Import/Export Health Requirements
Be sure to check the Department of Livestock
and/or Agriculture websites for the
requirements of EACH state you will
be traveling through or returning to.
for an ApHC Trail Ride:
You've decided to sign
up for an ApHC trail ride. Great! Your
next question may be “Now what do I
do?” Here are a few tips to make the
experience an enjoyable one for both
you and your horse.
Not every horse is suitable for a pleasurable
trail ride. Temperament and disposition
play an important role. Make sure your
horse mingles well with others, and
can remain calm whether he is by himself
or in a large group of other horses.
Some horses are competitive and may
kick at others or jig all day trying
to get to the front of the line. A day’s
worth of this can be quite frustrating!
If your horse does have a tendency to
kick, be sure to tie a ribbon on his
tail to warn others. The last thing
we want is an injury to another horse
Tying a horse to your trailer is always
handy. However, you may be required
to tie to the picket lines that are
provided on the Chief Joseph Trail Ride.
Regardless of how your horse may be
tethered for the evening, make certain
he can stand quietly amongst other horses.
At mealtimes it is suggested that horses
are fed away from the group, and brought
to the picket line after they have finished
Ensure the tack you bring for the horse
fits securely and properly. It should
be checked for any tears or other wear
which may cause harm to the horse or
you during a full day's ride. Extra
padding to avoid sore backs and rub
spots should be considered. We want
to avoid causing a sore horse.
Temperatures may vary greatly between
day and night. It would be beneficial
to provide your horse with a light to
medium blanket to wear at night. A waterproof
blanket would be the best. Keeping your
horse from getting chilled could help
guard against stiff, sore muscles and
Be prepared for a horse that may go
off of his feed and water when they
travel and are in unfamiliar surroundings.
Get your horse used to drinking from
natural water sources. Electrolytes
may help to keep him properly hydrated
during the week. Using the same water
and feed buckets you do at home may
Some rides require you to bring your
own feed, however any feed you bring
should be certified weed-free. There
are very strict regulations for the
areas in which we ride during the Chief
Joseph. To help stop the spread of noxious
weeds, the ApHC provides certified weed-free
hay for your horse. Grass hay is well
accepted by most horses and helps prevent
colic. Be wary of switching feeds suddenly
as this can lead to colic. Allow your
equine pal to adjust by introducing
a new feed gradually over several weeks.
Have your veterinarian give your horse
a thorough check up several weeks in
advance. She or he may be able to determine
if your horse is physically fit and
sound enough to attend the ride. You
will be required to have a Certificate
of Veterinary Inspection (Health Certificate)
as well as a negative Coggins test to
attend the ride anyway, so you can have
this all done at the same time.
If shoeing, have your horse shod at
least two weeks prior to the ride. Explain
to your farrier that you will be riding
a week through difficult terrain. You
may want to consider having pads placed
on your horse's front feet to guard
against stone bruises. Today’s hoof
boots also offer good protection.
Finally, make certain your horse is
properly conditioned. You may run the
risk of seriously injuring your horse
if you do not physically prepare him
for five full days of riding. While
these are not endurance rides, some
portions of the trail may be difficult.
There may be steep inclines and declines,
water crossings, obstacles and high
temperatures. Five consecutive days
of trail riding is hard on an unconditioned
horse. It would be unfortunate if the
ride veterinarian had to tell you that
your horse could not continue. A general
rule is that your horse should be ridden
at least 10 miles per session, 3 times
a week, at least 4 weeks prior to the
ride. Beware of bringing overweight
horses. A horse’s ribs should be easily
felt under the skin. If you cannot feel
the ribs, your horse is overweight and
will be prone to heat exhaustion and
is equally important for the rider to
be conditioned and prepared for a week
of camping and riding. The time spent
conditioning your horse is good, but
riding even more frequently is better
– for both of you. You should be comfortable
spending up to 6 hours at a time in
the saddle. Keep in mind that the saddle
you enjoy riding for a short time in
the arena may become your worst enemy
after a few hours on the trail.
Come prepared for any type of weather.
