Taking your horse on a horseback riding trip can be many things- fun, exciting, relaxing, and so on. Considering it will involve the care of a large animal though, an equally large burden of responsibility is on your shoulders before and during such a trip. Make sure you and your four-legged companion are all prepared with this handy guide:
Step 1: Find and Plan for Your Destination
There are many locations across the worlds that are suitable for horseback riding, but there are also many destinations that cater specifically to horseback riders as well. You can go on planned routes, or travel the great regions of the world. Whether you choose to venture out into the wilderness or take a tour, do your research and be aware of the costs, perks and risks involved.
Tip: It helps to factor in the season in which you’ll travel, since weather can make or break a trip.
Step 2: Make Sure Your Horse Is Ready and Able to Make the Trip
Regardless of the kind of trip you have in mind, you need your horse to be physically and mentally prepared for whatever may come. For instance, the task of getting a riding horse to the destination alone can be stressful. Factor in the horse’s age, demeanor, health and experience with traveling. Schedule a trip to a veterinarian skilled in caring for horses, and ask what can be done for immune system health and hydration.
Tip: Having your horse travel with one or more would typically reduce the stress level of the trip.
Step 3: Figuring Out Transporting Your Horse
Unless your destination happens to be close enough to ride to, you’ll need a trailer. There are many choices- some even that have living quarters attached! Whatever you choose, you want something that is safe and secure, like a trailer that won’t absorb heat and cause discomfort- or worse- to your horse.
Tip: A younger, inexperienced horse may do better on a destination that’s closer. Better yet, a younger horse may do with a few short “practice runs” aboard a trailer before the trip.
With a good mind and careful planning, you should have no worries while away- exactly what a vacation is for! If everything goes right, it will be fulfilling getaway for you and your horse.
Step 4: Take All You Need With You
Lodging and stables may be provided on your trip, therefore you may only need to bring a few items for clothing and hygiene. If you’re certain you’ll be camping out in the wilderness, a much bigger inventory will be required before your departure. Some will be horse-specific, like a hoof pick and harness. Others will be essential for any camping trip- rope, knife, First Aid kit, a map, clean water and many others.
Tip: Depending on the location- desert, forest, mountains, etc.- the tools you may need will vary.