Bring on the Good Weather: Tips for Camping with Your Horse

Horse Camping and Trail Riding

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner.  What better way to get out and enjoy the nice weather than to go camping with your horse?  Camping with your horse can be a lot of work but it is also very fun and rewarding.  There are many things that go into camping with your horse, so in this article tips for making the experience fun and rewarding are discussed. 


When planning a camping trip with your horse it is a good idea to prepare him/her for the experience.  First, make sure that your horse is mentally and physically ready for this trip.  You will most likely be spending long hours in the saddle on various terrains.  Make sure your horse’s fitness level is up to this task.  A good way to practice and increase your horse’s fitness level is to brush up on your trail skills such as navigating gates, bridges, brush, logs, steep inclines and declines, and water crossings.  Mental preparation for your horse is just as important as being physically ready.  Make sure that your horse is comfortable in new environments, around other horses, being tied, trailering, sights, and sounds of a campsite.  A good way to prepare for these scenarios is to do some desensitizing training and build his/her confidence.   


Once you feel that you and your horse is ready for a camping trip, it’s time to plan.  First, you must choose a destination.  They are many options out there.  Equestrian campgrounds vary.  They can be a primitive campground to a campground with electrical and water hook-ups for an RV or trailer with living quarters.  Some campgrounds may have hitching posts, high lines, corrals, or stalls for your horse.  You can also look into open campgrounds, but these are very primitive and you will need to bring everything, including water for your horse.  So be sure to do your research and pick the best spot for both you and your horse and then pack accordingly. 


You’ve made your reservations and you’re ready to go, right?  There is one thing you must make sure you have a back option for and that is the containment of your horse.  Even though you may have reserved a corral or stall for your horse at the campground, things like the corral being too muddy or there is another horse in your corral can cause problems, you need to be prepared with a second option for your horse.  There are several options available for the confinement of your horse.  You can use ties, portable corrals, high lines, and electric fencing systems.  Whichever option you choose to use be sure that your horse is familiar and comfortable with that option. 


Try to arrive in the daylight hours to make setting up your campsite easier.  Take a few moments to orientate yourself with the campground and trails (a map is always a great idea). Be sure to secure yours and your horse’s food someplace safe where any critters cannot get to it.  And then finally you and your horse are ready to enjoy your camping trip!