The ApHC trail rides take place during
different times of the year and sometimes
in different climates. Weather is unpredictable;
be prepared. Make certain you carry
your raincoat, and layer your clothes
appropriately. Even during midsummer,
the temperature may be very cold at
night and hot during the day. Rain or
even snow is possible, depending on
Wear boots or riding shoes that will
be comfortable to walk in and safe to
ride in. You may be riding in the rain
and walking through mud. Cold wet feet
can make you miserable.
Sunscreen, insect repellent and a brimmed
hat that covers your face are highly
recommended. It is easy to become overheated
during the course of the day, especially
at some of the high altitudes and high
temperatures we ride in. Gnats and mosquitoes
could be a big problem, too, so be sure
you pack enough repellent to get you
through the week – for yourself and
Even though the ApHC provides you with
a sack lunch to carry with you on the
trail, you may want to take a few extra
snacks. Trail mix, crackers and protein
bars are easy to carry in your saddle
bag. Be sure to hold on to your trash,
disposing it in camp at the end of the
Dehydration affects humans and horses
alike, so if you don't already have
one, acquire a good canteen or water
bottle. Frequent drinks of water will
keep you refreshed, and prevent a visit
to the ride physician. Carrying a collapsible
water dish and extra water for your
horse is a good idea.
Lastly, discuss with the ride physician
any special health concerns you may
have. Most problems can be avoided with
the physician’s prior knowledge.
You have the tack for your horse, and
the clothes you need to wear. What else?
Much of this depends on your choice
between sleeping in a tent or in a self-contained
The Chief Joseph Trail Ride is a progressive
ride where the evening's camp is moved
each day. Riders take off in the morning
while the camp crew and drivers move
the vehicles in a caravan to the next
site. If you tent, tear down your gear,
put it in the designated place, and
the ApHC will transport it for you.
If you have a vehicle, you must provide
a separate driver to move your rig to
the next site. Because of space limitations,
it is a good idea to share vehicle accommodations
whenever possible. Not every site is
easily accessible, so leave those big
motor homes and large living quarter
horse trailers at home. There will be
restrictions on size and number of vehicles
from year to year, so check with the
Trail Coordinator before committing
to a rig.
The base camp rides stay in one place,
so you will be able to tent, stay in
your horse trailer, or bring your motor
home without worrying about getting
to the next camp site. The camping area
could still be tight, so speak with
the ride manager or coordinator ahead
of time about accessibility and restrictions.
Check your gear prior to the ride. Set
up your tent and inspect it. Is your
sleeping bag clean? Check for any holes
and leaks in your air mattress. Make
certain you will stay warm and dry if
there is a downpour or if the temperatures
drop significantly in the evenings.
Since electricity is not available and
facilities are usually not provided,
you may have to be creative when it
comes to cleaning up each day. Solar
showers come in very handy in this situation.
The ApHC usually provides both potable
and non-potable water for the duration
of the ride, but that may vary depending
on the year. Fill up solar shower bags
in the morning, set it in the direct
sun and a nice shower will be waiting
for you when you get back to camp. Don’t
forget the soap, cloth and towel.
A folding camp
or lawn chair will increase your comfort
for mealtimes, programs and when relaxing
around the campfire.
yourself with a lot of unneeded gear.
The bare essentials you need to be comfortable
will do just fine. The list could be
quite large, but a few necessary items
may be - sunglasses, gloves, camera,
flashlight and batteries, miscellaneous
toiletries and an alarm clock.
Don't forget to check
your vehicle. Oil and other fluids,
belts, hoses and tires need to be checked.
Make certain your spare is in good working
condition for both the truck and trailer.
Anything can happen at any time, but
an ounce of prevention really is worth
a pound of cure.
Hit the Trail
Now you should have a pretty good idea
of what it takes to attend an ApHC trail
ride. Use these tips as a guide, adjusting
them your personal situation. No one
knows you or your horse's needs better
If you are ready to
experience the fun of trail riding,
nothing is better than attending one
the ApHC’s rides. You will make new
friends, see beautiful scenery, and
return home with memories to last a
lifetime. You and your horse just may
have the ride of your life!
more information please contact:
& Distance Coordinator
2720 W. Pullman Road
Moscow, ID 83843
(208) 882-5578 ext. 264
Fax (208) 882-8150