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Horseback riding is a worldwide favorite activity, as a sport, and as a pastime. Many families choose vacation venues where they will have the opportunity to spend much of their time horseback riding. Statistics show that every year in the United States approximately seven million people take part in this pastime.

Horseback camping trips are a popular vacation choice for many individuals as well as families. Many locations offer a camping trip, complete with a professional guide, trained horses, and hiking trails. Travelers can bring their own camping equipment or use the equipment provided for rental. It is recommended that campers who have not experienced a horseback camping trip before plan a one night trip in order to acquaint themselves with the process, which will include caring for the horses.

For riders who have horses of their own and want to embark on this type of camping trip for the first time, there are suggestions to follow. Horse owners need to know what is best to have on hand in order to keep their horse safe and comfortable during the trip. Horseback riding, especially in hot weather, can dehydrate a horse just as a hike can dehydrate people. Feed for the horse should remain the same as it is any other day. Although some owners want to give their horse a bigger ration or change their feed as a special treat for the trip, either of these could cause digestive problems. Keeping everything as normal as possible for the animal will keep him healthy, strong, and happy while away from home.

Water rations can be provided by soaking his hay or feeding him wet bran after a long day on the trail. This is easy on the digestion and will help to give him the hydration he needs. A suggestion for the horse’s drinking water during a horseback riding excursion is to fill a five gallon pail with the tap water he is used to drinking before leaving home. Once at the campsite or riding trail, that water can be mixed with local water. The horse is more likely to drink it because he recognizes his own water. This way he will adapt to the new water more quickly.

Suggestions for the humans who are accompanying their horses on a horseback riding trip include preparing meals before leaving home that can be heated over an open fire while camping. Stews and soups are the top recommendations because these are a full meal in one pot. For campers who do not feel comfortable with the idea of starting a campfire, sandwiches are always great to fall back on. Another idea is to wrap frozen hamburgers in several layers of newspaper. The burgers can stay frozen this way for two to three days on the trail while horseback riding to the campgrounds. They can then be wrapped in aluminum foil and cooked over an open fire.

Along with horseback riding are many other physical activities that people enjoy doing, whether for a day or even for their vacation time. Biking is an extremely popular pastime. In fact, every day in the United States there are about nine million bike trips taking place. Biking is one of the most all around healthy and fun outdoor activities there is. Statistics show that in the United States 33% of people enjoy riding bicycles for recreation.

Bike riding is considered to be a basically aerobic activity, and, therefore, affords the physical body many benefits. The workout the body receives through bicycling includes the heart, the lungs, and the blood vessels. Riders breathe more deeply while riding their bicycles and experience increased body temperature, which, in turn, improves their overall fitness.

The brain gets a boost from bike riding activity as well. Studies done have shown that bicycling, in addition to other types of exercise, will thwart the onset of Alzheimer’s in older people. In children, riding a bicycle has been shown to control ADD. People with osteoarthritis and knee pain have experienced a reduction in these conditions after spending time on a bicycle. Not to mention that weight loss and muscle toning is certainly not the least of the benefits that are provided by bicycle riding!

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