Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Spring Ride--What you need to know!

Spring camping with your horses in the Methow Valley is an experience to remember. However, spring weather can change rapidly so it is important to be prepared:
    • Bring warm gear for you and your horse. A turnout blanket for your horse is a good idea, especially at night when the temperatures can drop considerably. Comfortable horses are generally quieter at night as well. For yourself, be sure to pack warm clothing for day and evening wear. Wool socks are great, as is long underwear. A cowboy had with hurricane strings is always a good idea--it can get windy on those ridges! Gloves should at least be in your saddle bags. 
    • Keep your campsite clean. That means no hay, manure, or human garbage when you leave. If you have a collapsible manure barrow, bring it. Some standard wheelbarrows will be provided, but there are far more horses than there are wheelbarrows! There is a designated site for dumping manure--just as for the location when you register.
    • Bring plenty of blankets or an extra sleeping bag. It gets cold once the sun goes down and for many folks, this is their first camping trip of the year. Inevitably, the maiden voyage is the one you find out the heater doesn't work at all, or marginally at best. 
    • Horses can water at the creek, but there is no potable (for human drinking) water available so be sure to bring plenty from home. Be sure to pack plenty of grain and hay. There is no grass or natural feed in the camp area.
    • If you just can't leave your dogs at home, they must be left on a leash (or left in your campsite or vehicle). Dogs running free are a real problem for other dogs as well as green horses and riders.
    • There are concrete toilets and portapotties in the Beaver Creek Campground for those whose rigs are not self-contained. 
    • Check your propane before you leave home!
The Beaver Creek Campground is about 8-10 miles from Twisp, so it's a fairly short drive into town. Twisp also has a pharmacy, grocery store, two feed stores, Les Schwab tire store, two gas stations, a vet clinic, ambulance service, and small medical clinic. We will have a farrier on the ride in case your horse throws a shoe, but availability on an emergency basis might not be right at hand. Bottom line: check your horses' feet before you leave home. Shoes are definitely recommended as rocky ground is the norm in the Methow Valley.  

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