The Outdoor Witch Blog

Travel with pets story, hindsight & tips

7500km drive, 6 countries, solo, with one horse & 3 husky dogs

Well, let me tell you straight away. Travelling solo with three dogs and a horse isn’t an easy task! What was it like? Why did I do it? What did I learn? Find out all about my solo return journey all the way from Switzerland to northen Scandinavia less than a month after having travelled down from Finland with the 12 dogs and cat

End April 2022, I came back after a 3 weeks return journey from Switzerland to Finland and Norway, and back. A 7’500km drive through 6 countries. On my own, with my Toyota Land Cruiser and a big trailer.

What for?

Yes, what was the reason to do this trip up north? Especially now, that petrol prices have gone through the roof..!

Well… I went to pick up my horse! She was still in Rovaniemi, Lapland, Finland since we left with the rest of the tribe mid-march 2022. The Striders cannot be separated for too long and it felt really off to leave her behind. I mean, she’s part of our tribe! We couldn’t take her along as we simply had  not enough room for all the 12 dogs and her in the trailer on the previous trip. So about a month after that first trip, I drove back up there, just on my own this time, with the Toyota Land Cruiser and the big trailer, and two of our Huskies, Bobby and Typy, as travel companions. Which in itself is already something.

What is it like?

The journey up north was already challenging in itself.  It’s a long drive, that implies several border crossings, ferries, long active days as well as some skills with driving and manoeuvring a trailer of that size (I mean, we talk about European roads and traffic here!).  

And then, on the way back, I not only had Ola in the trailer, but also an extra dog to be rehomed, Peppi,  who is actually Bobby’ and Quint's sister. 

It might not seem as adventurous and risky as the solo winter expeditions I’ve done. Yet, in many ways, it is as challenging and demanding. 

Why so? 

Here is why, and what I’ve learnt from that trip.


A trip like that is very intense. It’s all about being focused, present and in charge all day long. Long hours on the road, as a solo driver, interspersed by regular coffee breaks, when I would fuel the tank, take the dogs on a walk, and check Ola. The shorter breaks are followed by longer stops or overnight stays when I have to attend first to the dogs and the horse, then think about me. 

Some days, I would drive all day and do a long overnight stop, camping at some nice spot where I could even make a fence field for Ola and have the dogs out on the chains most of the night.

Other days, I would drive for about 300km, then make a long, nice stop during the afternoon and have everyone chill and rest while enjoying the fine weather. And later, I would pack horse and dogs back in the car and trailer and keep driving until late at night. I would then usually sleep at any random place to get some hours sleep. 

Every long stop means that I must unload Ola and take her either for a walk - alone or with the three dogs, or make a small pen for her, so she can get some exercise and graze. It also means cleaning her bedding, and refuelling her hay net. 

Intuition and organisation

To top it all off, I cannot stop randomly. The trailer is large, the entire convoy is 12m long, and I need a location to park that is appropriate for a horse and a few dogs to move around. There are some mandatory criteria! So it requires some decent planning, map reading and orienteering skills

I’ve learned over time how to find the best spots, know how to identify them from the simple google map and have marked some down. I usually plan some stops beforehand. But then, each trip is different, from the weather conditions to the road, and I usually end up having to find new ones. That’s when my intuitive travel mind kicks in and helps me find totally stunning places! 

I actually completely trust that my spirit guides will always guide me to the right places. And they do. 

Home is where the trailer is

My furry companions feel safe whenever the trailer or car is around. It is their safe place during long trips. So if they enjoy walks and spending time outside, whenever they want to rest, they ask me to go back inside. Only Bobby prefers to sleep outside, so if the place is safe, I let him, and he would stay nice and quiet by the car. All the others, from the dogs, to the horse and cat, prefer to sleep inside. 

