Category: Blog

Arizona Parks, Campgrounds, and Trails

We all love taking the horses out locally, but the best part of owning a horse is the opportunities for adventure. Luckily, the United States is full of horse-friendly outdoor recreation areas perfect for the occasional day trip or longer vacation. We are producing a series to bring you information about the horse-friendly parks, campgrounds, and trails across the United States. 

Bear Wallow Wilderness 

Alpine Ranger District 

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest 

P.O. Box 469 

Alpine, AZ 85920 

Phone: (520) 339-4384 

Directions: From Alpine, take US 191 south for 30 miles to Forest Road 25. 

Elevation: 9093 ft. 11,080 acres Ponderosa pine forest. The Bear Wallow 

Creek flows year-around. Season: roads may not be open in winter 

Users: hike, horse 

Blue Crossing 

Alpine Ranger District 

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest 

P.O. Box 469 

Alpine, AZ 85920 

Phone: (520) 339-4384 

Directions: Located 22 miles southeast of Alpine on US 180, then on Forest 

Route 281. Elevation 6200ft. Description: 4 camping sites. No horse facilities 

Access to the Blue Range Primitive Area. Season: April – November 

Users: hike, horse 

Blue Range Primitive Area 

Alpine Ranger District 

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest 

P.O. Box 469 

Alpine, AZ 85920 

Phone: 520-339-4384 

Directions: South of Alpine on US 191 or Forest Route 201. 193,762-acre 

Description: rugged mountains, steep canyons, and ridges. The Mogollon 

Rim crosses the area from east to west. Season: May- October 

Users: hike, horse 

Escudilla National Recreation Trail 

Alpine Ranger District 

P.O. Box 469 

Alpine, AZ 85920 

Phone: 520-339-4384 

Direction: From the town of Alpine, drive north on US 191 to Forest Road 

56, go right, travel 4 miles to Terry Flat, turn left past Tool Box Draw, from 

here it is 1/2 mile to the trailhead. Three miles of well-marked trails 

Description: aspen groves, forest and meadows in the White Mountains. 

Season: May – October Users: hike, horse 

Escudilla Wilderness 

Alpine Ranger District 

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest 

P.O. Box 469 

Alpine, AZ 85920 

Phone: (520) 339-4384 

Directions: From Alpine go northeast on US 191 and forest road 56 for 11 miles 

Season: May – October Users: horse, hike 

 
Hannagan 

Alpine Ranger District 

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest 

P.O. Box 469 

Alpine, AZ 85920 

Phone: (520) 339-4384 

Directions: Located 23 miles south of Alpine on US 191. Elevation. 9100 ft 

Facilities: 8 camp sites, No horse facilities Access to Blue Range Primitive Area. 

Season: May-October Users: hike, horse 

KP Cienega 

Alpine Ranger District 

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest 

P.O. Box 469 

Alpine, AZ 85920 

Phone: (520) 339-4384 

Directions: Located 29 miles southwest of Alpine on US 191 and forest road 155 

Elevation: 9000 ft Facilities: 5 camping units, Corrals. Trailhead access to Blue 

Range Primitive Area. Season: May-September Users: hike, horse 

Lost Dutchman State Park 

Apache Junction, AZ 

Phone: (602) 982-4485 

Mailing address: 

Arizona State Parks 

1300 W. Washington 

Phoenix, AZ 85007 

Directions: Travel east from Apache Junction on US Highway 88, turn north and go 

5 miles to the State Park. Located at the base of the Superstition Mountains. 

Season: year round Fees Users: hike, bike, horse 

BS Ranch     
Bob & Susan Walter 
44099 Palo Verde 
PO Box 784 
Bouse, Az. 85325 
Tel:  928-851-2247     
  

Electric hookup, sewer, water, phone, internet, washing machine 

2 round pens, 5 covered pipe corrals, large run out area, open desert and mountain riding–miles and miles of open road 

Cedar Bench Wilderness 

Verde Ranger District 

Prescott National Forest 

300 East Highway 260 

Camp Verde, AZ 86322 

Phone: (520) 567-4121 

Directions: From I-17 take exit 278, take forest road 372 east (off forest road 136). 

