Horses for SHTF - The ultimate Bug Out Vehicle BOV?

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Minuteman, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I don't remember seeing much on here about using horses in a bug out situation. I was raised around them and helped work cattle on my Uncles ranch but I never owned any myself. My rolling stone lifestyle prevented it.
    But I recently aquired two mares and have been shopping for saddles and other gear. I have been looking at packs and bags. I figure they can be ridden or used as pack animals. Or eaten if circumstances dictate.
    I will be buying another soon for myself. The wife and daughter have laid claim to the mares.
    So I was wondering if anyone else had horses and what your thoughts are on thier value and use in a SHTF/BOV type situation.
    What is the downside?
    I found this set up on a website. It says that this rig was developed for and is being used by Special Forces in Afghanistan. Pretty cool.
    And some other useful gear.
    m-four-scabbard-complete. large%20wither%20bags. cowboy-horn-bags-light-leat. pommel holsters. three-in-one-cantle-bag.
  2. jimy

    jimy Monkey++

    They would be a great asset, no doubt. Love the AR case in the first pic. Patrick Swayze put them to good use in the 80's. :lol:
  3. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    My thoughts too!! WOLVERINES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    If you have the capacity to feed them and take care of them (does your vet know you on a first name basis? have a barn? Etc.) they are great. Up until gas goes away, I personally won't bother for these reasons. It is so much easier to let a dirtbike lay broken and fix it days or weeks later than to have a vet come over at 3:00am because your horse is bloated and will die in an hour or two.

    I hope you have access to a LOT of straw and hay. Keep the critters clean... a lot more work than a Jeep or a dirtbike. (Up until the gas goes away...)

    I'm not trashing horses, I like to ride too! You wanted to hear the downside to having and using horses.

    BTW, those saddle bags and cases are awesome.
  5. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I didn't get them just for SHTF purposes. I would have them anyway. Always wanted horses but was always moving around so wasn't feasible. I have plenty of room for them now and lots of grass. I started building fence and am putting up a walk-in shed for the winter.
    I was just thinking about their use in a post TEOTWAWKI world. I tend to look at everything in that light. I see the possible downside as a lack of veterinary care. My wife is a nurse and she is going to be studying about horse health and we are already well stocked with vet supplies, but will be stocking up on stuff for the horses.
    A bug out on horse back would be a last resort option for sure. But it adds another dimension to survival preps.
    Plus I always liked movies like Red Dawn and The Postman where horses were heavily utilized.
    So back to my original query; any other monkeys own horses?

    Hey Tango, we need a picture of a monkey riding a horse!!
  6. toemag

    toemag Monkey++

    A couple of years ago the wife came home and told me of her plans to get a Horse. she'd even found the one that she wanted (www), I was against the idea at first, today we own two mare's:lol::lol::lol:. Back then I was saving for a G3 clone from Sabre defence (XR41) and was nearly there, I save for the whole packet, gun, mags (20) and the PMP 1260 big surplus box of ammo.

    The wife and her friend (who owns a couple of horses herself) were going to have a look at the www found mare and see if they could make a deal on her. Well, before I left for work that morning I took my savings and put the money in an envelope on the kitchen table and wrote on the envelope. "viel glueck/good luck". When I got home she was over the moon, she'd bought the mare for the www price as she was expecting (the mare not the wife), (the foal was sold for what we'd paid for the mare, but somehow the wife re-appropriated that money for the second mare). I have all the stuff that I really need and don't. The wife had done without for years and it was her turn to be spoiled. Her choice was 100%, we only ever need the vet for the usual shots and during the time she was pregnant, and then there is the hoof smith, they loose them irons and they need cutting a couple of times a year.

    The only problem is feed in winters, the first few years should be manageable, but then the reality bites. If you are on the move you can't harvest and store hay and feed, and the winters here in Bavaria can be bad. As to eating the horses when the food runs out, I think that my lot would rather eat me.

    BTW, I still don't have the XR41..

  7. Byte

    Byte Monkey+++



    Horses stink!

    I wouldn't recommend them as an option for people that weren't raised tending them as a lifestyle. Reason being that in our throw away culture the avg person is used to using and tossing. Horses require a constant upkeep. If you have the funds, space, and most importantly, the time and love animals I say read up and look for places where you can spend a weekend learning about their care and maintenance first. If you'll be raising and tending other animals as well then I'd say having horses in the mix will probably actually make life a little easier. The BOV that can pretty much take you anywhere!

    I grew up in WY around horses and rode just one...did I mention they stink?

