please help advise on prep of horses for ride for research for novel
Hi, I'm hoping someone knowledgeable can clarify basic horse care for me please. Unfortunately I don't have a horse, but I'm writing a novel with horses and I'm like to get my facts right if possible.
Currently I'm writing a scene that includes preparing the horses for a day's ride. These are working horses in medieval type setting. For this scene the horses & riders are leaving before dawn and will be riding at a good speed. I did some googling on horse care and came up with this basic procedure for preparing the horses:
"I gave them a bucket of water each while I cleaned out their feet and brushed their coats. Then a scoop of grain each, and I put on the saddle cloth and saddle, making sure thereís no wrinkles in the cloth and it feels comfortable. Then the bridle and saddle-bags."
1) please tell me if you can spot anything wrong.
2) I read that horses shouldn't be fed just before exercise, that ideally they should be fed a couple of hours earlier, but in this scenario, that would mean feeding them at 3am which doesn't seem feasible. But the alternative of not feeding them at all before a day's ride seems wrong too. They could be given some grain or a chance to graze along the way, but they'll be facing the same issue of exercise soon after. What would be the right thing to do?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!