Elevation: 4500-6700 feet. 16,005 acres Two trails Season: year round 

Users: hike, horse 

Fossil Springs Wilderness 

Beaver Creek Ranger District 

Coconino National Forest 

P.O. Box 670 

Camp Verde, AZ 86322 

Phone: (520) 567-4421 

Directions: From I- 17 travel south to AZ 260 then to forest road 708. 

Season: summer Users: hike, horse 

Mingus Mountain Trailhead 

Verde Ranger District 

Prescott National Forest 

300 E. Highway 260 

Camp Verde, AZ 86322 

Phone: 520.567.4121 

Directions: From Jerome go southwest for 6 miles on AZ 89A, 3 miles 

southeast on Forest Route 104 Elevation: 7600 ft. Trailhead to the 

Woodchute Wilderness. Season: May- October Fee 

Users: hike, bike, horse 

Pine Mountain Wilderness 

Prescott National Forest 

300 East Highway 260 

Camp Verde, AZ 86322 

Phone: (520) 567-4121 

Directions: From I-17 go east on County Road 171 and then onto forest 

road 68. Acres: 20,100 Description: desert mountains, mesas and 

canyons. 6 maintained trails. Season: year round Users: hike, horse 

Potato Patch Trailhead 

Verde Ranger District 

Prescott National Forest 

300 E. Highway 260 

Camp Verde, AZ 86322 

Phone: 520.567.4121 

Direction: From Jerome travel southwest for 7 miles on AZ 89A & .5 mile 

on forest road 106. 7000` elevation. Trailhead accesses Woodchute 

Wilderness. Season: May – October Fees Users: hike, horse 

Mazatzal Wilderness 

Cave Creek Ranger District 

Tonto National Forest 

P. O. Box 5068 

Carefree, AZ 85377 

Phone: (602) 488-3441 

Directions: From Camp Verde, take AZ 260 to forest road 708 then to 

forest road 502. Elevation: 2060 ft – 7903 ft Acres: 252,500 

Discription: Sonoran desert and uplands, canyons, pinyon and juniper 

The trail that follows the verde river is a favorite with equestrians. 

The Mazatzal Divide Route, runs 29 miles through the center of the 

wilderness. Not all trails are considered appropriate for horses. 

Season: year round Users: hike, horse 

Woodchute Wilderness 

Verde Ranger District 

Prescott National Forest 

300 East Highway 260 

Camp Verde, AZ 86322 

Phone: (520) 567-4121 

Directions: From Cottonwood, go west 10 miles on AZ 60. Acres: 5,923 

Elevation: 5,500 ft – 7,800 ft. Description: spectacular views of the San 

Francisco Peaks One maintained trail. No horse facilities Season: 

March – October Users: hike, horse  

Campground Buena Tierra 

1995 S. Cox Road 

Casa Grande, AZ 85222 

(520) 836-3500 Toll Free: (888) 520-8360 Fax: (520) 836-9723 

Description: With over 100 campsites, some very large, Campground Buena 

Tierra gives you privacy and room to relax. There is a large picnic area, a 

volleyball court and huge fire pits that are ideal for groups or just one or 

two persons. Alone or with friends, feel free to explore the many riding 

trails which are perfect for biking, hiking and horseback riding (we have 

horse corrals here for overnighters and seasonal campers alike). 

Full Circle Ranch Bed and Breakfast Inn 

40205 North 26th Street 

Cave Creek, Arizona 85027 

Ph:(623) 465-7570 

Fax:(623) 465-7579    

Apache Creek Wilderness 

Prescott National Forest 

735 North Highway 89 

Chino Valley, AZ 86323 

Phone: (520) 636-2302 

Directions: From Prescott, take County Road 5 to County Road 8 to 95A, 

which is an unpaved four wheel drive road. Elevations: 5200 to 6900 feet. 