This surprised me a bit during my first long trip with Ola, Sparta, Nyx and Milwyn. The weather was so nice, the temperatures perfect, that I couldn’t understand why they all preferred the car! But it makes sense. It is a protection mode. They are on unknown territory. If they want to rest properly, then outside isn’t as safe for them as inside. They can be more peaceful inside. And it is actually very important that they get enough rest, especially for Ola. She can recover from the long travel day and be nice and fresh for the next one. So I must make sure that she gets enough rest, out of the trailer, grazing during the day, and so it doesn't matter if she spends the night inside. She prefers this, and I actually notice that she doesn’t get tired on long trips. She handles them very well - what a fantastic horse I have!

They also understand quickly if we intend to stay at a spot for a couple of days, or only for a few hours. They are so good at picking on our energy and reading their humans! Never ever underestimate your animal friend ;-)

No back up

The aspect that looks the most similar to my solo expeditions is that I have virtually no back up. I mean, for any daily issue or tricky situation, I am on my own. Of course, if anything terrible were to happen, I could always reach out for the police or any outside help. But for the rest, for anything that would normally be shared with someone, I must deal on my own.  And as I am not only dealing with myself, but with 4 other beings who all have their needs and requirements, it does make things a bit intense sometimes!

From loading the horse, to driving, feeding and watering the tribe, taking decisions, manoeuvring and parking the convoy, I can only count on myself. And for that alone, I am very proud of what I’m able to achieve. Because, if you had asked me only a few years ago, I would never have believed that I would one day drive all the way to Scandinavia and back in such a short time… not mentioning the trailer, the three dogs and the horse!

Useful tricks

Being alone, out there, on the roads or in the middle of the Swedish or German forests with my little pack, I  had to be creative. Especially with my Princess Ola who can be stubborn as a mule or reactive as a thoroughbred. Loading and hydration were two tricky areas. Ola is an easy horse to travel with, once she agrees to load and stay in the trailer! Lol

To load and unload Ola in this new trailer with a set-up she wasn’t used to, I found some tricks to make my life easier. 


The first day, she wouldn’t load. I was so used to her going up in the trailer without any problem, that I hadn’t thought it would be an issue on this trip. The first evening, I was in tears, wondering how I would get my horse back inside, being alone, with no extra help and a very nervous Ola. Being an animal communicator and energy healer, I am usually the one who is solving these issues for people! But then, out there, tired, alone, I simply couldn’t do the techniques that work. I still managed to rest and calm down. And suddenly remembered that I could use my training stick to guide her in. Ola is a very sensitive horse, so she picks on every single feeling I have and reacts to them. I went back to her, determined to get her in, walked up the loading ramp and stand still facing her with the rope loose on one hand and the stick on the left to create a virtual wall. It’s a medium-long stick, so it’s indeed very virtual! She first made a step backwards. I hold her, firmly but gently, telling that she could stand still but not backing up or moving to the side. And guess what? She walked straight up the ramp and she was in! It took less than 2 minutes… and after that, loading has never been an issue again..!

Food saves it all

But then… She would walk in, and then…walk straight back out or start to get very stressed before I could close the back partition on her. Once both partitions are closed, she always relaxes and starts munching her hay. So I hung the blue bucket that I use to feed her, with some goodies and a pinch of water right next to her hay. She would just go straight to her food and stay there, waiting patiently for me to close the partitions, too busy with her treats to pay attention to the rest.  


The hardest bit was making sure she drank enough. Horses, just like humans and dogs, can get dehydrated very quickly. And my camel horse isn’t the easy type when it comes to drinking…! Apple juice added to the water works with some horses, not with her. So to make her drink regularly during the day, I put bits of carrots or dilute some of her food in water and so she would drink it all. 

A wonderful experience

Going on a trip with your pet/s is a wonderful experience! Keep it simple at first, so it is an enjoyable experience for both you and your animal companion. Read my previous article on the Striders Adventures blog and don’t forget to share your own adventures!

I wish you a lot of fun!

travel with pets, scandinavia, road trip, horse, dogs, the striders adventures


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