As you might imagine, having been on the road for over a year now means that Apollo and I have met a lot of people. And we could not have gotten as far as we have so far without the help of those of us who have hosted us for a night (or sometimes longer).
I depend on these hosting helpers for a safe place to sleep, and for Apollo to also rest, eat, and get ready for the next day. Since Apollo and I only go about 10 to 15 miles most days, that’s a lot of stops needed around the country! So far, we’ve never been without a place to stay, and have only been in one campground - the rest of the nights have been at a private home, boarding stable, fairground, church, or equestrian center thanks to the help of whoever’s home or business it is.
It can be a challenge finding somewhere to stay, and the biggest help you can give us is to help me find one of these hosts (or be one yourself!). Apollo and I don’t require much... but if you think you can help or know someone who might, here’s the lowdown on how it works:
* All I really need is a fence. A full one - not just three sides of a square! Wood, metal, chain link, wire, plastic, electric horse fence (but not the nearly-invisible single hot wire kind, please), picket, pallets.... whatever. Stalls are okay too, as are arenas and round pens. Apollo is fine with them all, so long as he has room to turn around and lie down, but not wander off down the road. I cannot tie him overnight (I don’t carry the extra gear, since I have to pack minimal stuff), so a fence is a must.
It is okay if he shares a paddock or pasture with other species (goats, sheep, cows, llamas, alpacas, chickens, pigs, etc). However, to prevent injuries I prefer if he does not go in the same fenced area as other horses. It IS okay if he shares a fence line with other horses though, and in fact he will rest better if he can socialize over a fence. He’s also okay being the only horse around.
* Apollo and I really appreciate it if he can get a good square meal, or rather two (in the evening, and the next morning before I saddle up). For his nutritional needs on this ride, that means pasture and/or hay (grass of any kind, alfalfa, or mixed, or cubes). I don’t pack hay, it’s too heavy and bulky for the available pack space. If you have a fence but no lawn/pasture or hay, that’s okay! There are solutions I can work out with you, so please don’t think this means you can’t help host.
If you can help with grain too, that’s extra awesome (and if not, that’s ok - I do carry an emergency one-day supply of grain). Any type is fine, Apollo isn’t very picky.
* I also do not carry a free-standing bucket for Apollo’s water or grain, so I will ask to borrow two suitable containers if where he is staying for the night doesn’t already have them.
*I like to have somewhere secure from pets, wildlife, and weather to store my saddle and gear when possible.
* For my own sleeping arrangements, I can either set up my tent in your yard, roll out my sleeping bag in your barn, or I am always happy to accept accommodations on a couch or in a guest room or trailer (it saves me a lot of packing time in the morning so I can get back on the road faster if I don’t have to deal with my tent!). I also am okay with Apollo and I sleeping at different addresses if that’s how it works out best, so long as I can get back to feed and saddle him early enough the next morning. If it’s extra hot, cold, or wet out, I am especially grateful for indoor accommodations!
*I will need access to a toilet.
* I don’t expect you to feed me, but love if you do. However, you should know in advance that I am vegetarian. I do not eat fish, chicken, or other meat. I DO eat eggs and cheese, as well as other non-meat items such as pasta, bread, ice cream, and of course vegetables. I am very good at working with whatever you were already planning - for example, making a veggie sandwich out of burger toppings, or having a veggie taco by leaving out the beef. You do not need to run to the store to buy special vegetarian food! If you want more information on what I can and cannot eat as a vegetarian, read this blog post.
*Occassionally I may ask for help with trailering a few miles, particularly if there’s a bad storm rolling in, a major heat wave, or other potentially dangerous weather, or if the only road to get to you is particularly treacherous. If you are aware of some local hazard or road condition that I may not know about, please share it and help me plan a safe way through or around if possible!
*At some stops, we may have extra needs. Every four to five days Apollo and I need to take two full days off to rest. Every three or so days I need to do laundry. Occassionally I may need a ride to town for supplies, to mail a letter or package, etc. WiFi access is always helpful, too.
* I do not expect you to act as my local tour guide, take time from your normal routine for me, or even be home when I get there. I do not typically like to “preview” my next day’s route by driving it ahead of time, unless there’s a particularly unsafe area you think I should see, because that takes some of the fun out of riding it. If you’d like to show me around your town though, I always enjoy seeing the local sights.
Interested in hosting us? You’ll find my contact information by clicking here.
Have you already hosted Apollo and I? Leave a comment below so everyone else can read what it was like to be our host!