Description: Rolling hills, conifers, and riparian areas. There are no maintained 

trails . No horse facilities   Season: year round Users: hike, horse

 

Juniper Mesa Wilderness 

Chino Valley Ranger District 

Prescott National Forest 

735 North Highway 89 

Chino Valley, AZ 86323 

Phone: (520) 636-2302 

Directions: From I-40 take exit 109 south on Anvil Rock Road (forest road 125). 

Elevation: 5,600 feet – 7,000 feet Description: Mesa and canyons. No water. 

7 maintained trails. Season: year round No horse facilities Users: hike, horse 

Chiricahua Wilderness 

Douglas Ranger District 

Coronado National Forest 

3081 N. Leslie Canyon Road 

Douglas, AZ 85607 

Phone: (520) 364-3468 

Directions: From Willcox, take AZ 186 south to Chiricahua National Monument, 

and then go east on forest road 42. 10,290 acre. Season: year around 

Users: hike, horse 

Cochise Stronghold Trailhead 

Douglas Ranger District 

Coronado National Forest 

3081 N. Leslie Canyon Rd. 

Douglas, AZ 85607 

Phone: (520) 364-3468 

Directions: From Sunsites travel west on US 191 and 7 miles on forest road 84 

Elevation: 5000 ft.   Season: year round Fees  Users: hike, horse 

Pinery Canyon Trailhead 

Douglas Ranger District 

Coronado National Forest 

3081 N. Leslie Canyon Rd. 

Douglas, AZ 85607 

Phone: (520) 364-3468 

Directions: From Portal, travel west on forest road 42 for 18 miles. 

Elevation 7000 ft. Season: year round Users: hike, bike, horse 

Rustler Park Trailhead 

Douglas Ranger District 

Coronado National Forest 

3081 N. Leslie Canyon Rd. 

Douglas, AZ 85607 

Phone: (520) 364-3468 

Directions: From Portal, travel west on forest road 42D for 18 miles 

Elevation: 8500 ft. Trailhead to the Chiricahua Wilderness. 

Season: April-November Fees Users: hike, bike, horse 

Stewart Trailhead 

Douglas Ranger District 

Coronado National Forest 

3081 N. Leslie Canyon Rd. 

Douglas, AZ 85607 

Phone: (520) 364-3468 

Directions: From Portal travel southwest for 2 miles on forest road 42. 

Elevation: 5100 ft Season: year round Users: hike, horse 

Sunny Flat Trailhead 

Douglas Ranger District 

Coronado National Forest 

3081 N. Leslie Canyon Rd. 

Douglas, AZ 85607 

Phone: (520) 364-3468 

Directions: From Portal go southwest on forest road 42 for 3 miles 

Elevation: 5200 ft Season: year round Fees Users: hike, bike, horse 

West Turkey Creek 

Douglas Ranger District 

Coronado National Forest 

3081 N. Leslie Rd 

Douglas, AZ 85607 

Phone: (520) 364-3468 

Directions: From Willcox, travel southeast on AZ 186 and 181, then on 

forest road 42 for 23 miles Elevation: 5900 ft Season: year round 

Users hike, bike, horse 

And The Horse You Rode In On B & B 

Deb Scott 

P.O. Box 158 

Dragoon, AZ 85609 

phone: (520) 826-5410 fax: (520) 826-1078 

Located on 600+ acres one hour east of Tucson in the foothills of the Dragoon Mts. 2400 West Dragoon 

Rd. Dragoon, AZ (I-10 Exit 318, then 7.3 miles on Dragoon Rd) Four guest rooms, ten guest stalls and 

a round pen. Ride out right from our corrals. 

Strayhorse Campground and Trailhead 

Clifton Ranger District 

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest 

HC1, Box 733 

Duncan, AZ 85534 

Phone: (520)687-1301 

Directions: Located 26 miles south of Alpine on US 191 Elevation: 8200 ft. 

