Diego got to experience overnight camping at a ride site this past weekend while I managed the Comstock Endurance Ride out in Lemmon Valley. This should end up being a really value-added experience for him and his future career as an endurance horse (crossing fingers). It also worked out REALLY well logistically, since Diego has been staying just two blocks from ride camp, so I was able to bring my camper and trailer over empty, and then just walk around the corner more or less to go pick him up. I went and fetched him on Friday and he spent Friday and Saturday nights camped out with us. My mom came up from California and stayed in my camper with me, she brought her Tennessee Walker - Joe to ride as well, so Dig had a neighbor to keep him company when they weren't riding.
Overall, Diego did really well camping out. He only shook the trailer/camper once the first night, but by the time I got up to see what he was doing, he was standing there looking sleepy and innocent. There were a few things that needed to be worked out though:
1. Diego is not allowed to have a water bucket. These equal a play thing in his mind. I tried, but he just wouldn't leave it alone. I took it away when he picked it up and was holding it in his mouth, daring me, and then dropped it when I walked over to him - totally splashing me with the wave upon impact with the ground! =) From then on I had to walk him over to the community tank, a 200+ gallon affair that he still tried to pick up with his teeth and play with.
2. Diego's hay bag is prone to attacking him by attaching itself to the snap on his halter temporarily. This will occur when you are having the ride meeting and 30+ people are standing around not 10 feet from where Mr. Dramatic is tied. He will freak out, pull back, and fall over onto the ground, at which point - he realizes 30+ people are staring at him and he'll get up and look embarrassed.
On Saturday, the day of the ride, Bob came over and rode Diego around camp bareback for a while. It was pretty windy, but didn't seem to cause any additional issues. He did very well, taking most everything in stride. He even went in between the arena fence and the metal bleachers for watching the horse shows. Diego got to follow us as we moved a table and drug around some chairs, and served as the "test dummy" in the morning while we were trying to see if the heart rate monitors were working.
Overall I was very proud of my boy. He did great for his first "camping" trip and really took the whole environment of the ride in stride. Check that step off the list to becoming a future endurance mount!