Please give me any and all thoughts, advice, tips, suggestions...on horse camping.
We are taking a couple of horses about 2 hours north to a wonderful place to trail ride and we plan on staying overnight. I think we are ready and prepared, but just want your thoughts and advice on the subject as well in case we forgot anything.
Camping with my horses is regular activity for me. I did a lot of CTR early in my horse career. Since they judge you from when you arrive Friday afternoon until you leave on Sunday. Camping with the horse was part of the juding and I learned a lot.
You should be able to camp with your horses tied to the side of the trailer, to a highline, in a portable corral or forest service or ranchers permanent corral. We frequently sleep in the GN of the trailer. But depending on the time of year have set up smaller tents, large wall tents and some times just rolled the sleeping bags out under the stars.
My horses know how to hobble. I often turn them loose to graze in the morning and evening. I've learned that my horses will focus on eating for about 60 minutes. After that, they are looking to get into mischief. So as long as their heads are down eating, I let them graze, As soon as I see them looking around, I tye them back up. We often string a hot wire around a meadow to let the horses graze during the day. But we always highline at night. I don't like chasing horses back to the truck/trailer in the dark. I always keep one horse tied up. If I have to chase after the others, I don't want to do it on foot.
Here are two of my horses grazing while I cook breakfast.
I saw an old sheep rancher once, Who always carried a small nose bag of grain. He would turn his horse loose for lunch stops on every ride, When it was time to collect the horse, he shook the nose bag. He had trained his horses to come get their grain when lunch was over. He never had to go chase them. They always came to him.
Here some horse we hobbled during lunch. We turned them loose to graze with hobbles while we sat on a log and ate.
During the summer, there is usually enough natural grass for the horses to eat. But during the fall hunting season, I have to pack in hay cubes or pellets. Even if there is grass, I usually bring some hay or cubes to keep the horses occupied while they are tied up.
Went last week just for a day ride, but there is camping. VERY cool trails, narrow, water crossings, stairs built into hills, narrow bridges. The bridges were all low, but I guess somewhere there is a high one, but it has railings and is wider.
My wife rarely rides with me. My daughters have been my riding buddies, But they are all gone or have school, band, jobs boys etc that distract them now days. So I've recruited a neighbor who likes to ride and camp.
My wife likes to travel. She tells me I need to see The great Pyramids of Egypt ( where she rode a camel, but she won't ride my horses at home) or the Colosium in Rome, or the Great Wall of China, or most recently the Sydney Opera house. I reply that instead of spending 18 hours sitting on a airplane to go eat strange food and suffer in the heat of foreign land, She needs to ride a horse to top of the Wind Rivers Wilderness and see Square Top mountain. Eat fresh caught trout, and enjoy the cool mountain air.
She may never go camping with me, But she doesn't complain when I go or if I take my daughters.
My wife likes to travel. She tells me I need to see The great Pyramids of Egypt ( where she rode a camel, but she won't ride my horses at home) or the Colosium in Rome, or the Great Wall of China, or most recently the Sydney Opera house.
I could see her point, IF I could actually go and see these things. But mostly what I see in those places are the backs of the heads of the twenty thousand or so other people trying to see the same thing