Facilities: 7 camping units with picnic tables, grills and corrals. Two major 

trails: Highline National Recreation Trail and Raspberry Trail 

Season: April – November Users: hike, horse 

Rancho Milagro Bed and Breakfast 

P.O. Box 981, 11 East Camino Del Corral 

Sonoita, AZ 85637 

Elgin, Arizona 

520-455-0381 

Innkeepers: Karen Leonard and Michael Johnson 

Kachina Parks Wilderness 

Peaks Ranger District 

Coconino National Forest 

5075 N. Hwy. 89 

Flagstaff, AZ 86004 

Phone: (520) 526-0866 

Directions: From Flagstaff take 180 north to forest road 516. Elevation: 7,400 ft -12,643 ft. 

Humphreys Peak, the highest point in AZ. Season: May- October Users: hike, horse

 

Coconino National Forest 

Supervisor`s Office 

2323 E. Greenlaw Lane 

Flagstaff, AZ 86004 

(520) 527-3600 FAX 527-3620 

Little Elden Springs Campground/Trailhead 

Peaks Ranger District 

Coconino National Forest 

5075 N. Highway 89 

Flagstaff, AZ 86004 

Phone: (520) 526-0866 

Directions: From Flagstaff, travel northeast on US 89 and forest road 556 for 5 miles. Elevation 7200 ft. 

Facilities: 16 camp sites, horse facilities. Season: May-September Fees Reservations accepted 

Users: hike, bike, horse 

Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness 

Peaks Ranger District 

Coconino National Forest 

5075 N. Highway 89 

Flagstaff, AZ 86004 

Phone: (520) 526-0866 

Directions: From Flagstaff travel south for 20 miles, the wilderness can be reached off Route 66/ forest 

road 231, US 89A and forest road 152, FR 152D, FR152C, and 525. Elevation: 2800 ft – 9000 ft. 

Description: red rock formations, cliff dwellings, petroglyphs and century-old homesteads. Season: March 

-October Users: hike, horse 

Indian Hollow Trailhead 

North Kaibab Ranger District 

Kaibab National Forest 

P.O. Box 248 

Fredonia, AZ 86022 

Phone: (520) 643-7395 

Directions: From Fredonia, go south for 50 miles taking routes 22 to 425 to 232 Elevation: 6000 ft. 

Wilderness access trailhead Season: May-November Users: hike, horse 

Saddle Mountain Wilderness 

North Kaibab Ranger District 

Kaibab National Forest 

P.O. Box 248 

Fredonia, AZ 96202 

Phone: (520) 643-7395 

Directions: From Jacob Lake, take AZ 67 to forest road 610 & FR 611. Elevation: 6000 ft – 8000 ft. 

This wilderness borders Grand Canyon National Park. Season: May – October Users: hike, horse 

Icehouse CCC Campground/Trailhead 

Globe Ranger District 

Tonto National Forest 

Route 1, Box 33 

Globe, AZ 88501 

Phone: (520) 402-6200 

Directions: From Globe go south for 6 miles on forest road 112. Elevation: 4,000 ft. Season: year 

round NO Horse facilities Users: hike, horse 

Salt River Canyon Wilderness 

Globe Ranger District 

Tonto National Forest 

Route 1, Box 33 

Globe, AZ 85501 

Phone: (602) 225-5200 

Directions: From Globe, travel north AZ 288. Acres: 32,100 Description: very rugged, and fantastic 

vistas. Elevations: 2,200 ft – 4,200 ft. Access to this wilderness is difficult, and is mostly done at the Salt 

River. Season: year round Users: hike, horse 

Grand Canyon National Park 

P. O. Box 129 

Grand Canyon, AZ 86023 

Phone: (520) 638-7888 

Location: North of Williams on Arizona State Highway 64, north on US Highway 180. The north rim can be 

accessed from Jacob Lake via a scenic byway. Season: year round Fees Reservations: yes 

Users: hike, bike, horse 

Kehl Springs Trailhead 

Mogollon Rim Center 

Coconino National Forest 

H.C. 31, Box 300 

Happy Jack, AZ 86024 

Phone: (520) 477-2255 

Directions: From Happy Jack travel south on AZ 87 and then travel for 29 miles on forest road 300 

Elevation: 7500 ft Season: year round Users: hike, bike, horse 

Miller Peak Wilderness 

Sierra Vista Ranger District 

Coronado National Forest 

5990 S. Hwy 92 

Hereford, AZ 85615 

Phone: (520) 378-0311 

Location: Located 6 miles south of Sierra Vista in the Huachuca Mountains Elevation: 5200ft – 9466 ft. 

