My horses are part of the family and I hate the idea of leaving them behind when planning a vacation. Life is so much more exciting on the back of a horse, they make every day-living so much more fun and my vacation with them would be 110 times more entertaining! So, what to do and where to go when planning a vacation with your family and horses? In this article I will outline a couple of pretty cool ideas where you can take your horses on vacation; examine procedures for crossing state lines; and how to conquer the problems faced by many when introducing different food and water sources, as well as provide a list of “must-haves” for traveling with your horses. This article can help you with finding the perfect vacation spot, as well as prepare you for “not so fun” emergency disasters. You can be ready to escape and also be ready to vacate.
In my research of where to go and what to do while vacationing with your horses I found many equestrian trails and camping spots in the San Diego area, as well as throughout California. Some of the areas that looked amazing were Wild Horse Equestrian Family camp grounds in Angelus Oaks, California and Butterfield Ranch resort in Julian, California.
BYOH (Bring your own horse) Dude Ranches, such as Honeywell Guest Ranch in Bridgeport, California or if you plan to travel across the U.S. consider traveling to Artillery Ridge in Pennsylvania where you can experience history like never before. You can see new and interesting terrain while getting the luxury and relaxation of staying at a hotel. Stress-free and glamorous while sharing and opening up new experiences with your own equine family member.
For those of us who are always on the road to learning, finding interesting clinics and seminars in different areas of the country such as Buck Brannaman in the majestic mountains of Steamboat Springs, Colorado or trying your luck at many clinics in Las Vegas, Nevada. In this way, you can maintain your outdoor life and excursions to beaches, theme parks and more.
When traveling with your horses there are many meticulous things to consider, but once accomplished all will be set in place for years to come. If traveling across state lines you will want to make sure that you are current on your truck and trailer and they are in good working condition. Research the laws and rules effecting your need for a USDOT number and CDL level license. For your horses, you will need a current Coggins test (generally within the last 6 months) and a health certificate from a certified vet (within the last 30 days).
When exposing your horses to new people and their horses you should set up a way to protect your horses. Some sicknesses can be passed by touch so you want to contact where you are going to stay and ask if they have had any out breaks of colds or any other contagious disorder, and if their staff has received procedures on how to handle new horses and possible health issues and what the procedures are.
Horses are very sensitive to changes in their food and water. Some horses may stop eating and drinking. Here are a few ideas to help conquer this problem. Take enough hay from home so you are able to add “at home” hay to “vacation” hay. Start adding apple cider vinegar or molasses to your horses “at home” water this will help make the smell and taste of “vacation” water familiar. I have heard that these two ingredients promote drinking and digestion as well.
Here is a list of things that you can pack in a couple of storage bins for your travels or to have handy in case of an emergency. (Download PDF).
Post by Nicole Stone, Ranch Manager