Meandering Thoughts

Meandering Thoughts

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Traveling with Horses

Competitive and Endurance riding became such a passion in our family that we joined the Ohio Distance Trail Riding Assoc.  This meant if we participated in approved rides and finished the miles of the ride, our distance was computed and at the end of the year awards were given.  If you completed 300 miles on your horse and completed a mandatory ride each year, you could earn a blanket for your horse.

Once you commit to this program, it is like anything else, you must finish.  Rides were scheduled throughout Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky.   We found ourselves camping with horses from April thru October. 

To travel with horses for a weekend, usually with all 3 kids and maybe another friend required the ability to
be prepared for anything.  Not only did you need horses and the required tack, you took extra tack because something will always break.  Plus grooming supplies, electrolytes, feed, hay, a million water buckets extra shoes (never know when a horse might lose one) sponges, blankets, fly spray, extra lead straps, halters and hay bags.  Duct tape was always on hand, I once taped a shoe back on to get to a place where a farrier could replace the nails and we could head on down the trail.  I have also see riders use duct tape to hold their on clothes in place, until they could change.

Then you have people things.  Clothes for hot rides, clothes for cold rides and often those were the same rides!  Clothes in case it rained and then one time we even took Arab costumes for a Halloween ride.  In case you are wondering, we rode Arabian Horses, hence the Arab costumes.  Then there were sleeping bags and pillows when we slept in tents or the back of the pick up truck.  We had boots, tennis shoes, and sandals.  Plus food, snacks, firewood, cook-stove, coffee pot, coolers and chairs.  What a production to go camping for a weekend with horses.

When we first started we drove a pickup truck with a shell over the back.  I learned to pull a 16ft stock trailer and I could back it anywhere, as long as a man wasn't giving me directions in the mirror.  If you don't know, men have a secret code for backing they won't share with women.  So give me a women to help me back a trailer, or better just let me do it alone.  I might have to get out to check how far back I will need to go so we have good space for the horses to unload but otherwise I could back a trailer.

As the sport of Endurance and Competitive riding got to be more of a passion, we purchase an huge used motorhome!  I drove this pulling that 16ft stock trailer that would haul 4 horses.  We were "styling"!  This made backing a little more of a challenge because I couldn't even see the trailer behind the motor home unless I had it jackknifed behind me when a man was trying to help me back into a camping spot.  But alas, if I had a woman friend to direct me, all went well!

We once took that motor home to California, hauling 3 horses and all the stuff that goes with them.  We rode a ride in Oakland Hills months before the big Oakland Hills raging fires.  It was the most amazing ride, I still have goosebumps when I remember the mountain views.  When we left California, we headed to Nevada.  A Endurance ride in Soldiers Meadows.......... 50 miles from the nearest anything.  Couldn't even get a radio station.  Dust on those roads never left the inside of the motor home, even after cleaning.  You could move a cushion and still smell the desert dust.  That trip to California was suppose to be a vacation, it turned into an adventure our children will never forget.

Our last mode of transportation was a big FORD diesel, 4door truck and a goose-neck trailer with primitive sleeping quarters in the front, it would haul 3 horses and had a tack room.  We still carried all the previous mentioned stuff, it was just arranged differently.  It worked well and we still have this arrangement, but now my son, Ryan and his wife Tere and Cait and Lizzy take it on weekend camping trips with their horses. 

Traveling with horse is lots of work....... but sooo much fun.

1 comment:

  1. Cindy, I love the part about the man code for backing up the trailer! Ha!