21 well maintained trails Season: year round Users hike, horse 

Ramsey Vista Campground/Trailhead 

Sierra Vista Ranger District 

Coronado National Forest 

5990 South Highway 92 

Hereford, AZ 85615 

Phone: (520) 378-0311 

Directions: From Sierra Vista, travel southwest on AZ 92 and forest road 368 for 14 miles. Elevation 

7200 ft Season: year round Fees No horse facilities Users: hike, bike, horse 

Arrastra Mountain Wilderness 

Bureau of Land Management 

2475 Beverly Avenue 

Kingman, AZ 86401 

Phone: (520) 757-3161 

Directions: From Wickenburg travel northwest on US Highway 93 take the Bagdad turnoff (Hwy 97). 

Elevations: to 5000 feet. Season: year round Users hike, horse 

Mount Nutt Wilderness 

Kingman Field Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

2475 Beverly Avenue 

Kingman, AZ 86401 

Phone: (520) 757-3161 

Directions: From Kingman, take -I40 south for 3 miles to the Oatman Road exit. Travel 10 miles west to 

Navaho Road turn west on Navaho Road, continue 2 miles Description: steep canyons. Season: year 

round Users: hike, horse 

Mount Wilson Wilderness 

Kingman Field Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

2475 Beverly Ave. 

Kingman, AZ 86401 

Phone: (520) 692-4400 

Directions: From Kingman, travel 50 miles north on US 93 to the Temple Bar Road, continue on paved 

road for 8 miles to an unpaved jeep trail. Elevation: 5445 feet at the summit of Mount Wilson. Season: 

year round Users: hike, horse 

Mohave County Fairgrounds 

2600 Fairgrounds Blvd. 

KINGMAN, AZ 86401 

Ph: 520-753-2636 Office:520-753-1904 

Directions: From I-40 take Stockton Hill Rd. exit Facilities: 250 – 10×10 outdoor covered box stalls, 

water available year round, and RV hookups. Open 24 hours Night watch person on duty. Fees 

Tres Alamos Wilderness 

Kingman Field Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

2475 Beverly Avenue 

Kingman, AZ 85401 

Phone: (520) 757-3161 

Directions: Take Highway 93 to the Lake Alamo Road, travel 6.5 miles west to an intersection, take the 

right fork, and go 7 miles to the wilderness. Acres: 8300 Description: ridges, canyons, and washes 

Season: year round Users: hike, horse 

Upper Burro Creek Wilderness 

Kingman Field Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

2475 Beverly Avenue 

Kingman, AZ 86401 

Phone: (520) 757-3161 

Directions: From Phoenix take US 93 to highway 97 ( Bagdad turnoff) then take the road to Upper Burro 

Creek. This road is steep and requires a four wheel drive. Description: Acres: 27,440 Season: year 

round Users: hike, horse 

Wabayuma Peak Wilderness 

Kingman Field Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

2475 Beverly Ave 

Kingman, AZ 86401 

Phone: (520) 692-4400 

Directions: : From Hualapai Mountain County Park go 20 miles on BLM road 2123. Acres: 40,000 

.Season: year round Users: hike, horse 

Warm Springs Wilderness 

Kingman Field Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

2475 Beverly Avenue 

Kingman, AZ 86401 

Phone: (520) 757-3161 

Gibraltar Mountain Wilderness 

Lake Havasu Field Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

2610 Sweetwater Avenue 

Lake Havasu, AZ 86406 

Phone: (520) 505-1200 

Directions: From I-10 west, exit at Quartizite, take AZ 95 toward Parker, to AZ 72, turning west toward 

Parker, 2 miles south of Parker turn east onto Shea Road and follow this paved road for 5 miles. 

