Learn to accurately observe and judge your horse"s vital signs. When you know what's normal for him (called a baseline), you?ll then know when something?s wrong--and whether it?s time to call your veterinarian.
If your trail horse pulls up lame, call your veterinarian immediately, and ask for a lameness exam. Here, I?ll go through each step of the lameness exam. Plus, I?ll give you the lameness scoring system from the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The more you know, the better you can fully participate in your horse?s recovery.
You need to wrap your horse?s legs to protect and cover an injured area; provide warmth to stiff/old tendons, ligaments, or fetlocks; control acute-injury swelling and movement; and to protect his legs while trailering hauling.
Even if you have a portable corral, there will be times when you?ll need to tie your horse on your camping adventure, such as at the trailer. So, he should be completely trustworthy standing tied before you go camping.
When you go for a trail ride, you?ll likely encounter a number of things your horse will perceive as a threat to his safety. As a prey animal, his flight instinct tells him to flee such threats. Your challenge is to keep him under control calmly and confidently. As he begins to trust you as his leader, he?ll learn to stay calm when encountering new object.