Traveling With Horses
My Dream is To Travel With Horses
Since I can remember, I have been in love with horses. I grew up in the city and tried many times to convince my mom that a basement was a perfectly fine place to keep a horse. Never mind the stairway leading down there and the low ceilings, to a child there was no reason it wouldn't work.
As an adult, I was finally able to fulfill my dream of owning a horse. I have an 8 year old Tennessee Walker Paint. I got him when he was 3 years old. When he was 5, I sent him for training. The trainer did a beautiful job with him and now I have a really nice trail horse. We go to all the local riding places and it's wonderful. My dream came true.
Somehow it always turns out that once you achieve your goal, there's something new that begins to aspire, a new goal wanting to be met head on. Having one horse means that I can go riding, but I can't take anyone with me. I always have to find someone else willing to meet me at a park with their horse. I can't take any of my closest friends who I would like to share the experience with and I would love to be able to take my kids on trail rides too. It's a much better activity for them than sitting in front of a TV or computer all day.
Right now I have an older trailer that is much too small for my horse. Thankfully, he gets into it without much fuss. I have an old Suburban that I use to pull it. The thought of a nice new trailer that's big enough for my horse plus a few more and a nice big truck to pull it almost takes my breath away. I won't go more than about 45 minutes away from home with either of my current ones for fears that one will fall apart so being able to explore the countryside with my horse in tow would be a dream come true!
In Order to Pull A Big Trailer, You Need a Big Truck
Tundra, Avalache, F-Series, Silverado, Titan
For traveling with horses, the kind of truck that I'm thinking of would have safety in mind first. It would need to be strong enough to pull the horses without any worry of breaking down. Being stranded in the middle of nowhere with 4 horses isn't exactly my idea of fun. It would also have a comfortable feel on the inside with all the perks - comfy seats, air conditioning, GPS, hands free mobile, etc...
So Many to Choose From - Where do you even begin?
There's so many trucks out there that I wouldn't even know what I'm looking for. All I know is that I need BIG with towing package. Time to do some research!
- Pick Up Trucks
On this website, you can put in what you're looking for and any that are for sale in your area or the area you specify will come up. You would have to know what you're looking for but there's lots of articles on the website to help you figure it out.
- US News Rankings
This is a nice website for checking out different trucks. Each one lists a score for performance, exterior, interior, safety and reliability. The Ford F-150 is the winner for 2012!
- Popular Mechanics List of Top Trucks
Popular Mechanics gives a description of their top 5 trucks for 2012. There's a a summary about all the essentials like gas mileage and what was included with each truck that they tested. The Ford F-150 was 4th on their list.
Would you recommend your brand of truck for pulling a horse trailer? What kind is it? What year is it? How many miles do you have on it?
Next is the Horse Trailer - Be prepared to stare in awe at the size of some of these!
The kind of trailer that I would love to own some day is a 4 horse trailer with full living quarters. A kitchen full of cabinets and a full stocked refrigerator with a stove where you can cook each and every meal, a bathroom with a shower, a nice comfy bed and a relaxing area with a TV and computer with internet.
Facts about Featherlite
In 1973, the Featherlite trailer brand name was established in Oklahoma.
Featherlite employs 400 people.
Horse Trailers are not the only products made by Featherlite. They also make stock trailers, car haulers, mobile marketing trailers, racecar transporters and many more.
Loading Your Horse Into a Trailer
Ok, I know this is about traveling with horses but a lot of people have trouble loading their horses and you definitely can't travel with your horses if you can't get them in the trailer. My horse is fairly young so I'll share a few tips and tricks I've learned with him.
- You really want to keep your horse relaxed when loading him into a trailer. Start with the gentlest approach first - offer him some grain, or apples, or carrots, or any combination of those foods. I put them in his rubber bowl and tease him with it until he gets in. Then I let him enjoy it. This almost always works with my horse.
- If food doesn't work, try the fingernail method. I made that name up. With one person in front, have another stand to the side of the horse's rear. That person should then dig their finger nails into the horse's rear end repeatedly until the horse gets so annoyed that he gets into the trailer.
- This one is the same idea only you use a rake. Just tap the horse with the rake on the rear until he gets so annoyed he gets in. You don't want to do it hard at all. Just tap, tap, tap, tap until he moves his feet. Getting into the trailer and standing there is much less annoying than standing outside the trailer getting tapped on. You can also just use your hand and keep slapping gently until he gets in. I'm sure there's many more variations to this one.
- The last one that I learned involved a horse that we had struggled with for over a half hour and she just wouldn't load. Every time we got her near the trailer she would rear. Finally, a few men came over to help us. They said that they used to travel with Clydesdales and this worked every time. It takes quite a few people for this to work. Get a really long line, like a lunge line. One person should be by the horse's face to lead him in. Then with people on either side of the trailer holding each end of the line, rub it on the back of the horse's legs, right behind the hocks. The horses hate that and will move their feet. This horse that was giving us such a hard time was loaded within minutes using this gentle technique.
Guides on How To Trailer Your Horse
If you need a little more help than the tips that I provided, check out one of these great books on Amazon. You'll be trailering like a pro in no time!
Great guide for trailering your horse!! Horses doesn't always cooperate when it comes time to get in the trailer. This books offer some tips on everything there is you need to know about when putting your horse in a trailer.
To Travel with Horses, You Need to Have Horses! - What's the Best Trail Horse?
Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walkers, Fox Trotters, Saddlebreds, Rocky Mountain Horses. What's your favorite?
What breed of horses are the best for trail riding?
Tennessee Walkers are also called Plantation Walkers.
Plantation owners needed a comfortable gaited riding horse that could carry them many miles over their large fields while they did their inspections.
For Riding the Horses, We Need some Nice Tack starting with A Saddle - Since this is a dream, let's think big!
When you are looking for a trail riding saddle, comfort is the number one priority! It has to be comfortable since you'll be spending many hours in it. When it comes to saddles, you really do get what you pay for so figure out what your budget is and go for the most expensive one that you can afford.
Saddle Pads Add Comfort
A good saddle pad makes things much more enjoyable for the horse and rider. A good saddle pad can make an okay fitting saddle fit great. It will keep the horse's back from getting sores during those 8 hour rides. It's a good idea to invest in the nicest one you can afford.
No Saddle for the Cat
A Nice Leather Bridle will Last a Long Time
Buying a well made, genuine leather bridle will be a nice investment. It will soften up over time and stand up to many years of riding as long as it's high quality and you clean it after every trail ride.
Saddle Bags to Carry the Necessities
I don't always think about saddle bags since I've only been riding for a year now but it's good to have them so you can easily carry your cell phone, extra leadline, and first aid kit. My horse bolted on me last year and broke his reins so thank goodness one of my friends had a lead that I was able to use as a rein for the rest of the ride. You never know when you will need those supplies!
- Kentucky Photo Album of Horse Campgrounds
This is a beautiful websites that has pictures of all the horse trails and campgrounds in Kentucky. Very nice site!
- Colorado Trails and Campgrounds
This website list of the trails of Colorado shows the lengths of the trails, amenities at each campground, riding difficulty of the trails and much more!
Last But Not Least, We Need to Know Where to Go - Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri, Las Vegas?
These are the first four places that I would take my dream horses in my dream trailer.
Where Would You Start?
Which one of these places sound like the best place to start?
Trail Riding with My Horse Flash
Here's a few little videos of the last trail ride I took my horse on. It was a nice ride a little over an hour long. It was a perfect day for it.