Description: volcanic rock, and sandy canyons. Season: year round Users: hike, horse 

Harcuvar Mountains Wilderness 

Lake Havasu Field Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

2610 Sweetwater Ave. 

Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406 

Phone: (520) 505-1200 

Directions: From Wenden travel north on AZ 60 to Alamo Dam Access road. Elevations: 2400 feet 

5100 feet. Season: year round Users: horse, hike 

Rawhide Mountains Wilderness 

Lake Havasu Field Office 

Bureau of Land Management 

2610 Sweetwater Ave. 

Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406 

Phone: (520) 505-1200 

Location: From Kingman travel south on I-40 for 22 miles to Yucca, take Alamo Road. Description: A 

river, deep gorge, mountains, side canyons and waterfalls Season: year round Users: hike, horse 

Castle Creek Wilderness 

Bradshaw Ranger District 

Prescott National Forest 

2230 East Highway 69 

Prescott, AZ 86301 

Phone: (520) 445-7253 

Directions: From Prescott, take forest road 61 south to forest road 56 to forest road 52. Elevation: 2800 

ft – 7000 ft. 25,517-acres. Spectacular views Nine maintained trails. Season: year round Users: 

hike, horse 

West Clear Creek Wilderness 

Beaver Creek Ranger District 

Coconino National Forest 

HC 64, Box 240 

Rimrock, AZ 86335 

Phone: (520) 567-4121 

Directions: 35 miles east of Camp Verde. Trail starts at Bull Pen Ranch Season: March- October 

Users: hike, horse 

Categories: Blog Vacation Spots

Interstate Travel Health Requirements

Horses rarely need to travel long distances, but some situations require interstate travel. Whether you need to see a specialized veterinarian or are traveling to a fair or horse show, you’ll need to make sure your animal(s) has the tests and health requirements necessary to travel. Below is a list of each state and the health tests and inspections you need to secure before traveling.  

State EIA Test Requirement Certificate of 
Veterinary 
Inspection* 
Temp. 
Reading 
Alabama Yes (12 months) (B) Yes No 
Alaska Yes (6 months) (B) Yes (ii,vi) No 
Arizona Yes (12 months) (B) Yes (iv, +) No 
Arkansas Yes (12 months) (B, C, D) Yes Yes 
California Yes (6 months) (B, C) Yes No 
Canada Yes (6 months) Yes (iii) Yes 
Colorado Yes (12 months) (H, C)+ Yes No 
Connecticut Yes (12 months) (J) Yes (iv) Yes 
Delaware Yes (12 months) (B, D) Yes Yes 
Florida Yes (12 months) (B, C)+ Yes (iv, vi) Yes 
Georgia Yes (12 months) (B, C) Yes Yes 
Hawaii Yes (3 months) Yes (vi) No 
Idaho Yes (6 months) (B, C) Yes No 
Illinois Yes (12 months) (A, B, C)+ Yes No 
Indiana Yes (12 months) (C) Yes No 
Iowa Yes (6 months) (B) Yes No 
Kansas Yes (12 months) (B, C) Yes No 
Kentucky Yes (12 months) (B, C, D, G,) Yes No** 
Louisiana Yes (12 months) Yes No 
Maine Yes (6 months) (B) Yes (v) No 
Maryland Yes (12 months) (B, C)+ Yes (i, iv) No** 
Massachusetts Yes (12 months) (B, C, D, G,) Yes (iii, iv, +, *) Yes 
Michigan Yes (6 months) Yes No 
Minnesota Yes (12 months) (B, H) Yes No 
Mississippi Yes (12 months) (A, C, G)+ Yes (iv, v) No 
Missouri Yes (12 months) (B, C) Yes (vi)*** No 
Montana Yes (12 months)(C, L)(6 months)(vii)+ Yes (ii, vii, v) No 
Nebraska Yes (12 months) (E) Yes No 
Nevada Yes (6 months) (B, C, G, I) Yes No 
New Hampshire Yes (6 months) (G) Yes No 
New Jersey Yes (12 months) (B) Yes No 
New Mexico Yes (12 months) (B) Yes No 
New York Yes (12 months) Yes (vi) No 
North Carolina Yes (12 months) (B) Yes No 
North Dakota Yes (12 months) (B, E, C) Yes No 
Ohio Yes (6 months) (A)+ Yes * Yes 
Oklahoma Yes (12 months) (C) Yes + No 
Oregon Yes (6 months) (B, C, L) Yes (ii, vii) No 
Pennsylvania Yes (12 months) (B, C, G) Yes No 
Puerto Rico Yes (6 months) Yes (i, vi) No 
Rhode Island Yes (12 months) (B) Yes (vi) Yes 
South Carolina Yes (12 months) (B, C, G) Yes (iii, iv, v) No 
South Dakota Yes (12 months) (B) Yes No 
Tennessee Yes (12 months) (B, D, L) Yes No 
Texas Yes (12 months) (C, G)+ Yes (ii, iv) No 
Utah Yes (12 months) Yes (iv) No 
Vermont Yes (12 months) (B) Yes No 
Virginia Yes (12 months) Yes No 
Virgin Islands Yes (12 months) (H)     
Washington Yes (12 months) (B, K) Yes (vii) No 
West Virginia Yes (6 months) (F) Yes No 
Wisconsin Yes (within calendar year) (C) Yes No 
Wyoming Yes (12 months) (B, C) Yes No 

