How Much Feed to Take With You in the Wilderness
How much you can take depends on many factors, especially whether grazing is an option. If your horse can graze on quality grass for several hours a day, this can significantly reduce the amount of other necessary feed. However, be careful if your horse does not typically have access to pastures in the home, because the sudden entry may lead to gastrointestinal discomfort, diarrhea and colic. It’s better to play safe and limit your lawn intake and rely on the feed you bring or try to introduce pastures before you travel.
The pellets are more digestible than hay and, therefore, the horses tend to get by slightly less weight. Weigh the amount of hay you’re feeding at home and plan to bring the same amount of pounds or kilograms. Running out of feed is never good, so err on the side of bringing enough for one or two extra days, just in case. The same would apply for hay, too — bring extra!
The Stress of Travel and Riding Horse in the Wilderness
Having an extra will allow you to increase your intake if you notice that your horse is losing weight. Horses may find it stressful to stay away from home, especially if they live near familiar horses. It can also be easier to do more work than is conditioned by your horse when moving comfortably with a group of friends. Horses often exhibit more than they do on their own. Be realistic about how fit your horse is and what you want them to do.
Salt and Electrolytes for Horse in the Wilderness
Be sure to supply salt at night so that your horse can fill the electrolytes lost in sweat. If the weather is hot and the driving days are long, it can be difficult for him to get enough of a block. Instead, consider loosening salt in a pot or adding 1 tbsp to your horse’s feed for 500 kilos of body weight. I recommend doing this 365 days a year, but at least start a week before departure to make sure that electrolyte levels are formed before your trip, and then wait a few days during your trip and at home.
Electrolyte products can also be useful for holding because they are more delicious than large amounts of salt and are formulated to replace sweat losses. Avoid dextrose (a fancy way of confectionery) as the first ingredient and look for grams of sodium and chloride. Feed the electrolyte according to the daily salt as well as the instructions. It is wise to have a tomato paste electrolyte in your saddle bag on long hot travel days, especially if your horse is tight and possibly working on the comfort zone. The paste can be easily applied when driving for 1-2 hours. This should encourage your horse to continue drinking.