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Providing winning solutions for horse management and the environment since 1997

Message from Alayne: Have Horse, Will Travel

Alayne Blickle

Photo by Jane Rohling, 2015

Photo by Jane Rohling, 2015

It’s July and summertime is in full swing – yay! That means vacations and horse shows among other fun things.

If your plans include traveling with horses this summer, be sure to keep Sweet Pepper Ranch in mind. For those of you who don’t know, we have a guest ranch and horse motel in Nampa, which is in Southwestern Idaho:

For ten years we were among the many who: 'had horse, will travel.' We went to shows and on vacations with our horses, traveling from Puget Sound, WA to Scottsdale, AZ; Kalispell, MT; Las Vegas, NV; and points in-between. It was always a concern where to stay. Fairgrounds are often unsupervised, and show grounds often have only a tiny box stall, which is less than desirable for a horse that’s been standing in a trailer all day. When I did encounter a horse motel it was like a breath of fresh air, we could sleep comfortably knowing our horses were safely confined just outside our bedroom window, happily munching on dinner.

When we moved to Nampa, we knew we wanted to set up something for horse owners, to make their travels safer and more pleasant. We picked our current location because it is about a day’s drive from Seattle and Portland and is a convenient, short trip off the freeway.

Here are some questions to consider when looking for overnight accommodations:

  • What kind of stalling is available? Box stalls, stalls with attached paddocks? How big? When possible, I always prefer that my horses can move around, especially since they were confined all day.
  • Are health certificates and Coggins required? I would not want to stay someplace that didn’t request this, potentially risking exposure of my horses to an unvaccinated or unhealthy horse.
  • What other facilities are available on the premises? A round pen is nice for optional turnout so your horse can stretch his or her legs after a long trailer ride. An arena to ride in, if time permits, is even better. Wash-racks are a plus if you need to bathe a horse. And having a compost facility so you can clean your trailer out makes things easier.
  • Is there a bed and breakfast associated with the facility, or a plug-in for your living quarters? Are there amenities like a pool, hot breakfast, WiFi or air-conditioning? Are pets allowed at no extra cost?
  • Is there plenty of parking and adequate room for large rigs to pull through and turn around?
  • Is hay included with the cost? If so, what kinds? Grass or alfalfa?

Upon arrival at your horse motel:

  • Inspect stalls for safety. Are there loose boards, nail heads, metal corners or other potential hazards in the stall or paddock?
  • Are buckets clean and filled with water?
  • Are latches secured?
  • If the horse is confined to a stall is there an adequate amount of bedding for urine absorption?

Costs for horses typically range from $20 to $40 per horse per night. Costs for B&B rooms for horse owners are generally $75 and up, depending on extras.

A couple of excellent sources when researching places to stay are:

Whatever your horsey travels plans are this summer, stay safe, have fun, and maybe I'll see you on the road!