+ When EIA test is required, laboratory name and address, ascension number, and test date with results must be included. 

*Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (CVI) filed with the state veterinarian in state of origin is required. 

**Recommended 

***Under revision 

Categories: Blog

What’s the Deal with Horseback Safaris?

Safaris worldwide often offer a combination of walking and driving. These methods of viewing wildlife have both pros and cons—a walking tour allows visitors to more intimately experience the animals they see, but it comes at the cost of potential safety breach; a driving tour will let travelers get close to the Big Five, but the automobile noises may cause the animals to flee. There is, however, another safari option.

 

The primary difference between a horse safari and a typical experience is that you no longer have the grind of an automobile engine under your feet. Gone are the doors and windows that may protect from unexpected animal attacks (though those are few and far between). With a horseback safari, you breach the line between observer and nature—you become a part of your surroundings. Running alongside giraffe, wildebeest, and antelope is an experience you will not soon forget. This is as close to nature as you will ever get.

 

Horseback safaris exist worldwide, but there is a concentration of availability on the African continent. Canter through the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the Great Dyke Mountains of Zimbabwe, the beaches of Mozambique and the desert of Namibia. Like with traditional safaris, riders can choose between single-day trips and longer excursions—most usually up to eight or nine days.

 

Though horseback safaris will bring you closer to nature, you will likely pay a bit more for the intimate experience. Additionally, all attendees should have some experience (or extreme confidence) with horseback riding. Though most companies spend months training their stable, horses—like the surrounding wildlife—are animals; you can never be certain that you can trust its judgment, especially in the presence of big cats and other predators. In addition, even if you are an experienced horse rider, you are most likely experienced on a small set of horses. On a horse safari, you are going to be on a horse that is new to you and you will be new to him. Take that situation combined with animals and a new landscape and it can be tricky.

 

While we have given you the bad news, the good news is that most of the horses are trained and experienced and only make the cut if they are truly gentle and are good with people and around these animals. Think of the kinds of deer around golf courses or parks that are less skittish because they are just used to seeing people. Not quite the same, but you understand.

 

The true magic of a safari on horseback is that you can get to places and see things that you just cannot in any other form. If a guide on a game drive parks a vehicle in a spot where you can’t get a great view, you are a little stuck. If you are on horseback, you can move around and get into a great position. Plus you are just more inserted into nature and don’t have to listen to the noise of the engine.

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Przewalski’s Horse

Known as the Mongolian wild horse or Takhi, Przewalski’s horse is the last wild horse species alive. Native to Central Asia and the Gobi Desert, this animal has never been domesticated. It is rare and endangered; in fact, they were once extinct in the wild. The last Mongolian Przewalski’s horses were seen in 1966 but were reintroduced into their natural habitat several years after.

