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Discussion Starter #1
I don't know where to start. I'm 57 years young and wanting to ride a horse form Westminster, MD to Deep Creek Lake, about 180 miles. I never owned a horse but did ride alot when I was younger. I weigh 300 lbs but am in good shape for my weight. What kind and size of horse would I need to make such a trip and how long do you think it should take? I am wanting to do this in the spring while it is cool at nite and 55 or so during the day. I am trying to plan this so very little of the ride will be on paved surfaces. I'm guessing I would need a pack animal to carry tent, food, sleeping gear, etc.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
Paul
 

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A draft or draft cross sounds like it would be good for you. They're usually very hardy and would probably be well suited for long trail rides. That is, as long as you're not galloping them all the way. In my experience, drafts can keep walking all day long, but they can wear out quickly if you do a lot of cantering/galloping. I guess it also depends on how physically fit they are.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My youngest son (21) is going to go with me and maybe my brother (54). I figured it would be too boring going alone but if they skink me I will go alone.

Is there a place to rent or lease horses for this trip? I will buy if needed but don't really want to.
 

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Do you mean Buy as in, buy a horse? Because what are you going to do with it after that?
I'd say, find some stables and e-mail/Call them and perhaps ask that, when they go for a long trail if there's a possibilty you can join :)
Because even if you rode when you were younger, how long was that ago?
And will be able to stop your horse if it spooks?

It's a lot to consider, and even though I think you should go for it, make sure to prep good beforehand! :D
Good luck!
 

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I used to ride as a very young child. I wasn't able to for years. Last year (at 32 years of age) I got a horse. I hadn't done any riding since I was a child and when I first started riding again, I wasn't balanced, I found it difficult to mount and was easily separated from my horse :lol: (a good spook would do it). Not only that, after my first day in the saddle, I was extremely sore. I say get used to riding again before you make that kind of trip, but it sounds like a lot of fun. Wish I were going with you! Oh yeah and make sure the horse is fit for such a trip! You will need a pack animal and somebody will need a horse comfortable with ponying. I also think you should make sure and take emergency supplies and a hoof pick! Also, take water cause I have been on long trails where there where very few watering holes for the horses. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am still in the planning stages and need to know a lot of info before finalizing the route. How far can a horse travel, in temps about 65 F, between watering holes? The local area has water everywhere, ponds and streams. The farther out we get the less frequent the watering holes, there is a southern route I can take where there is more water.
 

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It depends on the horse, how strenuous of a pace you are going, etc.
I also would recommend a heavier built horse and a horse that is in shape. Learn how to read your horses vital signs. Talk to a vet in order to learn how to perform basic first aide should you need it. 180 miles isn't terribly far, but it's important to be in shape.
Like others, I would recommend you get some riding in before you go out on your trip. A long day in the saddle won't be too comfortable if you're not used to it. On this note, you may want to figure out what type of saddle you want for the horse (aussie? endurance? western? etc) what kind of clothing you will be wearing etc (I hate jeans on long rides). I would invest in some easy boots should your horse step wrong.

As far as renting a horse, I know there is place out here which you can lease a horse for a season. Lots of hunters lease instead of buying a horse. Not sure if there is anything like that over there or if they have any requirements for level of riding ability, etc to lease.
 

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Also you will need to plan for acquiring and transporting sufficient horse feed along with you (hay, complete pellet, grain-- whatever the horse has been eating prior to the trip) as you probably won't be able to count on enough time/available grazing for the horses on the trip to get enough nutrition and calories for their workload just from grass, especially if it is early spring.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK I've done some checking around. Most folks tell me they're horses are not up to such a trip. I am also being told to look for a Halflinger, Mustang, or Stout Morgan to make the trip. I have looked into watering holes and feed along the way. There are lots of folks that allow feeding and watering at there farms just to see someone make the trip. Most folks act like this is unheard of these days. Someone had ask about me buying the horse, I've been giving this a lot of thought. There is a local girl who would love to be able to take care of a horse that she could ride when ever she felt like it. She is graduating from college soon, majoring in horse breeding, I forget the techical term. Anyway I have a place to keep a horse or two and barn space.
 
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