Vacation time is travel time. Whether in winter or summer, in Germany or rather abroad. For most people, this is the best time of the year. Spend time with the family and travel together with your own animal. So why not go on vacation with your horse? If this wish is to become a reality, however, a few things must be considered and planned in advance. Here is some useful information and tips for a successful holiday with a horse.
Set an Exact Travel Destination
If you are certain that you want to go on vacation with your horse, you should first consider where you want to go and which areas you want to explore. Would you like to go on relaxed rides on the beach or rather trail rides through woods and meadows or should you go into the mountains? Further training opportunities with training hours also mean vacation for one or the other rider. The offer is very diverse. No matter what wishes you have for your vacation together, the more precisely you can determine them, the easier the planning is.
If you have already decided where to go, you should deal with the local conditions very carefully. For example, specific climatic factors must be taken into account. The weather in the mountains is different from that in the water, especially depending on the season.
If you travel in the winter months, you and your horse will need different equipment than in summer. Even if you want to go abroad, you should deal with the weather. In Scandinavia, there is more snow and cold in winter than in Spain. In summer, however, it can get very hot even in the north.
If you want to go on a trail riding holiday, you should check whether there are enough trail riding trails there, determine them in advance, find overnight accommodations and book them in good time.
If you want to go to the sea, you should clarify in advance whether you are even allowed to go to the beach with your horse. On Germany’s coasts, for example, it is usually very crowded in summer and a beach ride is not allowed. There are few places where this is possible. The East Frisian Islands are a popular holiday destination. These are known for their pastures, where eczema or horses with respiratory diseases are permanent guests.
Another important aspect is the constitution of your horse. How fit is it? The longer the trip on vacation, the more strenuous it is. The acclimatization period also takes different lengths depending on the horse and travel destination. This is why a longer vacation stay can make sense for longer journeys.
Is your horse vaccinated enough? Which rules and regulations have to be observed when crossing borders? What are the general customs in the respective foreign travel destination?
Check Driving Ability
The goal is set, the accommodations are booked. Now the next steps are pending. Check the safety of your vehicle and trailer. If you have a transporter, also check it before you start your journey. Above all, TÜV, brakes, lights, and tires as well as useful tools should be on your list.
If your horse has difficulties loading it, start training early. You can practice loading and unloading in small steps. If it doesn’t work out so well, seek advice and help from a horse trainer.
The preparations also include determining the route. If you are traveling for a long time, plan enough breaks. At higher temperatures, you and your horse will need sufficient breaks and several breaks. Think carefully about where you want to go and whether there are enough resting places there. It has proven useful to set off early in the morning or in the later evening hours. If a second horse comes along, the combination of both animals should work. After all, a confrontation in the trailer among the horses would be devastating. This can not only lead to injuries but also cause the trailer to roll.
Holidays with a Horse – the Checklist
So that you can start your horse holiday well prepared, here is a checklist. So you keep track and think about the most important things!
- Vaccination certificate and equine passport.
- Enough water for the journey. Water canisters and a bucket for soaking are helpful.
- Feed and additives. If your horse receives a certain feed or special additives, you should pack a sufficient amount of it. After all, you have no guarantee that you will buy it again at your holiday destination if necessary. Make sure to take the feeding trough with you as well.
Insect repellant, fly sheet, fly mask. If your horse has eczema, you will also need the appropriate accessories.
- Halter and of course a rope and a hiking halter. Since we horse people always have more than just a halter or rope, it is useful to always pack a replacement.
- Sweat blanket, rain blanket, and, depending on the season and the horse, a winter blanket.
- Saddle with the saddle pad, bridle, saddle girth, stirrups. It is also a good idea to take a possible replacement for the saddle girth or stirrups and stirrup leathers.
- Your cleaning box.
- Gaiters, bandages, or even bell boots. Depending on what your horse needs for rides or for grazing.
- Sun protection. If you travel in the summer months, think about sun protection. Since there is not always and everywhere shade when riding, you should rub your horse’s nose with a sun blocker for horses or sun cream. Sun cream for children is well suited for this because it is usually free of preservatives and fragrances and available with a high sun protection factor.
- A first aid kit. A small first-aid kit can also be useful. Whether homeopathic emergency remedies, Bach flowers, or helpful home remedies. Depending on the situation, such remedies can help your horse. You should also think about medication. If your horse has to take them for any reason, you should pack them in your first-aid kit.
- Emergency numbers. Before you start your journey, find the important telephone numbers and addresses of veterinarians and clinics near your travel destination. Should an emergency arise, you can contact them without having to panic looking for it.
A great vacation with lots of fun and relaxation!