 

Every Przewalski horse presently living is descended from 9 of 13 horses captured in 1945. Two of these animals were hybrids—one sired from a wild horse stallion and domestic mare, the other from a wild stallion and a tarpan mare. These 13 horses were descended, in turn, from approximately 15 animals captured around 1900. A cooperative venture between the Zoological Society of London and Mongolian scientists resulted in the successful reintroduction of these horses from zoos into their natural habitat in Mongolia. Currently, there are around 300 Przewalski’s horses in the wild.

 

The native population declined in the 20th century due to a combination of factors. Copetition with livestock, hunting, capture of foals for zoological collections, military activities, and unusually harsh winters are considered to be the primary reasons for the Przewalski’s horse population decline.

 

This horse, when compared to domesticated horses, is short and stocky. Their typical height ranges between 12 and 14 hands—around 48-56 inches, and they can be around 7 feet in length. Their coat is generally dun with pangaré features and can vary from dark brown around the mane to a yellowish-white belly. While other horse species have 64 chromosomes, the Przewalski’s horse has 66.

 

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The Domestic Feral Horse

Though unknown to many (including horse enthusiasts!), there is a difference between wild horses and feral populations. The term “wild horse” is meant to describe horses that have never been domesticated—such as the endangered Przewalski’s Horse. This is the last remaining true wild horse in the world; all others have been driven to extinction.

 

Therefore, a feral horse is considered to be domesticated, in a sense, because its ancestors have been domesticated. Though some populations of feral horses are managed as wildlife, the term “wild horse” is a misnomer. Feral horses are descended from domestic horses that escaped or were deliberately released into the wild.

 

As a result of its existence in nature, feral horse behavior has shifted over time; they more closely resemble the behavior of wild horses. They live in groups called bands, herds, harems, or mobs, and are often led by a dominant mare. The rest of the band is composed of additional mares, their foals, and immature horses of both sexes.

 

Like with most wild herds, band makeup shifts over time as young animals are driven out or welcomed in. Within a closed ecosystem, however, the ability to maintain genetic diversity necessitates a large group size—the minimum size for a sustainable, free-roaming horse population is between 150 to 200 animals.

 

These domestic feral horses were likely introduced by the Conquistadors in the 15th century AD; some horses escaped and formed the feral herds we now know as mustangs. Australia has the largest population of feral horses in the world—with an excess of 400,000 feral animals, it is not hard to spot one or a group cantering together. Though unusually controversial (livestock producers are often at odds with horse enthusiasts about habitat impact), the domestic feral horse populations will, likely, continue to thrive.

 

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Evolution of the Horse

The horse has evolved over the course of 45 to 55 million years—from small, multi-toed creatures into the large, single-toed animal we know and love. Humans began to domesticate horses around 4000 BC, and their domestication became widespread a thousand years later—around 3000 BC. The earliest archaeological evidence for this domestication comes from sites in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, but there is a sharp increase in horse domestication in Europe some two thousand years later.

 

The horse’s natural anatomy drove its domestication—their bodies enable them to make use of speed to escape predators, and they have a well-developed sense of balance and a strong fight-or-flight response. Horses, historically and in modern times, have been used for leisure activities, sports, and for working purposes.

 

Moreover, their natural disposition and speed made horses an apt choice in warfare. In fact, they have been utilized in war for most of recorded history. The first archaeological evidence of this dates to between 4000 and 3000 BC, and their use in war was widespread by the end of the Bronze Age. They continue to be used in battle—most notably by the Janjaweed militias in the war in Darfur.

 

Horse breeds are loosely divided into three categories. These groups are based primarily on general temperament: “hot bloods” are considered to be fast, enduring, and spirited, “cold bloods” are suitable for slow or heavy work, and “warmbloods” are most suited for riding purposes. Horse use, over thousands of years, has driven breed development.

 

Horses require a lot of maintenance and care. Routine hoof care and vaccinations should be administered, and dental examinations are essential. Regular groom is helpful for maintaining good skin health, and they require daily exercise. Caring for a horse is a massive undertaking, but it is well-worth it!

 

 

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