If someone had told me that one day, I’d be traveling with my kid, our two dogs, and two horses – I wouldn’t believe them! And, I would have so many questions.
Why? How? Where did all the animals come from? Where are they all kept? What’s next?
I was not raised with horses and I barely knew how to ride a horse. Now, I own two horses that join us on our camping travels.
Today, while our ponies are parked at their home barn, I’m here to answer the most common questions about how we camp with horses and so much more.
How Our Horse Camping Journey Started
During the pandemic, we hunkered down in Texas and learned a great deal about horsemanship. Our family volunteered at barns for months and learned an extensive amount of information about the anatomy of horses, grooming, diet, exercises, body language, and more. Being around horses during a time when the world was forced to experience so much isolation helped us cope tremendously. There was so much to learn and it felt like we had been fully immersed in a hands-on course. For almost 9 months, day and night we worked with horses until we adopted our first one, and then another horse six months later.
RV Camping With Horses
With help to haul our RV while we hauled our horses, we moved our family to Stephenville, TX to learn more horsemanship skills and be around our equestrians 24/7. Stephenville is a popular equestrian community where we reserved a monthly spot at an RV park that included a barn for us to house our horses. There were hundreds of people living in horse trailers traveling with their horses. Some were camping long-term.
Each morning we woke up early to walk down to the barn to clean our horse’s stalls, feed them, and put them back in the pasture to play and visit with other horses. As I observed the rodeo participants loading their horses daily, I grew inspired to travel west with our horses for our first month-long roundtrip journey.
Preparing For The RV Horse Camping Trip
It’s interesting how, without realizing it, every decision we make is writing the next page for the chapter ahead. I had no idea that our lifestyle of living in a van full-time and exploring the country with no itinerary would prepare us to do it all over again, but this time with a tent, pickup truck, and horse trailer.
Where Do We Camp with Horses?
- State parks with horse corrals
- Horse Motels
If we aren’t at any of the above, we camp overnight in our truck parked at a travel stop or rest stop for no more than four hours. Search Good Sam Campgrounds for RV campgrounds that accommodate horses.
What Do We Eat Horse Camping?
We rely on our cooler for refrigeration and cook campfire meals daily. Our meals mostly consist of fish, fruit, nuts, and vegetables. The horses eat fresh hay and grain; our pups each have different food for their age.
Where Does Everyone Sleep?
My son and I along with the dogs sleep in our 7-person tent or in our pickup truck for naps during the commute. Horses mostly sleep standing up and we learned from a cowboy to keep things simple when we’re on the road with them. Back in the day, when traveling with horses was a primary source of travel, no one worried about where they would sleep. When we are traveling across towns, we contact horse motels. We safely tie our horses up next to us not too far from our tent if there isn’t a pasture or horse stall for us to release them in.
Where Does Everyone Use the Bathroom?
- Travel Stops
- Campground Restroom
How Do We Shower?
- Loves Travel Stops
- Campground Showers
- Friends and Families Homes
How Long Do We Stay In The Same Spot?
After the first month of tent camping at the same ranch, which allowed us to easily create and adjust to a daily off-grid routine with our animals, we finally felt ready to travel further west. The original plan was to stay in one spot for a week but we enjoyed being in numerous camping spots so much that we kept extending our reservations one by one.
What I originally thought would only be a month-long trip turned into three months of detours, delays, and endless spontaneity and we’d do it all over again. We met all types of people and experienced the kind of adventure that you can only obtain when you pack accordingly and just wing it!