Welcome back for another great year of riding! To start off the year we (Jill and I) have created a sample packing list for you that you can add to or subtract from to make your own personalised check list. There might be some things you didn’t think of or most certainly items you won’t need, but it gives you something to start with.
Click here to download the Packing List.
Jill has also provided us with a great little set of “instructions” and handy hints, so you should be all set for the next ride. If you still have queries or suggestions, just drop us a line; we’d love to hear from you!
Over to you, Jill!
As we gear up for another year of trails and camping, it dawns on me that not every horse person, that loves trail riding, is ‘geared’ for camping with their horse.
A simple process you might think, and while we, the ‘die hards’, merrily prepare for the season without second thinking…. What is required for a great time camping with your horse? What do I take for Me?, What does the horse need? How, and where do we contain them? What do our horses need for ‘fuel’ for their work? What do we need for our smokos and lunches? There are so many scenarios and usually EVERYONE forgets SOMETHING. Fortunately there is always someone amongst us that are willing to help out, lend a hand, or provide a piece of forgotten equipment, loan some feed, and so on.
So for the benefit of the ‘newbies’… I am attempting to detail the process. Hope this will help.
Speaking for myself, I have a standard ‘check list’ ready to print out and keep on the bench to ‘check off’ each item as it is placed in either , the float, or the car.
- Firstly, the horse! The obvious.. ie Saddle, Girth, Bridle, saddle pad, saddle bags for lunches and ALWAYS one or two bottles of drinking water. Electric tape and posts, charger and hammer (when the ground is hard). Additional horse gear, if needed: Boots, brushes, hoof pick, hobbles (if he won’t stay behind elec tape), Rug/s, and… last but not least… Halter and Lead Rope – always to be taken with you on the ride for tying up at lunch/smoko stops.
- Then, there’s the feed. A horse that works hard needs the fuel. ‘Tis your choice, of course, but I will always take enough hay for morning and evening feeds, and will always feed the ‘yummy’ stuff both morning before the ride, and at night. If there is no water provided, (usually is) but sometimes no hose, so a bucket and sponge for sponging down is handy. Some of us carry a hose with variable fittings. Appropriate feed and water buckets and if you have two horses, they must be penned separately so you’ll need two lots. The rule on separate penning is in our constitution brought about by two paddock mates arguing over the bucket and the owner happened to be between – nasty result.
- Medicinal… Again, up to yourself, but sometimes it’s handy to have a spray bottle of wound dressing, bandaging etc… and I’ve also found carrying some “Electrolytes” and some molasses (if they don’t like taste) has been handy. Sometimes after a long ride, we maybe in a hurry to get home before the horse has had a chance to cool down enough. Not a normal occurrence, but it can happen.
- Then there’s US… A bed to sleep on – most have swags, but may I mention, we can be in some pretty cold situations, a good warm doona, or sleeping bag is a must. Tent? sleep in float? whatever your choice… be prepared for rain, sometimes our weekends can change drastically and while it can appear crappy, sometimes turns into fun if you are prepared. I carry a pair of gumboots, a second set of riding boots, a brolly, and of course the raingear and a riding raincoat. I often think of the pioneers who founded this country and some of the country they lived and travelled over is awesome… we only get to see a smidgen of it, but I am in awe at their strength, stamina and of course how their animals coped with it. Our horses also need to know a minor hardship now and again… they get too comfy cosy in their home environment.
- Our food. Entirely up to you. Some of our ‘luxury camps’ (which seem to happen a lot these days) are within cooey of a pub. Saves taking the food with us, and it does cost extra dollars. However, the real fun is preparing the basic meals, and consuming them together at the campfire. Some bring steaks/sausages to throw on a BBQ (if available) or on the open fire… if you don’t mind charred snags. I cheat… I bring a frozen, pre-cooked/prepared meat and veg dish that is easy to heat over the little gas cooker.. Oh.. and while I’m on the gas cooker issue…. On REALLY COLD nights… put your gas cylinder in a sock and put it in your sleeping bag with you. It will have a better chance at boiling the billy in the morning – gas cylinders will work, but have no heat. A trick I learned on the Monto Cattle Drive.
- Not forgetting the essentials… Cup, plate, knife/fork etc, coffee cup and so on.
- Extras…. Always handy to have an extra girth strap, stirrups maybe, bridle, halter, saddle pad, ropes, reins… you never know when your favourite gives out, or, someone else is in dire need for something. My experience taking Carmelita on one of her first big trails was with a bodgied halter (thanks to Gary), cause I forgot the most important piece of equipment.
- The newsletter is produced with the idea of providing everyone with the same information about a ride/camp. Sometimes I fail to mention a detail here ‘n’ there, but it helps to print it out when you get it, and keep it handy. Directions are usually reliable, but if in real doubt and especially if it’s you’re first attempt at a camp and it’s a long distance drive, ‘Tee’ up with someone else to travel with – we’ve been known to have a convoy of about 6 floats. If any breakdowns occur, we have each other to provide help when needed. A note for RACQ folks… they will tow a car, but not with a horse, nice to have someone take your horse home if needed.
- Other additional bits and pieces like, tarps, some ropes, a handful of Bale Twine, a sharp knife, and anything else you can think of…… even a pack of ‘Baby Wipes’ come in handy too.
So… after the ‘check list’ is sorted… you may need a plastic container/s to put food stuff in (with lid) – some camps have been known to encounter some food-thieving wild life. Not all floats are equipped with ‘kitchens’, and we did many camps without one, watching and learning from others who ‘had it all’. Your camp is yours and yours alone… fashion it as you wish… What someone else’s mansion, may not be your cup of tea, and what’s nice is….. We don’t have ANYONE that says…. “yours is better than mine”, or mine’s better than anyone else’s…. It’s a non-competitive fun way to enjoy your horse and that… is what Wide Bay Trail Riders do best!
See you all on the trail soon!