3 nights on the trail - Page 2

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3 nights on the trail

This is a discussion on 3 nights on the trail within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    05-03-2013, 03:01 PM
With Hydration hay you'll have to have a bucket to soak it. If its public ground you are riding on ? Do you need certified feed ? If so hydration hay is not certified.
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    05-03-2013, 04:05 PM
Yes it is in the smoky mountain national park. I didn't realize hydration hay wasn't certified. Any other suggestions?
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    05-03-2013, 04:54 PM
Stop by the feed store and double check and see if your hydration hay is or isn't certified. It is not out west. Then pick up a bag of certified hay cubes or pellets. You can't graze in a national park but you can get off and lead your horse and if he happens to graze the edge of the trail that's alright so supplement his feed with grass along the way. Have a great trip !!!
    05-03-2013, 07:57 PM
Thanks yall
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    05-03-2013, 08:41 PM
"Would the hydration hay not take care of my long fiber problem?"


You'll have a hard time getting enough grass along the way. Rule of thumb, 1/3 to 1/2 of a horse's intake of feed, must be long fiber.
    05-04-2013, 06:42 PM
3 days. No grazing. One horse to carry rider, gear and all feed. Only certified (i.e. No seed) feed allowed.
You don't want much

"Technically" it's doable (a horse can get by on less for short periods), but not in a way that most people would want.
Since you'll end at the start point you can (as pointed out) leave the 3rd nights feeding in place there (and make it a good feeding).

Beet pulp is easily digested fiber and worth about 1/3 more it's weight in hay (and it's a no seed feed). You can carry enough to "get by" on for two days, but your horse won't be full and there's always a risk of colic when the digestive tract isn't working normally. Try to feed at least 4 times during the day to keep some food moving throughout the day.

No grazing is the real killer here since grazing stops allow for the gut to be worked thoughout the day as well as providing some level of the nutritional needs.

Of course you can lead the horse allowing it carry more so it meets what it needs. You can hike and backpack what you need.
    05-04-2013, 09:11 PM
I guess it really depends on how much you weigh. A horse needs 1-2% of its body weight each day in feed. That's usually 15-20 lbs of feed. So three days could equal 60lbs of feed. If you go really light weight on your gear, Say 30 lbs and you only weigh 100lbs, You will be fine

If you are 200lbs like me and your camp gear weighs more than 30lbs, You are in trouble and need a pack horse. Or. Pack you horse and lead them as you walk. I've done that on occasions. After camp is set up, I can saddle up and ride.
thenrie and Dustbunny like this.
    05-05-2013, 01:11 PM
Painted Horse gave you a good over view.

Everyone who's done distancing riding/camping will have a system that they've perfected and works for them (or they wouldn't still be doing it ). I personally wouldn't want to do it with those restrictions, but this would be the scenario if I had to do it with one of my horses.
(of course, as Painted Horse pointed out, you'll need to look at your horse -size and condition-, your tack/gear and your own weight.)

In my case:
Horse: 1217 lbs, 9.5" cannon bones, short back, wide loins
Goal for loaded weight: 240 lbs (which at 1457lbs still exceeds what her 9.5" cannon bones should be carrying, but it's doable and provides for good load bearing riding to increase the cannon bones)
Rider: (todays weight on the scales) Fully dressed - (i.e. Jeans, flannel shirt, US Army issue boots) - 167.2 lbs
Saddle/tack/etc..: 23.6 lbs
Gear: Tent 5 lbs, mess <1 lbs - rounded up 6 lbs (no sleeping bag, I use the saddle blanket and for 3 days I'll survive with what I'm wearing....will look forward to the bath and clean clothes)
Food: Get by on 5 lbs of MRE's

So we're at 205 lbs (round up)
What about potable water? (we have to drink too) Is it available at the campsites or do we have to carry it in? Water weighs over 8 lbs / gal (US). We need at least 2 gal and might be pretty thirsty by the time you return to starting point on day 3.
Water: 17 lbs (2 gal)
We have to have a lot more than that for the horse, but we'll say that we're allowed to use water that's available even if we can't eat the grass.

222 lbs.

That leaves about 18 lbs for horse feed (if we're riding). We can go over that and it won't kill the horse (providing the horse is healthy and in good physical condition). 20% is the ideal top limit, not something that "cannot" be exceeded (and is only part of total equation...cannon bone size, loin width, back length also make up part of the total equation).
At 1200 lbs it will need about 24 lbs of food a day. We can manage with 20 lbs for a short time.
So I "over load" by about 22 lbs (262 vs 240....even more so for the cannon bone, but I'm only going to ride at a walk for days 1 and 2) to cover day 1 and 2 (having day 3 waiting for you at your end point). I'll feed out 20 lbs on the first night plus what I eat and drink so that on day 2 I"ll start out at about 235 lbs (reduced food and water) for a 2nd day of slow and easy riding. Day 3 will be a bit over 200 lbs and I can have at it then (how soon willI reach final camp and all the supplies there ). Never fun to be out of supply.

For feed I’ll use beet pulp and copra. Neither have seed, but easily digested and the beet pulp will give me extra value equal to about an extra 1/3 it’s weight in hay. That might get me the extra nutritional needed to equal the 24 lbs.

Yes, it’s doable, but I’d still rather have the grazing. Gives the horses something to do and it’s better for the gut.
    05-05-2013, 07:01 PM
Green Broke
Good grief I just read over the rules there, they did everything they could to say, "No Horses" without saying no horses. Id find somewhere less restrictive to ride like the VA highlands trail .
its lbs not miles and thenrie like this.
    05-05-2013, 07:54 PM
If you are in the middle of nowhere, how is somebody going to stop your horse from grazing?

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