While some folks can ride and camp year ’round, as we did in Arizona, many folks are just starting to hit the road again. Covid restrictions are diminishing, and weather is improving. Life is resuming, finally! Horse campgrounds are starting to fill up again. So what are the rules of engagement for occupying a campsite with fellow horse enthusiasts?
I asked that question in two Facebook groups. I didn’t plan for this to be a three-part series, but I received lots of great feedback. Part One talks mainly about to scoop or not to scoop? Part Two talks about loose dogs in camp. This final installment will tell you other complaints from both guests and hosts.
I initially intended for my question to address complaints rather than what specific amenities a camp did or didn’t have. However, it was hard to separate out the two… so here we go.
What are guests’ complaints about CAMPGROUNDS?
- Camp hosts who don’t return phone calls or emails.
- Campgrounds that advertise amazing trails but don’t disclose that you must have a trailer to get there. Advertising that is deceptive. No stock trailer available for use for trails that you must drive to, or an extra fee to use the trailer.
- Camp hosts who are nowhere around when you arrive. Camp hosts who do not greet you with a smile and instructions and/or assistance to get settled.
- Campsites that are not level, hard to get into, and not clean. Guests and/or hosts who don’t clean up manure and old hay after the last person left.
- Horse pens that are not visible from your campsite. Stalls that are too small, or have gigantic holes in the middle. Water too far away or leaky hoses.
- Campsites too close together.
- Extra fees tacked on to costs, without prior full disclosure.
- Unclear cancellation policies.
- Hosts that don’t verify health papers.
- Camping costs are going up but facilities are not improving.
What are guests’ complaints about FELLOW CAMPERS?
- Loud and/or drunk campers
- Loud leafblowers for extended periods of time to blow leaves off your camp mat (I never knew this was an issue!)
- Loud music or TV’s. Riders who play music on their phones while on horseback on the trails.
- Generators running all night.
- Screaming kids running amok in camp, on horses, or on foot.
- Campers littering on the trail.
- Non-equestrian guests interacting with or feeding horses that are in camp.
What are hosts’ complaints about GUESTS?
This is a much smaller list, with fewer responses. Hosts don’t want guests walking up to their homes. They don’t want guests asking for a myriad of exceptions to the check-in/check-out policies. They don’t want guests messing with the host’s horses. One hostess said that for the most part, her guests have been respectful. It was her boarders that she struggled with!
Don’t forget about the dog issues…
Remember, Part Two of this series discussed all of the issues created by loose dogs, either guest or host dogs. Loose dogs were the number one complaint.
One person made the following comment:
People who stand around and gawk if you have any little (or big) problems with your horse. Either step in and offer to help or keep on walking… So very rude. You’re not there for a circus…even though it may look like one for a moment.
This is a bit of a sticky wicket… Some folks would be glad to have help, others would take offense. There are as many opinions about how to accomplish something with a horse as there are horses on the planet. Nonetheless, standing around gawking at someone struggling with their horse would not add anything positive to the situation.
Another person commented on folks leaving a single horse in camp while his barn buddy was on the trail. The issue of the left-behind horse carrying on for hours was the complaint. I get how annoying that is, but I’m not sure of a reasonable solution?
Did I miss any major issues affecting either hosts or guests? Leave me a comment about your pet peeves.