Ok, so maybe you’re not entirely sold on the idea of endurance (for some strange reason!) but you still like the idea of going camping with your horse. Well, if you’ve ever wanted to go camping with your horse, there’s no better time than now! Many people are looking to get away from the stress of the show ring and just enjoy the trails with their horse. Just like choosing a campground to go to with your friends or family, you need to consider what campground offers what you are looking for. Do you just want to ride trails or do you want to partake in other activities besides riding? Are you camping under the stars in a tent or do you need space for a large trailer? Do the campsites have permanent stalls or corrals or do you have to provide your own containment for your horse?
In addition to answering these questions, here are a few more things to consider when deciding to go horse camping:
- Ensure your horse has the correct papers and vaccines. Some campsites may require all horses on site to have a current negative Coggins test. With unfamiliar horses around and more insects to contend with, consider discussing with your veterinarian what vaccines they recommend as well.
- Is whatever you are using to contain your horse overnight sufficient and safe? Is your horse used to being high tied/hobbled/respectful of electric fencing. These are good things to test at home before you travel somewhere unfamiliar.
- Have you packed enough hay and food for your horse (and yourself!). Some places will have hay/feed/bedding for purchase. Others will require you to bring your own. Also, depending on where you are going to camp, are you able to properly store feed (for both human and horse) to avoid any visits from forest animals.
- Is your horse adequately prepared to handle the physical demand of your outing. It is unfair to pull a horse out of pasture who hasn’t been in regular work and ask him to go for a 10 mile trail ride. If you’ve been a couch potato for weeks or months, you would probably find it difficult to go for a 10 mile hike too! Also do some research on the terrain you will be crossing. Consider putting shoes on your horse or getting a pair of horse boots.
- Prepare a first aid kit for both horse and human in the event of any injuries on trail.
- Don’t forget to review the rules of the campground. Be prepared to take home anything you bring (including manure) and always clean up your campsite before leaving.
Sandaraska Park – http://www.sandaraskapark.ca/equestrian-camping
Horse Country Campground – http://www.horsecountrycampground.com/
Douglas Equestrian Campground – http://www.douglasequestriancampground.ca/
Quardream – http://www.quardream.com/
Saugeen Bluffs – http://www.svca.on.ca/ca.php?page=horsecamping
South Algonquin Trails – http://www.southalgonquintrails.com/