    I'll stick with my 4x4 quad/trailer setup thankyverymuch! I'd personally only consider a horse if all the gas on the planet was gone and no more oil was forthcoming too! [troll]


    Oh yeah forgot to an EOTWAWKI situation all bets are off. Having is better than not! That goes doubly for beer...
  8. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Train, train, train. Your horse is as good as its rider and its training. Make sure they're not trail shy. Critters pop up from everywhere on the trails, but not so much in the arena ;). Make sure they don't spook around loud noises or flying objects and be sure they trust you and will come to you even when they don't want to. Using a harness and getting your horse to go where you want from way behind is something that you want to learn while you have a leisurely pace to learn it. Also; be sure the horses are acclimated and ready for endurance.

    I'm not advocating for a professional trainer, unless you need riding skills, because they focus on skills you might need in a ring. Showmanship isn't all that important on the trails.:)

    They are an expensive pet, but one that will work for and with you.
  9. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I dont have any MM although they are around me everywhere.I have had this conversation with lots of people here and they seem to come up with the same views.
    They will work great if they can liveTrouble is most horses now days are bred to good/pure, and wont make it for long periods of time in the wild foraging. They need a specialized diet and meds etc.
    Needs to be something of an Indian horse or Mustang one that is hearty and can make it without human interventions. IMHO
  10. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Retired Curmudgeonly IT Monkey Founding Member

    My sister owned horses for many years, til it just became too much work and not enough fun. With her long hours at work (medical field) she simply couldn't give them the attention they needed. Also, she and hubby got tired of dealing with the upkeep of eight acres in a flood prone area, where the dirt road got soggy and mushy after every rain. They sold the whole shebang and moved to town, becoming sheeple again. An SUV, two dogs and two cats....

    Did I mention, horses are forever hungry? They were bigger moochers than her dogs.

    I never took to horses myself. Several times, I'd have to ride the woods looking for her when the horse either tossed her and returned home alone, or slipped it's tether and came back. She was always okay - but I learned real quick - the Honda might throw me, but it wouldn't trot home without me!

  11. jim2

    jim2 Monkey+++

    Quigley is right. Mustangs (and any other kind of desert/mountian horse) that is hardy, and can get fat on grass is the way to go. Lineback duns tend to be the best, and even donkeys have their uses as they can carry close to 300 lbs., and get fat on weeds. All of the above have hard feet and can survive far better without shoes than other beasts.

    Primative animals like Mustangs, Longhorns, Moreno sheep, etc. will do best in a SHTF senario. Kinda like OP heritage seeds.

  12. Akheloce

    Akheloce Monkey++

    While horses may be the perfect BOV for most of the country/ world, unfortunately, not for me. My brother tried to keep horses for a few years, but the expense was just too high- $600-$800 per month. Plus, if supply lines to the lower 48 go down (which I have no doubt). They'd starve. There is only a small portion of Alaska that can grow enough feed to sustain a horse, and the quality is low. You have to supplement the hay with imported grains.

    Also, something I wouldn't have thought about... we have a lot of muskeg up here, that we just couldn't make across on horses. Too soft and mucky. It's a wonder moose can walk across it. Come to think of it, I figure I'm SOL if I ever run out of gas for the tracked Rhino, cause in the summer time, you can't hardly walk cross country in many places up here... I wonder if snowshoes work on muskeg?:D
  13. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I got my first horse when I was but a wee girl and always had at least one until I was in my late 20's. I've had some fantastic animals and still miss having one for riding but they are a lot of work and the animal equivalent of a boat when it comes to a place to pour cash. The price of hay and grain has skyrocketed which means that unless you have sufficient resources to produce your own, be prepared to invest a lot of money but you'll end up with the best manure you can imagine. Farriers are required several times a year as well routine mouth care. Make sure you have a large animal vet local to you and that the practice makes barn visits. Otherwise, prepare to invest in a good horse trailer and a truck for towing. And you better be ready to muck out stalls at 5am every morning, rain sleet snow, and blister heat. As a teenager, cleaning the stalls before school every morning created more parent/child arguments than the condition of my bedroom.
  14. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    Thanks to everyone for all the advice. I already have the horses so that's a done deal. The only thing I need to buy is a trailer. My friend is a ranch manager on a ranch down the road from me. He knew someone who had these two mares and had lost thier job and couldn't afford them. He knew I had plenty of land and would give them a good home so I got them for free. He has his vet check mine out whenever he comes out to the ranch to check on his horses. And they get truckloads of hay delivered every few weeeks so he just adds an extra 50 bales to the ranch order for me and I pay for it at his cost.

