Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Now that my trailering problems are... Okay, I'm a little nervous to say they are RESOLVED. Let's just say I think I have the tools to solve things and my horse does seem to be a much improved loader.

So now I'm dreaming of traveling. Of course I work full time, have two wonderful children who are not yet horse addicted, and have all these other pesky responsibilities.


Anywhoo... Back to dreaming....

I won't be able to make the trip I'd hoped to to Mark Rashid's clinic in Sante Fe (but I'll be looking for another excuse to get over there!), because we are headed to Disney World the next week (yes, taking the kids out of school for a theme park. bad mommy. Any tips? lol)

But I want to go somewhere far, far away. Or maybe at least two days away... Maybe in November... So I was excited to find this site. Bed and Barn! How fun is that?

I want to learn more about long hauling so here are my questions:

1. When do you need to take a break with a horse? I mean, I get out and stop for meals, if you're in a safe location should you take your horse out anywhere along the way or not?

2. Where do you like to stay? Have you stayed in a bed and barn?

3. What's the furthest you've gone with your horse (Lytha, you definitely win this one! LOL).

4. What's your tip for the intrepid horse traveler?

5. And, for fun, if you owned a Horse Motel, what would you call it


lytha said...

ah, travelling with my horse. i really started to enjoy it when i got a good truck and trailer! there is something to be said for trusting the power (going and stopping) of a truck. (my good truck was a one ton silverado, best truck ever!)

i used to take 9 hour trips alone all summer long. no matter how efficiently i drove, getting into central oregon over the mountains took me forever every time.

i would stop in the midway point to let my horse walk and graze at a rest stop. a recent study i read says horses do not really need such breaks, though.

important to me are that the horses can get their heads down low as they travel (many trailers do not allow this, due to high mangers). and i like lots of airflow in a trailer cuz trailers become little dust boxes without open windows.

my biggest scary adventure was when i had all three horses in the trailer, and i decided to drive my rig onto a ferry for the trip across the sound, in an attempt to avoid that awful narrows bridge in tacoma (high and windy suspension bridge).

the ferry was loud! heck, maybe as loud as that airplane ride! but the horses didn't care or notice that they were on water. i did not like having cars pressed all around my trailer so tightly i could not hardly get the door open to visit the horses. but i did ride back there in the trailer with them almost the whole way.

getting off that ferry, the tide was out, causing the angle for the ramp to be extreme enough that i scraped the hitch going across, and somehow, somehow, the electrical wires got destroyed. that means the moment i left the ferry, i had neither lights nor brakes.

and no brakes with 3 horses and a weekend's worth of water and hay, i could not get far. the trucks brakes were jerking and the antilock system kept engaging at red lights, as it tried to compensate for what it thought was a sliding stop. i was freaking out.

here i was in bremerton, i had no idea where to get help, and i was, as always, alone. i prayed.

5 minutes later i found a service station and the guys there patched up my electrical system for $50.

it was a miracle.

i went on my way, up into the mountains, and had a great weekend, and drove around the water to get home.

and get this, the washington ferry system PAID MY REPAIR BILL!!! they said i should have checked the tide tables to see if the ferry would be too low, but then again, they should have told me that before letting me on board.

long story, sorry!

another tip ...ride back there in the trailer when you get a chance. it is eye opening! and amazing to me that our horses get in there for us when we ask.


FlyingHorse2 said...

1. When do you need to take a break with a horse? I mean, I get out and stop for meals, if you're in a safe location should you take your horse out anywhere along the way or not?
For me it would depend on the deameanor of the horse but if it's a safe place and not on a highway, certainly breaks will help. Circulation in the hooves and legs will be reduced from them standing in one spot with little room to shift so a walk here n there depending on how long of a drive, I think we stopped every 2 to 3 hours on 20 hour trip. That will help alleviate stocking up and also stimulate the circulaton. I am by no means an expert, just had a daughter who was a pony hunter queen! LOL! We traveled tons!!

2. Where do you like to stay? Have you stayed in a bed and barn?
We always planned our long hauls around hotels with turnout nearby. There is a website that lists private & public stables that will do overnight board but you'll have to do a search. I can't remember the name....Most have close access to a hotel

3. What's the furthest you've gone with your horse (Lytha, you definitely win this one! LOL).
2100 miles....ugh!!!

4. What's your tip for the intrepid horse traveler?
Buy a couple of 5 gallon gas cans, use a permanent marker & mark for water only. Start out with your own water (as much of it as you can take) as some horses will not drink 'foreign' water. You can also keep them filled and stop for water 'offerings' if you're in an area where unloading is not an option. Also if high temps are involved, make sure to take a couple bottles of rubbing alcohol. You can pour it down your horses spine for a quick cooling off if a temperature occurs.....

5. And, for fun, if you owned a Horse Motel, what would you call it?
Hoofin' Inn


Anonymous said...

I've made two round trips from here to Colorado - 1,000 miles each way, and my daughter trailered her horse here from South Carolina (even farther) and also took Lily and Norman down to Tennessee. I have a Ford F350 and a Featherlite 4-horse gooseneck, so we've got the power and space to go anywhere we want.

