Travelling Solo - How to be Prepared
Agricultural shows and Pony club events are just a few of the many events which happen year round. You, your horse and your friends may travel regularly to these events. But, do you have a plan if your friends are unable to travel with you? Here are a few things you need to know:
Regular vehicle and float maintenance:
This includes making sure you have a full tank of fuel and take time to go over your Towing vehicle. Along with this, you should ensure you have vehicle and float emergency kits, keeping them up to date and stocked up. You need to make sure that you have jumper cables, tools and equipment that would be needed to change a tire.
Completing these will make sure that you have peace of mind when travelling by yourself knowing that you are prepared in case of a breakdown.
Create a Checklist for Tack and Equipment:
It always happens, you think that you have packed everything until you are trying to find a specific item. When you are travelling with friends its okay because you are able to borrow items, however, when travelling alone you don’t have this. By creating a checklist early you are able to go over your gear such as spare bridles, ensuring your saddle is spotless.
Creating yourself a checklist will ensure that you have time to go over everything that you need to so that you aren’t stressed out when you arrive at your event.
Become familiar with the Route:
We all know how GPS navigation systems both in cars and smart phones can let us down. That’s why it’s important to spend some time before your trip ensuring you have a rough idea where to go, so use Google Maps to find your destination and print off the directions and the map directly so if there is an issue on the road you can easily make a detour.
Becoming familiar with the Route you are going to take can ensure that you arrive on time at your destination even if your GPS navigation system fails you.
First Aid Kits for you and your Horse:
Every vehicle should have a first aid kit in the glove box in case. However, when travelling alone it becomes even more crucial to carry a first aid kit, for both you and your horse. You should make sure that all items are up-to-date. Secondly, you need to ensure you are capable of administering any of the items in the kit independently.
This should give you the confidence of being able to hand a majority of emergencies if they happen to arise.
It is crucial to always bring a mobile charger, especially if you are travelling alone. This means ensuring that you have a USB cable, cigarette lighter charger or a portable charging station. It is significant that your phone is fully charged so that in case of an emergency you are able to get a quick response instead of being stranded waiting for someone to find you.
Having a fully charged phone will ensure that you can easily contact anyone incase of an emergency or vehicle breakdown.
Have a Timetable:
Having an established timetable will allow you to have plenty of time to complete tasks that may take longer with one person. Tasks which may take a lot of time include setting up your stable, grooming your horse and preparing yourself for your events. If you need to remember patterns or courses and you are used to having someone with you to discuss these, having additional time by yourself gives your time to go over these which can help to reduce your stress levels.
Expect the Unexpected:
It's always important to expect the unexpected. This includes flat tires, dead batteries etc. It’s important to be able to change a tire without assistance and how to correctly jump start a vehicle if needed. Reviewing your route and making note of way points where you can stop to check on your horse, fuel up or even handle emergency situations. Being confident in knowing how to deal with these type of situations can help give you a stress free trip!
Designate an Arrival Time:
When travelling alone it’s a good idea to let someone at your destination know your schedule. This is for safety precautions, so they know if you are expected to arrive at the destination at 7am, and you aren’t there are on time or a little after, they are able to check up on you. Along with this, it’s important for that someone to know the route you plan on taking.
Travelling alone can be quite daunting but making sure your road trip is prepared for well in advance, can help make your trip a stress free one!