Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: In Sunny, HOT and HUMID S.C.
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.
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.
They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)