Vacations are a good way to escape reality and relax, or at least try, for a while. This is also a good time to give your horse a break or a tiny boot camp.
Before you head off on your trip, you need to make sure your equine partner is taken care off. There is nothing worse than losing some of your hard work while you’re gone because you forgot something. Make sure they are taken care of while you’re gone. You want to ensure that they are the same, if not better than you left them.
Depending on how long your trip is, it is probably a good idea to have someone ride while you are gone. I recommend keeping your horse on the same schedule while you are gone. If your horse has a problem area, see if that person is willing on working with your horse on it. For example, Gus’s weakest phase is dressage. So while I was gone I had someone work only on dressage with him. Your horse may have a problem jumping a certain type of jump. Ask your fill in if they are comfortable helping them with it. You can also ask for your horse to be lunged while you are gone. This is a good option if you are wary of others riding your horse or using your equipment.
If you are going to have someone ride your horse while you are gone make sure everything they need is easy to get to. Show them where everything is or if they know the barn very well, tell them through an email or message. If you lock your trunk or locker, leave it unlocked or give them the combination or a key. If they can’t get to your stuff ,they can’t ride! Make sure they have a clean saddle pad for each saddle they are going to use so they aren’t using a sweaty pad that will irritate your horse. Make sure they are aware of any special needs or quirks they will run into on the ground or under saddle. This will save everyone headaches while you are away.
Check your supplies before you leave as well. If you provide your own grain, make sure you have enough to last while you are gone and a couple days after, in case something happens on your way back. Make sure you have enough treats so that your horse still gets that little extra love. Fly spray and any type of hoof care you use is one thing that can easily be forgotten. Lastly, check any supplements or medications a week or two before you leave so they get to the barn on time. Vacations should be a way to get away from the stresses of life, but if you don’t prepare beforehand you may end up needing a vacation from your vacation!