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Trail Riding Etiquette

This is a discussion on Trail Riding Etiquette within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Will it hurt a out of shape horse to trail ride
  • Horse drinking too much water is a sign of out of shape

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    03-31-2012, 01:30 AM
  #131
Foal
Hi Everyone,
Not sure if this is the right place for these questions but thought I would give it ago.
I wondered when you're on a trail riding in San Diego Ca and your horse poops, are you supposed to pick it up??
Also how long can you ride on a trail for before you need to give your horsie some water.
Thank you in advance
     
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    03-31-2012, 07:03 AM
  #132
Green Broke
The poopp is going to be a local rule thing, if it is an actual horse trail I wwouldnt expect so, but CA is known for screwey restrictive laws unless yo are an actual criminal.

Water will depend on your horse and what you consider a trail ride. A typical training day for me would be a couple 12 mile loops with a water stop on each loop. I am riding at mostly a canter. Pretty much every five miles or so I would stop at a creek if there was one, or make it a point to find water at around 10. Sometimes they will drink sometimes not.
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    03-31-2012, 10:20 AM
  #133
Trained
How often to let them drink also depends on the weather. If it is extremely hot, they will get dehydrated more quickly. Never restrict water; the issue is being sure that they get access to it. I figure that if I am thirsty, my horse is too.
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    03-31-2012, 10:26 AM
  #134
Foal
Hi Joe4d,
Thanks for the info, so my next question is, is it completely ok for your horsie to drink from a stream or river??
I am thinking do they carry virus's or harmful bacteria to the horse?
Also is 42 miles a typical ride for the day for the average horse? That seems a lot to me.
I haven't gotten my horse yet, so just picking up what I need to know here and there.
I am sure every horse is different maybe this is a question for the person I purchase my horse from???

Thanks again for your time
     
    03-31-2012, 10:29 AM
  #135
Trained
42 miles is a really long ride. The horse will have to be highly conditioned and trained to do that well. He also will have to be a really sound horse. There is also your own training to consider. If I ride 42 miles in one day, I won't be able to move for a week. Joe, on the other hand, would be fine. To him, it is just another day.

As far as horses getting sick from drinking from streams, it is unlikely unless there is a severe pollution problem.
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    03-31-2012, 10:58 AM
  #136
Foal
42 miles is very long, typically the pioneers didn't go more than 15-25 a day, but I guess they were walking and sparing thier animals. I go about 6 and it takes a couple hours which also includes tacking up.

As far as drinking out of a river or stream, can't wait to see th responses on that. I am an agriculture major and I would consider it unsafe. Some rivers and streams might be ok, but I wouldn't risk it. There are things that you can't see and I would use that water as a last resport. Pesticide and fertilizer runoff from farmers, industrial chemical runoff, animals feces that could contain pathogens such as gerardia and coccidia are just to name a few things that might be found in water that looks relatively safe. These things can travel a long ways so even if you don't immediately see the effects, (dead fish, garbage) doesn't mean they aren't there. Even the lowly person who has a yard up the way who put fertilizer on their grass or chemicals to kill the weeds on the shore could contribute to the pollution. I would google your area and see what the reports are. For myself, if I was to go on a long ride, I would find a way to carry my own water, or just wait until I got back home.
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    03-31-2012, 11:09 AM
  #137
Trained
42 miles is a really long ride and would require a horse in excellent shape and take the better part of the day. Don't drink from any water. Bring your own. I've drank out of large fast moving rivers or places I could see the water come out of the ground and most of the time it's fine but the last thing you want is to be 35 miles into a ride and feel that grumble in your stonach that means your guts are about to turn inside out. Your horse will be fine drinking out of any moving water source. I'd be careful about letting a horse drink out of a communal trough but sometimes you can't help it. I also don't like to give my horse all it will drink if the horse is hot. I prefer to pull them up and ride off when they still want to drink. Sometimes a horse will drink too much water and end up with a bellyache for a while. I try to avoid this. I've ridden pretty hard for 8 hours and not given my horse a drink because there was no drink to be had. The horse was a little uncomfortable but suffered no bad effects from it. I would offer water when given the chance but wouldn't worry about it.
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    03-31-2012, 11:19 AM
  #138
Trained
Beautiful mountain streams can be contaminated with giardia. It is worse on humans than it is on horses.

My horses drink out of a creek on our farm and they are not dead.
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    03-31-2012, 01:47 PM
  #139
Green Broke
Not sure where 42 came from, I said a couple 12 mile loops, total of 24. I am an endurance rider and trainign for 50 and 100 mile loops. But to give you info ,
Take a typical walk/trot canter horse. The putz along trail ride walk pace at about 3 mph, a gaited horse will move out at 4 to 5, So your typical afternoon trail ride will be about 10 miles. Even an out of shape horse would be fine doing the 10 miles at a walk and getting water back at the trailer.
While I imagine there are all kinds of bacteria and germs in naturally occurring surface water I have never heard of it being an issue. Community water troughs at your barn with multiple horses drinking out of it is far more likely to make your horse sick than a free flowing stream., Talk to your local vet tell them where you ride and get the recommended
shots.
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    03-31-2012, 04:07 PM
  #140
Green Broke
If YOU are going to drink then get one of these:

Katadyn Hiker PRO Water Filter at REI.com

While I usually carry a couple of bottles of water, I keep a hiker pro on my saddle bags when riding where water might be an issue.
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