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Riding Across the U.S.A.

Many riders long for a change of scenery and pace, and riding cross country is just the ticket. Getting out of the pasture and onto the open road not only gives you a new perspective on things, but allows you to bond with other riders along the way. So, if you are longing for something different this spring or summer, consider riding across the countryside. There are a variety of books and web sites devoted to horseback riding, and you are encouraged to take advantage of all of the resources available to you. With a little bit of effort, you can plan a trip that is both exciting and relaxing for all those involved.

A Different Perspective

Choosing to plan your own horseback riding trip can seem daunting at first, especially if you are new to the world of riding. Unlike camps or vacation packages, you will have to map out your route and consider sleeping accommodations, among others. Some riders choose to spend time with friends and family members along the way, while others stay in hotels, while others choose to camp out under the stars. Whichever way you choose to go about your trip – always prepare for the unexpected. Giving yourself an extra day or two for weather and other delays and packing more supplies than you think you will need, will help ensure that you reach your destination safely and on time.

Things to Consider

When planning your trip, there are several different aspects that you will need to consider. Some of the major areas include:

  • Supplies- this includes food, water, and riding supplies for both you and your horse. A good rule of thumb is to pack more supplies than you think you will need on your trip, in case of emergencies. Don’t forget a first aid kit and a cell phone with an extra battery for emergencies.
  • Lodging- you can only ride for so long and you will eventually have to sleep! You can choose to stay with friends or family members along the way, rent a hotel room, or camp out under the stars. Make sure to bring the phone number and addresses of anyone that you plan to visit along the way, plus any supplies that you may need such as sleeping bags or blankets.
  • Time Constraints- be realistic about how long you will ride each day. Riding for 8 hours a day, for a week or two can begin to wear on even the seasoned of riders – so give yourself some time to rest.
  • Route Planning- careful planning will help ensure that you have the best possible trip. Keep in mind the areas of the country that you really want to visit, and plan around those venues.
  • Weather- checking the weather reports prior to your trip is a good start, but it is important to be prepared for all kinds of weather scenarios. Plan on wearing layers of clothing, so that you can warm up or cool down as needed.
  • In good company- are you planning on traveling alone or with a friend? Riding with a group adds a new dynamic to your trip, and can be a lot of fun. You may be able to plan your trip with other riders in the area.

It’s All about the Details

One of the greatest things about this country is the fact that you can see a little bit of everything. You can see beautiful beaches, wooded areas, farmland, and cityscapes all in one day! By planning ahead and being prepared for the unexpected, you can experience all that this great land has to offer. So saddle up and be prepared for the ride of your lifetime.

 

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