There are some good books out there on trailering long distances, and on "horsie hotels". Be prepared - take water, and your own hay. Sign up for the USA Rider roadside assistance program - most regular roadside plans won't help you with a trailer. I could go on and on about what to take and what to do ahead of time for the horses - there are a lot of safety items/checks for both horses and rig. Get one of those roll-on roll-off tire stands in case of a flat - horses can stay in the trailer.

We never take our horses out of the trailer while we're on the road, except to stop overnight at a horsie hotel. Too much risk, IMO, and who knows what the grass at rest areas has been treated with. We did stop every 2 to 3 hours to offer water and give the horses a chance to rest/pee/poop. At lunch we stopped longer. We never left the trailer unattended or out of sight - obviously if you're by yourself you don't have that option.

I could go on . . and on . . and on, but I'll stop now!

Michelle said...

Ok, this might be long but here goes:

1. When do you need to take a break with a horse? We'd take breaks (30-45 min)pretty much anytime we'd stop for gas. We'd gas up, then park out of the way for a bit so we could water everyone, fill up on our own drinks and potty breaks etc. I NEVER NEVER EVER recommend taking a horse out along the way. Even the most serene horse can be freaked out in an environment like that and horses + vehicles = potential disaster. No way, the only times we ever unloaded on the road (in 20 years, after probably close to 100,000 miles) were after two emergencies, once when a horse partially kicked out the rear door of the trailer and once when the trailer axle broke. Both times we reloaded onto a different trailer and got home ASAP.
2. Where do you like to stay? We would always plan our trips out to stop after about 12 hours of travel. There are numerous resources to find layover barns for horses, and we'd locate one that wasn't too far off our path and usually stay in a nearby hotel that allowed our dogs. Everyone always felt better after a long break to stretch and rest.
3. What's the furthest you've gone with your horse?
3000 miles RT (Pittsburgh - Oklahoma City via Atlanta) we did this for our National show every single year from 1993-2005. We'd also do Pitt - Ft. Worth via Atlanta every fall for the World Show at about 2900 miles RT. Lots of driving!
4. What's your tip for the intrepid horse traveler?
Gatorade for the horses, or even cider vinegar, in the water helps mask the flavor of different water. Get them accustomed before you leave. Good air circulation is vital!! Especially after a few hours, the ammonia can really build up. We'd always bed our horses deeply when traveling, so wet rubber mats didn't get slippery. Don't leave drop doors down, unless you have a screen. Flying debris can really mess up their eyes. For you, audio books are a lifesaver and Cracker Barrel (if you have those nearby) has a program where you can exchange audiobooks at their restaurants. Also, be careful when leaving your trailer unattended. Most people are respectful, but we've had people try to feed our horses various things and we're always afraid of someone getting nipped. We leave the doors closed if the trailer is unattended and only leave for brief periods.

No clever names for a horse hotel, and this is long enough so hope it helps!!

Life at Star's Rest said...

More multi-day cross country horse trips than I can count!

I also don't take the horses out of the trailer until we are ready to stop for the night for all of the reasons everyone else has give.

I do stop for at least an hour every 4-6 hours of travel. That lets the horses rest because as the trailer moves, they are constantly re-balancing.

I hang small flat back water buckets in front of each horse and fill them about half way. That lets them drink as they want, if they will. If you start adding electrolites to their water prior to travel, it will help to keep them hydrated and keep them drinking when they get water that doesn't taste the same as it does at home.

I keep hay and water in front of them at all times.

I've never stayed at a bed and barn, always parked the horses at a horse motel and stayed separately. Once I slept in a stall at the horse motel because I was too tired to drive anywhere else.

So hey...we are beginning the process of tricking out the yurt to become a B&B and also will be adding four guest stalls and runs. Maybe you'll be one of our first visitors?

The name of our place is Star's Rest, so named because my black horse, Star, is buried here.

Grey Horse Matters said...

It's a great idea but I've never stayed at a Bed and Barn...great name. I think it would be a lot of fun though. My daughter traveled all over Europe with her horse before landing for a few months in Scotland with him. She'd be much better at this than I am.

allhorsestuff said...

My Riding buddy JUST drove for 5 days to Texas from Oregon. He researched the trip out. Made the days about 5 to 6 hours long worth of driving and booked horse motels all the way there. He did not let them out and I would only do this if it were secluded/safe area myself..and if you keep the driving to that 5 hour limit...stopping is good for rest for them...they can relax from moving.
offering them water or BP.
His would not pee till he stopped.
>> I gave him eltrolytes for the water..it flavors it. You start before the trip..so they think they are drinking thier own the whole time.
>> I also gave him what the vet recommended for the horses hind gut moisture...beet pulp. It takes 3-4 hours to soak and dissolve(unles it is super hot nout) and you can give them a few cups each day of travel.

>> name for my place to rest heals and hooves...how about " Kick Back~ equine and rider inn" off the cuff there!