Whoot, whoot! Go Horse Camping is on it's way!
Here's some text from the first and second chapters. Let me know what you think :)
1. Let’s Go Horse Camping
Do you dream of going camping with your horse?
This book will transform your dreams into reality by providing a step-by-step approach to help you plan your ideal horse camping trip. It includes deciding where to go, choosing camping partners, selecting gear, preparing your truck and trailer, planning accommodation for you and your horse, and summarizes useful skills you and your horse will need. Plus, since a picture is worth a thousand words (but we didn’t want to write that much!), horsey cartoons illustrate the book.
Perhaps your vision of horse camping includes staying in a living-quarters trailer with all the amenities of home, while your horse relaxes in a stall or paddock. Or sleeping in a tent while your horse is highlined between trees and a myriad of rugged trails await exploration. Horse camping can be hanging out at the local fairgrounds after a show, staying overnight at an endurance ride, or just heading out to a trailhead with a bunch of friends.
Maybe you’re a camping greenhorn and as soon as you start thinking about going horse camping, anxiety puts the brakes on any action. Or maybe you already go horse camping but are looking for information about alternative gear and skills such as living quarter trailers or how to highline. Regardless, this book is for all riders – those who have never camped with their horses, those with years of experience, and every rider in between.
Since planning the trip can be almost as fun as the trip itself, let’s get started.
1.1 How to Use This Book
Planning a horse camping trip is a bit more complicated than planning non-horse camping trips, as horse camping includes horses, not just people. But if you’re familiar with logistics for non-horse camping trips, then you’re halfway there.
If you’re new to horse camping or camping altogether, the best way to use this book is to work your way through it from start to finish. If you have specific concerns, check out the Table of Contents and flip to the relevant sections right away, to reduce your anxiety!
If you’ve got some horse camping experience, use the book as a reference tool and just read the sections that interest you. For example, many riders haven’t highlined before, but highlining can be pretty useful when there aren't any paddocks, so maybe that’s something that you want to read up on. Or maybe you’re thinking about upgrading your bumper pull trailer to a weekender or living quarters trailer. If so, check out Chapter 6 Choices: Trucks, Trailers and Rider Accommodation.
This book provides all the information you need to go on a horse camping trip, so just read the parts you need and plan a fun, safe trip.
2. Typical Trip Planning
Organizing a horse camping trip tends to be a bit organic. Sometimes the idea for a trip comes from an article you read about someone else’s adventure, or talking to horsey friends about where they love to ride. Or maybe you've heard about an event that you’d like to attend but will need to camp overnight. Maybe you already plan to go to a horse show or an endurance ride but aren’t sure how to do ‘that camping thing’.
Regardless of your trip idea, the first questions to ask are:
Sections 2.1 Where to Go, 2.2 Choosing Camping Partners and 2.3 Choosing Trail Riding Partners, will help you answer these questions.
Next you’ll need to consider the skills your horse needs, your own riding ability, the equipment you own (truck, trailer, tack and gear), and the camping skills you may or may not have. These all play into where you decide to go, who you go with, and what plans you need to make, to get on the road.
If you’re not sure whether your horse has the skills and fitness he’ll need, or you have the necessary tack and equipment, check out Chapters 3 and 4.
To figure out what skills and equipment you – as the rider – need, for riding and camping, read Chapter 5.
If you don’t have a truck and trailer, or if you plan to borrow a rig, it’s worth reading Chapter 6. Also, where, exactly, do you plan to sleep? Well, Chapter 6 provides information about rider accommodation choices, too.
But what about your horse? Where will he sleep? Whether you plan to camp at a site that has paddocks or only allows highlines, Chapter 7 will help you decide what accommodation is best for your horse.
Finally, Chapters 8 and 9 provide some great advice on checking your lists, packing up and driving down the road, so that you and your horse arrive safely.
Of course, that all sounds simple and orderly; however, depending on your personality, trip planning may look more like this…
Trip planning takes time, but it isn’t rocket science. You’ll be going horse camping before you know it.