A gray horse wearing a halter nibbles on grass outside of a mobile travel trail with string lights hung above it.

What Are Horse Camps?

Some people bring their dogs or cats with them during their camping adventures. However, that’s not the only pet you can bring. Horse camps allow people to take their 500-pound best friend camping. A horse camp enables you to enjoy camping and equestrian activities.

Today, we’ll examine how horse camps are a great option for many to take their horses on camping adventures. Let’s dive in and learn about these unique camping options.

A gray horse wearing a halter nibbles on grass outside of a mobile travel trail with string lights hung above it.

What Are Horse Camps?

Some people refer to horse camps as equestrian campgrounds. These have many of the same features as a standard campground but also have special facilities to accommodate guests who bring horses for riding trails. You can find anything from backcountry horse camps to luxury camps that will be like a trip to the spa for them.

Taking a horse with you can be an excellent opportunity to enjoy some incredible trails and get your horse some exercise. Many horses enjoy adventures as much as their owners do, and horse camps can help you avoid leaving them behind.

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How Do You Keep a Horse While Camping? 

If you bring a horse with you camping, you’ll need to ensure it doesn’t wander off. Luckily, you have several options to keep a horse close to your camp.

Sometimes horse camps will have stables for you to use. However, we’ll look at what other options you might want to consider.

Three horses tied to a trailer parked out in a field.

By Tying It to Trees

You’ll likely have a tree or two nearby if you camp in the wilderness. Find a tree sturdy enough that you won’t have to worry about causing damage to it. You also want to make sure the tree or wood isn’t dead.

If it is, your horse could pull on it and cause it to come crashing down on the horse and your campsite. Always tie your horse to the actual tree and not the branch.

With a Fence

You might get lucky and have a fence nearby where you can tie up your horse. However, you must tie it to a post and not a slat. Many fences are only held together by a handful of nails.

If a horse were to lean back with its heavy weight, it could create enough force to rip the wood from the posts. Look for a sturdy fence post that would be difficult for a horse to pull out of the ground.

Using a Highline

A highline looks like a clothesline stretched between two trees. However, you attach your horse to it instead of hanging your clothes on it. These work great for camping, giving your horse space to walk back and forth between the trees.

Many areas require campers to use highlines with Tree Saver Straps to reduce the damage and protect trees. Leave about 12 feet between each horse on a line and check it every couple of hours to ensure it hasn’t come loose.

A woman in jeans and cowboy hat looking for something in a horse trailer.

What to Bring Camping With Horses

You’ll need to bring a few essential items when camping with a horse. First, have a sufficient amount of water for yourself and the horse.

Staying at a campground with water can be helpful, but it’s a good idea to bring your own water just in case. Horses require upwards of five to ten gallons of water per day, so make sure you get plenty and don’t forget the food.

You’ll need to bring the standard riding supplies like reins, girth, halters, lead ropes, and a saddle pad. However, having extras and tools for making tack repairs is wise. If the area has flies and other insects, you’ll want to bring fly spray and a mask for your horse.

In addition to the usual camping supplies, you’ll want to make sure you have gloves, grooming supplies, and a first-aid kit.

The more you can take your horse camping, the more you can discover what items you wish you had and add them to your packing list. It’s best to start out with shorter adventures and trips and work your way up to multi-day camping excursions.

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How Far Can You Ride a Horse in a Day?

Horses, like humans, come in all shapes, sizes, and capabilities. If they’re in average condition, a horse can typically withstand trips of 50 miles in a single day. Those horses who have been training can travel upward of 100 miles in a day.

However, they’ll typically need a rest day or two between these long adventures. You don’t want to overwork your horse and cause severe or even permanent damage.

What Do Horses Eat on Long Journeys?

Most horses can get by eating hay or grass during their journeys. However, if you plan a trip to an unfamiliar area, you’ll want to make sure to bring food for them with you. Many riders will soak the hay in water and molasses to improve the taste and increase the hydration of their horses.

A goofy image close up of a horses snout as it eats a carrot.

Where Do I Find Horse Camps?

If you’re looking for a horse camp, you can use a resource like Campendium. You can search for campsites in an area where you’d like to camp.

Then, use the filters to narrow down the results. Campendium has a filter that allows you to only show results with horse facilities available. 

Because most campgrounds don’t have horse facilities, it will eliminate most results. However, users have confirmed those that remain as horse facilities. You’ll want to call those campgrounds to make a reservation or ask questions.

Are Horse Camps Worth It? 

Horse camps are worth it if you want to take your horse with you on your camping trips. However, you’ll likely find better facilities elsewhere if you don’t have a horse.

Horses can generate quite a smell, but most owners are accustomed to it. Non-owners might not find the scent nearly as pleasant.

We love seeing horses and riders on trails enjoying the wild. You can have a special experience with your horse on beautiful backcountry trails.

Are you looking for a horse camp for your next outing?

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