Calgary Stampede - horses have to spend the night in the trailer
Howdy! (sorry - getting into the Stampede spirit). My daughter and I are riding in the Calgary Stampede parade on Friday. Because of logistics, we're joining several hundred other horse people who camp out at the staging grounds overnight. The camp-out should be a hoot, but I admit to being a little worried about the horses. There are no pastures or anything (and seriously, would I let my horse loose with hundreds of strange horses??) so the horses have to spend the night either in their trailers or tied to their trailers. We have a 2-horse straight-load, so the poor guys will not be able to lie down or even turn around. We could tie them up to the outside, but not sure if that would be more stressful for them. I don't know how much grassy area there will be, as this is one of the areas that flooded so badly last week.
I want them to be in as good shape as possible, as the parade will be nutso (it's about 2.5 hours long and there will be well over a quarter million people along the route) and includes a few railway crossings. Considering my boy spooked at every manhole cover during our parade the other day, I'm seriously worried about the crossings so want him well-rested! Aside from that, though, he was perfect.
So any suggestions? We don't have any portable fencing that we can attach to the trailer, unfortunately. Will they be okay standing in place all night? It'll only be about 6 hours (we'll walk them around before going to bed around midnight, and we have to be up and tacked by 6:30am). Inside the trailer? Tied up outside? How much slack do we give them if we tie them outside?
Yikes! and help!
I would tie them up to the outside, personally, I'd say about a foot of slack would be alright. Make sure they have haynets! I would also probably get up once or twice and walk them for 5-10 minutes just to keep them moving and make sure they don't stock up or anything.
Have fun in the parade! Sounds like a fun time!
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Don't keep them in the trailer, it is very hard on their legs and joints not being able to move around. Add to that the long trailer ride. I have tied my horses to the trailer over night, just keep an eye on them. Make sure if you leave a haynet that when the net is empty the horse can't get a foot in it.
When I did the overnight parades for drill team I used to tie them to my trailer w/ a haybag and a bucket of water.
Nowdays you can buy the portable electric fences but I don't know the cost or anything.
There were people that would leave their horses in the trailer overnight but that was usually in a stock trailer where they could move about freely...
It's not particularly hard to create your own fencing. Bring a few T-posts, slam them into the ground, and string up some electrobraid or white tape. If your horse respects electric fencing, you won't even have to set up the electricity. Otherwise you can set up electricity, though it does take more effort.
My show horse spent a night tied to the trailer with full hay net, every time my high school equestrian team had a weekend meet, along with every other horse who didn't have their own big trailer to overnight in. one night won't hurt. Have fun!
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Have lots of fun
We survived, and had a blast. There were probably around 5-700 horses (and their people) camping out and our boys ended up tied to the trailer for most of the time, and inside the trailer for about a total of 6 hours. A hail storm nearly hit us (temperature dropped about 10 degrees in the space of a minute - we were all scrambling to get our horses into trailers/under cover). But we rode them around, kept them happy with hay (and grass) and you all were right - they survived. Actually, they did just fine. No issues with the fireworks, and they performed admirably in the parade. It was a great experience to camp out with so many horse people and so many different horses. And one giant bull (picture attached). But I am going to investigate the cost of portable fencing - would have been so nice to just partition off a nice little square behind the trailer so the horses could choose whether to be in or out. Posts and electric wire is a great idea!
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