    I have 65 acres with lots of good grass to supplement the hay so feeding isn't going to be a major expense. We split the call out charge on the vet too so I am saving money there too.

    I always liked horses and I have ridden for years. My family are mostly farmers and ranchers so I have quite a bit of experience with horses. I just have never owned any myself.

    I have known a lot of people who had horses but were always broke, lived in dumpy houses, drove junky vehicles, their kids wore hand-me-down thrift store clothes, yet they always had money for hay and trailers, saddles etc.. And would brag about how much this horse or that one was worth. That always bothered me. Sell the thing then and buy your kids some decent clothes.

    I always said I would never have horses unless I could afford them. I have been blessed, after a 30+ year career of finally making a very comfortable salary. So I can afford a few luxuries such as horses. But I know that they are a lot of work. That's what God made teenagers for!!

    I never thought about the manure. That's the kind of survival aspect I was looking for. Lots of fertilizer for the garden! And as for hardy I think these mountain bred horses are sturdier than many. And I guess it was providence but the one is a Lineback Dun Quarter and the other is an Appaloosa. Both I would guess to be hardy breeds.

    Here is a pic of the girls. They both need a little wieght on them. The person who had them had 5 kids and was getting to the point of either feeding the horses or the kids. So they both were on the thin side when I got them.
  15. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Good looking horses MM. I was raised on horseback, but haven't ridden in probably 10-12 years. All set with your saddles and tack?
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    The only time I've been on a horse. That is me, my sister, and Mom's Uncle Bert.
    Uncle Bert's farm1.
  17. Minuteman

    Minuteman Chaplain Moderator Founding Member

    I bought one saddle a couple of weeks ago at a pawn shop. Looked to be almost new. Should fit the wife or daughter well. Gotta find a bigger saddle and horse for me tho! I wouldn't have the heart to haul my big azz up on the Appy. Maybe a Clydesdale, or a Friesen, or a draft horse.
    Or maybe I'll just keep riding this 3/4 ton Ram. It doesn't buck. Much anyway.

    So Ghrit, date that pic for us. Was that before the invention of the motorized tractor! :lol: sorry.

    Here's a pic of my horse;
    Branson 044. Branson 009.
  18. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    [taser1] Not quite. Bert had two tractors that he didn't use. Said horses always started and didn't need a trip to town for gas. To be honest, I don't know the exact date, but it's likely before )($#%$&*&*)&*( (Bleeping keyboard won't always cooperate.)

    Look carefully at the single bottom plow behind the horse, that'll give you an idea of the era.

    (Bert kept a couple cows, a few chickens and guinea hens. The only mechanized thing he regularly used on the farm was an ancient Dodge flat rack, every thing except bringing in the hay was done with the horses. He had a late 40s Kaiser that he was known to use transporting calves. There was a self sufficient man, farmed, blacksmithed, sold farm produce and employed a couple hands as needed. His wife had the door garden, canned and all that. They swapped for necessaries with others in the area (think barter.) His brother had a sock full of acreage just down the road with woods the entire family hunted a necessary. One of 11 siblings.)
  19. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Nice horse, or sheep, or whatever you want to call it.
  20. kritterbigfoot

    kritterbigfoot Monkey++

    hi, we have thaught long and hard about the bov too. and about 6 mos ago we decided the best bov for us would be the horses. weve had a belgian mare for the last 9 years, but dad never did anything with her and she had some bad habbits. was just pasture candy, we ended up selling her since it was dangerous for the kids to go in the pasture. 6 mos ago we baught a green broke mare and foal. we are learning to break the foal, which is going very well, and the mare is great with the girls. im still a big girl and refuse to get on a smaller horse right now. being 6ft 280lbs i dont want to stress a regular size horse out. but my hubby and all the kids get on the green broke mare. she is learning well considering she is learning as we learn. now one of my good friends recently passed away. and he ask us to take his horses. he has 6 wild horses in a remote pasture. we have been aclimating them to us and have got to the point of touching them. sometime this winter there will be a round pen built so we can get these buggers broke. i have two daughters that want to go into the horse training business, so with some friends help that also do this we are learning. these wild horses have a few in the mix that are extra large, appaloosas that i could ride easy. never been shod. our mare also is tough footed and doesnt get shod so we are good on that account. these horses have 36acres of pasture to graze on year round, part being in haymeadow.things get so bad we need to ride horses we will move them over here and do some trading for grazing with the neighbors.
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