Traveling and camping with a horse is a little more involved than traveling and camping by yourself, but with planning and practice you can devise ways of doing it safely and comfortably. One of the things that people enjoy the most about the sport of Polocrosse is the many opportunities we have to travel all across the country with our horses.
For many people the camping part of polocrosse is very enjoyable, while for others it is just a necessary inconvenience. The former are likely to put a lot of time and money into their ride camp including living quarter trailers, campers or motorhomes. Others will be happy to sleep in a tent or even the back seat of their pickup truck. No matter what your preference you will find that you will require an alarming amount of equipment and supplies to camp with your horse. It’s also very likely that you will find yourself forgetting at least one vital item per trip. One practical way of avoiding this aggravation is to make out a checklist of things you will need and then refer to it as you pack up. Click here for a help checklist of suggestions on what to bring to an outstate polocrosse tournament.
There are many ways to keep your horse at a tournament. The most obvious and easiest is to simply tie him with a lead rope to the horse trailer but this has distinct disadvantages, as a horse tied to a trailer cannot move around much and he cannot lie down. The metal swing outs with stretchy tie ropes are a vast improvement and give the horse more room to move about (HiTie, Spring Tie, etc.). Another method to be considered is a high picket line, sometimes called a high line. This involves the use of a stout rope tied six feet or more off the ground. A steel ring is placed on the rope, and the horse is tied to the ring. This allows the horse to walk the length of the line, which is much more comfortable for him. Feed and water buckets can be hung at each end of the line for safe and easy access. You can tie several horses to one picket line by putting “stoppers” in the rope (short pegs that won’t allow the rings to pass) to keep them separated. If you use a picket line, be sure to tie the horse short enough that he doesn’t get his legs tangled. Any horse that is tied, whether to a trailer or a picket line, should have some form of emergency release; a “panic snap” or safety halter is very important. Corrals can be made of metal or PVC plastic pipe. These can be transported on the side of the trailer and erected in a few minutes at the campsite. However, they do not allow much room for movement, and unless they’re staked down a horse can lift them off the ground.
Most polocrosse players commonly use an electric fence corral (a.k.a., “e-fence”). These is made by using electrically charged tape, strung on plastic or fiberglass poles and connected to a charger, either solar or battery powered. The fencing tape is made of nylon with fine wires woven in to carry the electricity. This kind of corral can be any size or shape desired, can be put up or taken down easily, and allows the horse maximum freedom to move about with the least chance of getting tangled in something. E-fences can by purchased online or found at Mills Fleet Farm and other farm/Ag/Equestrian retailers. Here is an example instructional YouTube video to help you with your portable fence set-up.
There is no foolproof way to contain a horse, especially in a strange environment. Sleep in your clothes and have your boots and a flashlight near the bed! (*Taken from: Upper Midwest Endurance & Competitive Rider Association “New Rider Handbook”, with edits)
Helpful checklist of what to bring to a tournament. Newpolocrosseweekendchecklist