I’m getting ready to leave for a camping trip with my horses, and this year in addition to my seasoned 20 year old trail horse, I have my two younger boys in tow to give Ridge a much-needed break after some long days on the trail. In addition to updating my packing list to take into consideration the wide range of ages and breeds (20 year old Arab that doesn’t sweat much, 6 year old warmblood that is a bit nervous on trails, 5 year old QH/Morgan cross who’s solid on trails but still not used to trailering far), I also wanted to make sure my packing list had the stuff we needed to ensure we all have a safe, comfortable, and relaxing trip.
Here’s 5 things to bring when you go camping with your horses:
- First aid kit. This should be a no-brainer and go with you everywhere you go. I keep one in my trailer and one in my truck, with the one in the trailer including specific equine emergency items such as banamine, dexamethasone, and topical wound treatments.
- Water jug (full). Even when hauling a trailer with LQ, you don’t want to have to struggle with getting a horse bucket in a small camper sink if you have a horse that starts to overheat or dehydrate on the road. Depending on where you’re camping, water isn’t always readily available so it’s a good idea to always be prepared.
- Sponge in net bag. This is a good one I learned from some friends who do endurance riding. Take a sponge, put it in a mesh or net drawstring bag, add a simple carabiner and some string and clip to your saddle or tack. Then when riding through water crossings, you can extend the cord and drop the sponge in the water and cool your horse’s neck and back and shoulders even if the water isn’t that deep. This is great for all-day rides! You can buy one here, or easily make your own.
- Equi Cool Down everything. Not even kidding – it’s going to be in the 90s during the day where I am going (and I am going north!), and while my Arab deals with the heat incredibly well, I’m a bit more like my warmblood – we prefer the cooler weather. To keep from overheating, I’ll ride with a towel around my neck and shoulders, and beanie under my helmet. My horses will have the full body wrap, leg wraps, and neck wrap to cool out in after we ride to ensure that when we’re back at camp, they are comfortable as soon as possible. And if we are on trail and get too warm, we can use the sponge to re-wet the products and keep us cool on the ride.
- Draper everything. Also critical. If you’ve never trail ridden 6+ hours up and down the Adirondacks, it can be an amazing experience, with breathtaking views, great trails, and even the chance to ride in – and cross! – the great Hudson River. But if you’ve never trail ridden 6+ hours up and down the Adirondacks, it can also leave you and your horse very, very sore. Things like Anti-Monkey Butt Powder help (love it!) but nothing makes a difference like putting my horses in Draper anti-sweat and stable sheets, then throwing on a Draper tee, and curling up in my trailer on my Draper sleep liner with my Draper blanket. Even the dogs have Draper blankets to help them cool off and relax! You could say I’m a little obsessed…and I know we all wake up the next morning, rested, relaxed, and recovered ready to hit the trails for another day.
So there you have it – my 5 Things to Bring When You’re Camping With Your Horse. Now back to packing for me. Check for updates when I’m back in August! Have items you love to bring on trail? Share your tips with us in the comments below.