Slightly concerned about picketing my gelding while camping, any advice? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-14-2011, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
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Slightly concerned about picketing my gelding while camping, any advice?

Ok, my gelding is one of those horses that opens gates, stalls, takes off his halter, won't keep on a fly mask, etc.... My boyfriend is getting a new trailer and we are planning on going on a weekend trail ride/camping trip but I don't think this facility has stalls for the horses and I am concerned about keeping him on a picket line. Does anyone have any advice as to how I can secure him and not be worried he'll take a walk-a-bout in the middle of the night? Maybe I'll just invest in one of those mobile electrobraid
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-14-2011, 10:28 AM
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I've never picketed myself. Has your horse ever been on a picket line? I think what I would do, find a safe place to try the horse on a picket line such as a pasture or turnout. Picket them for a few hours while you are nearby to supervise. Your horse might just be fine. If that goes well, maybe try overnight...again, in a safe place in case they get out. If all still goes well, you may be perfectly fine, but at least you will know.

Or, you can just try a portable or temporary setup. There are a lot of different kinds to choose from. My friend just uses that orange mesh fencing they use at construction sites...but only because her horse respects it. You may want to do a few trials to see what your horse will and will not respect before going camping.
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post #3 of 14 Old 07-14-2011, 10:45 AM
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I used to guide pack trips into the Colorado West Elk Wilderness. I have used both pickets and hobbles.

The pickets I used were single foot hobble attacked to 30 feet of THICK cotton rope. This rope was attached to a log or some other movable object that was heavy, but not stationary. If the hose wanted to move around, they could exert effort to drag the "drag". This rope is big and hard to carry on pack trips, so I wasn't really a fan. A horse has to learn how to picket so they won't tangle themselves in the rope.

I much prefer to hobble. It is much safer and easier to use/carry. The horse still has to be trained in hobbles. Two way, or simple hobbles, are not what I use. Horse's can learn to gallop in those things. I use three way hobbles-both fronts to one rear leg. They can move around, but not fast.

Here is some info one it.

Some random photos


I used my show horses for this. They thought events/shows were a day off!!

Three-Way Hobbling

Last edited by Allison Finch; 07-16-2011 at 09:37 AM.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-14-2011, 11:02 AM
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You need to invest in a neck rope tie. We have an escape artist who is also black. Lots of fun in the middle of the night, when he gets off the line. LOL
I use a neck rope as a back up, never failed me yet.

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post #5 of 14 Old 07-14-2011, 11:09 AM
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I love the halter bridle that I use on pack trips. You can see it in the last photo. I use a rope kept on the halter and tied to the saddle while riding, as seen in this photo.

While I hobble the horses for grazing during the day, I high picket at night. Escape artists get a rope with a quick release snap permanently attached at both ends and the high picket is out of fussing reach.
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post #6 of 14 Old 07-14-2011, 12:22 PM
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I recommend this ^ for picket lining. I have seen it save a horse's life. Plus, for me, it just makes picket lining sooooo much easier!

If you horse is used to being tied for extended periods of time, then he should be fine. If not, what I do is loop a tire innertube over a large tree limb then tie a lead rope to the loops in the innertube. I tie the horse where I can keep an eye on him/her. The innertube gives a little if the horse pulls. This is a good way to teach a horse that just because his/her body can move around doesn't mean he can leave! For some reason, horses that have never been "mobile-tied" as I call it, find it much different than being tied to the side of a stable object like a trailer, arena fence, etc... and need to learn the boundaries of thier movement.

If you horse lays down to sleep, make sure you tie long enough for him/her to get up and down, but never long enough to get a leg over thier rope! I tie my horses long enough to drink out of their water bucket on the ground but short enough that they have to pull the rope just slightly to get that drink, and I tie a hay bag onto the picket line (on another Knot Eliminator of course! Keep the bag from sliding down the picket line into the horses face!)

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Last edited by heartprints62; 07-14-2011 at 12:24 PM.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-15-2011, 08:49 PM
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I tie my horses up on high lines all the time. Check the halter, lead and highline before bed and everything will be fine.

If you worry, tie a chem light to his halter. Anytime you look at the high line at night you should see the glow of the chem light, or if he gets loose, you can spot the chem light moving thru the medow.
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-16-2011, 09:29 AM
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I avoid high lines as much as possible. Not because I worry about them getting loose, but rather getting hurt. If a horse gets a rear foot over the lead, you have a nasty rope burn. If I have to high tie, I use a 1/4 inch cotton rope inside a piece of garden hose. If a foot gets over this, they will break the cotton rope before doing any damage. I'd rather have a loose horse as a bad rope burn. Very few horses will wonder very far. They will stay close to the other horses.

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post #9 of 14 Old 07-17-2011, 12:38 PM
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You should be fine with a highline setup, IMO the physically containing the horse is much preferable to the mental containment you get with a portable electric set up when camping (I do use a portable electric corral, or hobbles, but only for grazing, at night they go on the highline)

As bbmfg mentioned you do run the chance for problems if your lead is too long, make sure that the lead line is short enough that the horse can't get a leg over.

This year I've been using locking carabiners to attach the lead to the highline so the horse can move up and down the length of the line at night (put stoppers on the line [simply at stick secured with a clove hitch] to keep the horse from wrapping the lead around the end trees).

You can see more about setting up a highline here along with more pics and a video.

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post #10 of 14 Old 07-18-2011, 03:55 PM
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quote: "if your lead is too long, make sure that the lead line is short enough that the horse can't get a leg over. "

How, pray, do you do that? Many horses will scratch their ear with a hind foot. Unless the lead is so short they can not get their head down at all, there is the real possibility of a hind foot over the lead rope and nasty rope burns. Been there done that too many times. That's why I went to the 1/4" cotton lead, would much rather have a loose horses as a nasty rope burn.

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