Going on a camping trip with your horse is a must-do for all adventurous horse lovers. Over the Easter holiday I went to Alafia River State Park with a group of friends. Throughout our four day stay, we managed to get in six rides. All were amazing with lots of cantering through the rolling Florida hills (yes, we found hills in Florida), watching the sun rise, and enjoying the abundance of wildlife including turkey, armadillo, birds, and plenty of deer.
Keeping your horse happy, sound, and healthy during an extended trip away from the comforts of their own barn is an important job. Below are items to remember to bring with you:
1-2 bales of hay in a protective hay bale carrier
Hay bag for hanging in the stall
2 water buckets
Small feed bucket or flat pan for grain
1-2 bags of shavings
Extra halter and lead rope
Hay string or bucket holders so you can hang buckets in the stall
Duchess fly spray (of course…don’t leave home without it)
Powdered Gatorade or Black Strap Molasses
The last item on the list, powdered Gatorade or Black Strap Molasses, is something I always bring on any trip whether it’s camping or a show. Drinking water is essential to the health and endurance of your horse and when traveling it’s even more important. A lot of horses are sensitive to the smell and taste of water in new places. Adding a small amount of the powdered Gatorade or molasses to the water helps encourage them to drink because of the tasty familiar flavor. I give my horse about 1 tbsp. of the powder mixed in a 2 ½ gallon bucket of water after each ride and he gladly guzzles it down. Even though he made a point of peeing at least three times on the trail, I knew he was well hydrated.
This was my horse’s first camping trip and I thought he would be worn out and tired at the end. Even on the last day he was leading the trail and ready to race down the path. He was a rockstar and finished strong and happy. He was well hydrated and had plenty of hay to keep him going throughout the whole trip.
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