Although follow the The Santiago Way On foot is by far the most popular way to do it, there are some pilgrims who choose to follow this ancient route on horseback. If you are thinking of doing the Camino de Santiago on horseback, here are some tips and tricks that can help make your trip easier.
El Camino de Santiago on horseback it is a fantastic experience, in which you can be in contact with nature and discover incredible landscapes along the way. It is an unusual and highly recommended way of doing the Camino, but it does require detailed planning to ensure you are comfortable and your horse is well cared for.
Table of Contents
What is the Camino de Santiago?
The Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage route that stretches over 800 km through northern Spain. It began as a Roman trade route and was later used by Christian pilgrims to reach the sanctuary of Santiago in Galicia.
Equip your horse well before starting the trail
As in any equestrian activity, before starting the trip you will have to make sure that you have all the necessary equipment and that it is in good condition.
Right here in Arzúa there is a stupendous Brothers Gomez saddlery which has an online store where you can get many of the necessary products and accessories if you don't have them.
Remember that you will be carrying all this on horseback and that each additional kilo can become a real burden along the way you are going to undertake.
The first piece of equipment you will need if you don't already have is buy a good saddle that suits your horse well. Remember that the more comfortable the saddle, the better it is for both of you. Riding your horse with an ill-fitting saddle can have several consequences at different stages of the journey:
– Pain and irritation for your horse
– Irritation and sores for you
– More serious injuries due to falls, especially if the saddle slips behind the withers of your horse
In addition to a good saddle, you will need:
– A halter and bridle in the right size for your horse
Especially if you are going to ride at a slower pace and you are going to be with your horse for several days, it is important that you have an efficient method to organize your luggage so that you can easily access everything you need for the road.
– Some wide saddlebags, which distribute the weight well on both sides of your horse
– A backpack that allows you to carry a good amount of luggage comfortably and without causing inconvenience to you or your horse.
Tips for doing the Camino de Santiago on horseback
– Make sure you are able to pedal for long periods of time. The complete Camino can last up to two weeks, depending on the stops you want to make along the way
– Carefully plan your route. You must be clear about which roads are closed to horses so you don't get stuck in the
– Prepare your horse for the stress of a long journey. A strong and healthy animal can easily do 100 km a day, but make sure you give it time for me
– Take extra rations: you do not want to have to look for a place where they sell feed every few hours
– Do not neglect the review of the maps with the chosen route- Take into account the seasons of the year. Many roads are not accessible in winter
What not to do on horseback on the Camino de Santiago
– Do not take your horse to the starting point of the trip on an empty stomach. He has to be well fed before he leaves.
– Make sure there is always enough water for him, and give him more than he usually drinks.
– Follow all the instructions of the service people on the road (for example, the civil guards)
– Never leave your horse unattended
– Never tie the horse to a post or fix it to the ground. If he has his halter he can run away, but he cannot eat or drink
– Do not gallop along the Camino de Santiago if the area is populated with tourists. This rule applies especially when you are near farms and rural areas
– Avoid sleeping outdoors if you can. If you have no choice: camp in an unpopulated area and make sure you don't leave any traces (such as food scraps)
– Never feed your horse after 20:00 p.m.; this could cause colic. Also, he will chew less because he will be tired.
– Be very careful when crossing rivers
Final conclusion of the Camino de Santiago on horseback
If done correctly, walking the Camino de Santiago can be a rewarding experience. It takes research and knowledge to be successful, but if you follow these tips diligently, your horse will enjoy the ride as much as you do.
The Camino de Santiago begins in France and ends in Spain. There is no specific starting point or designated location, so think about where you'll be starting from to account for everything else.