Definition: practical knowledge and good judgment about ordinary life, but especially helpful when on the trail…
- Be courteous
- Be patient, understanding and flexible
- Be respectful, appreciative and supportive
- Bring a back-up saddle and extra tack. A tack supplier does not travel with us
- Double check that you have your essential tack, equipment and camping supplies before you leave – don’t be on the trail without everything you need
- Eat – the cook wagon (aka. our caterer) definitely provides the opportunity
- Florida weather in February – plan for weather from 30°-90°, including rain, wind, frost, fog and sun
- A horse’s comfort level is between 15°-65°. Within this range, a horse will not expend any energy to keep warm or cool itself.
- Get sleep
- Keep hydrated – water and iced tea is available at all meals and breaks, carry your own
- Keep your horse hydrated – water troughs are available at all breaks, lunch stops and in camp
- Listen to the Trail Boss and Outriders
- Pay attention and be aware of your surroundings at all times
- Use proper and appropriate equipment
- Use sunscreen and lip moisturizer with sunscreen
- We’re camping – Expect the Unexpected!
Trail Remedies and Health Concerns
- The Dangers of Fireweed
Fireweed contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are toxic to livestock. Horses are more susceptible to fireweed poisoning than cattle or sheep. Affected horses can suffer brain damage, liver damage, photosensitisation affecting unpigmented areas of skin, gradual weight loss, jaundice, fluid on the lungs, blindness, even sudden death without any other indications.
Fireweed is a daisy-like plant that grows from 10 to 60 cm high. It has a variable growth habit and leaf structure, but the most common form of fireweed is a low, heavily branched, annual or shortlived perennial plant. The leaves are generally bright green in color, fleshy and narrow, 2-7 cm long, alternately arranged on the stem, and have serrated, entire or lobed margins. Broader leaves usually clasp around the stem. The flowers are small, yellow and daisy-like, 1-2 cm in diameter and arranged in clusters at the end of each branch. They can number from 0 to 200 per plant, and each flower will commonly have 13 petals and 21 bracts forming the ‘cup’ under the flower.
- Red Fire Ants – don’t sit on the ground – watch where you tether your horse – use Windex or Vitamin E for bites
- Arnica Montana – use pills or cream to minimize bruising and reduce pain and swelling
- Hide grunk (grime + gunk) under fingernails by painting nails a festive color
- Moisture is an important factor in keeping things moving in your horse’s gut – If they do not consume enough water, compaction could become a problem, resulting in colic.
Common Horse Terms
- Hock – The financial condition of all horse owners
- Stall – What your rig does at rush hour in an unfamiliar city on the way to a big horse show
- A Bit – What you have left in your pocket after a visit to your favorite tack shop
- Fence – A decorative structure built to provide a horse something to chew on
- Well Mannered – A horse who hasn’t stepped on, bitten or kicked anyone in the last week
- Lunging – A popular training method in which a horse exercises his owner by spinning them in circles until dizzy
- Gallop – The customary gait a horse chooses when returning back to the barn
- Nicely Started – A horse who lunges just fine, but you don’t have enough health insurance to even think about riding him
- Easy to Load – A horse who only takes 3 hours, 4 people, 50 pounds of oats and a tractor with a loader to get into a trailer
- Easy Rider – A horse who rides good in a trailer, but must not be confused with “ride-able”
- Endurance Ride – The end result when your horse sppoks and runs away with you
- Hives – What you get when you receive the vet bill for your 6 horses, 3 dogs, 4 cats and a donkey
- Hobbles – A walking gait of a horse owner after their horse has stepped on their foot
- Feed – An expensive substance used to manufacture manure