Survival Prepping and Horses
Pros and Cons of Horses in Prepping
Surviving in the wilderness depends heavily on your preparation and how complete it is. Proper training, adequate supplies, and the knowledge inside your head are paramount. As part of your prep, you need to consider your means of transportation. The usual options like trucks, quads, motorcycles, and even motorhomes are popular options but how seriously have you considered adding a horse or two to your prep arsenal?
Whether we experience a full economic collapse, a solar flare, a terrorist attack, or any other major disaster, a healthy and sturdy horse can come in handy. Trucks, quads, and motorcycles run on gasoline and that might be in short supply. Before you dash out and add a horse to your prepping supplies, let's look at a few pros and cons of having a horse:
Right now horses can be affordable to purchase due to the economy (a lot of people are selling them cheap), but they can be expensive to maintain. So, before you get one (or two or three) be sure you can financially handle the responsibility. Also, make sure you and others in your family know how to care for it. It would be worthwhile for everyone to put some time into managing the horse and learning how to saddle up and ride.
Fortunately in the event of an emergency -- if there is still plenty of vegetated land and water available, your horse will not starve and you will not have to store, haul, seek out, or protect fuel like you would with a vehicle.
In some disaster scenarios power grid issues would render vehicles useless so having horses can ensure you have a means of reliable transportation. Unfortunately, only two people can ride a horse at once so depending on how many people there are in your party, a horse may not be much help transporting everyone unless you have several. On the other hand, a horse is perfect for moving children (or disabled adults) that cannot travel as far or fast on foot.
In addition -- depending on the nature of what has happened, the roads themselves may not be safe to navigate due to disaster damage or any social/civil uprising. Horsescan carry you and your family to a safe bug-out location.
With the ability to carry up to 20% of their body weight horses can carry or otherwise haul supplies from point “A” to point “B”. Because horses are so strong, they can also be used to create a pulley or wench system if/when needed. They can also handle almost any terrain so if you have a bug-out place off the beaten track or roads are destroyed, a horse may be one of the best laid plans in your arsenal.
Horses will not be able to carry all of your supplies -- especially if you expect them to carry a human load as well, and horses will need a few supplies of their own. When prepping with a horse be sure to remember the space you may lose to supplies for the horse including some sturdy riding boots and a tarp or two to help protect your gear from weather conditions.
There are a few other things horses can be handy for depending on the environment you find yourself in. Do your research, compare options and costs and keep in mind horses can also be used as bargaining chips when necessary. You can barter transportation (rides) or hauling, or you can trade the horse itself to replenish your supplies.
Having a horse in your stable can be extremely valuable.