How to Vacation with Horses

Do you love to vacation but taking your horses with you sounds intimidating? With just a little extra preparation and a few adjustments, you can soon be relaxing with your horses in the woods after a long day of riding.

Prepare your horses
Before embarking on your trip with your horses, make sure you take the proper steps to get them ready for the great outdoors! The first step is to make sure your horse is mentally and physically fit enough to complete the trip. Depending on the length and difficulty of your trip, it could take a couple months for your horse to be prepared, according to Horse Channel. If your horse is not used to riding on trails, it may be better to opt for a pasture setting.

Your horse also needs to be mentally fit for environmental change, travel, and living in unfamiliar environments. If your horse will be spending the night in its trailer, practice having your horse spend the night there at home beforehand. Your horse should also be well-behaved and comfortable around other horses and people. A misbehaving horse can be unpleasant for you and other people to be around, let alone potentially dangerous to itself and others!

Managing your trailer
To keep your horses happy, you need to have a happy trailer! Make sure to park your trailer in an appropriate place with flat ground and without low-hanging limbs. According to Doubled Trailers, some horse trailers may not be safe to use while unhitched, especially bumper trailers. Make sure you have the right safety information and procedures for how to use your trailer. Gooseneck trailers are usually safe to load and unload when unhitched. When unhitched, be sure to chock your trailer to keep it from rolling. It is also important to make sure your trailer is cool enough for your horses to use in hot weather or warm enough in cold weather.

During your trip
Now that you have begun your journey, make sure you take the proper steps to keep your horse happy! It’s very important to refrain from altering your horse’s nutritional routine while vacationing as digestive problems might occur. According to The Trail Rider Mag, it can be appropriate to give your horse a bit of extra hydration in the form of soaking hay or giving it wet bran.

For night time, it is never a good idea to put your horse with other horses it doesn’t know. Your horse could end up spending more time establishing dominance and getting to know the other horses than sleeping and preparing for a long day. Unless your horse is used to being tied for the night and won’t paw or pull at its tie, it might be best to bring a portable corral or electric fencing system.

Have fun!
If you follow these steps, you will be all set for a successful, safe, stimulating  trip with your horses. Hitch up, saddle up, and get outside with your riding partner!