arrangements worked well..and we had a blast...
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