Some of our guests ask, and many more wonder in anxious silence, "How do I answer the call of nature while on a trail ride?" Here are a few tips from a seasoned trail guide and trail rider.
#1 Go before you leave. Remember that time when you were a kid, headed out on a road trip with the family, only minutes after departing and you declare "I gotta go!" Likely Dad's response was, "Why didn't you go before we left?" This is a good scenario to learn from when preparing to head out on a long trail ride.
#2 When nature calls, don't answer it. Put nature on hold until the ride is over.
#3 Sometimes you just can't put nature on hold. Believe me, I know. I spent one summer guiding trail rides while pregnant and the call of nature was just NOT going to wait. In this situation, choose a nice secluded spot with lots of brushy coverage. You don't want your fellow riders to see more of nature than they were expecting. For those of you riding in those un-natural places without trees, good luck to you!
#4 Choose a spot carefully. Don't make the rookie mistake of leaving the trail you're on only to find that you are relieving yourself in another trail...with other riders coming up the trail behind you. Becoming the butt of wrangler jokes for years to come, and inadvertently christening said trail with its new name, Full Moon Trail, probably isn't on your vacation bucket list. True story.
#5 Leave your horse with your guide or tied to a tree. You don't need your mighty steed getting ...well...nosy.
#6 Bury it. This might be getting just a little too personal, but learn from the boy scouts and bury it.
#7 "How do I bury it? It’s not like I have a boy scout along with his little collapsible shovel and all." Well, I don't know, get creative!
#8 Don't use the "toilet paper" you think nature has provided for you. It's just not going to end well. That leafy green may look as soft as Charmin but likely it will leave you wishin' you weren't an itchin'.
#9 And last but not least, don't squat with yer spurs on. Saddling up and heading out on horseback, whether it is for an hour or for a week, is something I look forward to rain or shine. Sharing that experience with someone else makes it even better. Now you can join me on the trail just a little more prepared for your next horseback adventure into the woods.
This blog is written and maintained by Danielle Otis, one of the wranglers (one job title among many) at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch. It is a collection of tales and stories related to the ranch that comes straight “from the horse’s mouth”.
Photos by Selkirk Ridge Photography