View Full Version : Using a High Line

tabula rashah
May. 13, 2011, 06:42 PM
When you guys have your horse on a high line- how do you do your hay and water?
I am taking my new mare on her first camping trip next week and we've practiced on the high line at home. She's very sensible and I'm pretty sure she will be fine, but..... She has to put her feet in everything!! So I am wondering what the best solution for water is as I am sure she will immediately go swimming in anything I set on the ground. Also do you do hay in a net from the line or do you do hay on the ground?

May. 14, 2011, 09:50 AM
This is where knots help. I will set some knots or knot eliminators so the horse has to reach and get to the hay net, which is hanging on that same line, past a knot...that ensure the horse can't get his leadrope wrapped around the net or a hoof in it (maybe)...having an extra snap on hand also means I can snug that net up as it gets emptied. I take it away overnight....I don't trust a line long enough to let them eat hay off the ground unless I'm supervising and can jump in if they hook a foot scratching an ear. I'm tempted to rig a way they are tethered to a neck collar rather than a lead rope...

Water: I offer water often, and if the horse can be trusted, I set a bucket where they can reach it. Setting it in a plastic milk crate helps, it's more stable than a round bottomed bucket.If not...I just offer it often. I can't trust Moo with water available all the time.

May. 14, 2011, 10:15 AM
I tie the horse to a knot eliminator a few feet from the post or tree, so they can still reach a water bucket hanging on the post, but not close enough to wrap around the post. I hang the hay net (I use small mesh hay nets) on a knot eliminator on the high line about the same distance from the horse in the opposite direction from the water bucket (far enough so they can't wrap the lead rope around the hay net). I do use collars most of the time, so I can tie them shorter but they can still reach the hay, water, and lie down. I use this set up with my nutty TBx who is accident prone, and it works really well and is safe.

May. 14, 2011, 10:49 AM
This is where knots help. I will set some knots or knot eliminators so the horse has to reach and get to the hay net, which is hanging on that same line, past a knot...that ensure the horse can't get his leadrope wrapped around the net or a hoof in it (maybe).

:yes: This. Tie the hay net so they can just reach the hay at the end of their rope. Tie it high, wrap it several times around the high line, and clip the snap to the bottom of the net: that will help hold it up when it gets empty.

I also tie to the cheek ring of the halter, not the ring under the chin. You can tie them a little shorter that way, but they can still reach things and lie down.

I don't leave water at the high line. I fill up a clean muck tub with water and lead them over to it several times a day. It's more convenient than filling buckets. You can line the tub with a garbage bag before you fill it, then close the top to keep water from splashing out when you're hauling it around.

Have a great trip!

May. 14, 2011, 12:26 PM
Do yourself a favor. Research "trucker's knot" and "Prussic loop" I used both of these knots high tieing. The Prussic loop is used instead of "Knot Eliminators" The loop is cheap, moveable on the line (when I want to, not when the horse wants), light weight, doesn't clank on the trail, and easy to cut to release the horse in a melt-down. The "trucker's knot" helps to get the high tie rope high and tight. :D

I use a prussic loop to tie the hay bag just within reach of the horse. This keeps him from getting tangled with the hay bag. (once, the horse had the hay bag twisted onto his face by constantly turning into it) :no:
I offer water just before my bed time and in the morning. Leaving a bucket in reach is asking for a mid-night wake up when it gets caught on a hoof. :eek:

May. 14, 2011, 11:33 PM
Actually, when mine are on high line for the night, they don't have access to hay or water. They will have spent quite a while grazing w/hobbles and/or eating hay cubes or pellets and will be thoroughly fed and watered before tying up for beddie-bye time. They are perfectly content that way til morning (though one will hear complaints if others are up first and feeding their horses...).

Painted Horse
May. 15, 2011, 12:37 AM
I'm with Hosspuller. Prusic Loop is a great way to tie the horses on.

I also water before bed and again in the morning. I don't want a bucket close enough for them to kick or tripping over it.

And like Bev. my horses get most of the fed before bedtime. Since I use the high line a lot in the back country. There is no way I can pack in enough feed. So they get hobbled and turned out to graze.

But on the rare occassion that I do feed. I throw the flake on the ground and adjust the lead so the can just barely stretch far enough to reach the hay.

The rules of High lining are 7' a part, 7' foot high and 17" of lead

May. 15, 2011, 06:46 PM
The rules of High lining are 7' a part, 7' foot high and 17" of lead

Never knew this.

I'd love for this thread to be part of the Endurance FAQs sticky -- alone with any other info on how to train horses to a high line.

May. 15, 2011, 07:01 PM
We do what Painted Horse does.

May. 16, 2011, 10:31 AM
For ton's of helpful info about high lining and horse camping in general I suggest you go to:

They also sell ton's of stuff for horse camping and trail riding.

Bonnie S.

May. 16, 2011, 11:32 AM
The trucker's loop is essential to a tight highline, you bet. With enough of 'em you could string up a Chevy :)

I haven't learned the Prussic Loop, I need to. I have some kmot eliminators and it's only 2 horses, so it's not a huge deal. Whatever you tie the horse to, the rope MUST have a swivel in it so they don't twist that rope up ...

Heart's Journey
May. 16, 2011, 12:23 PM
I often use the Tie-Rite system that was installed on my trailer. I also had bucket hangers installed, so I can hang water buckets there. They rest on the trailer wheel platform, so they can't get a foot up that high. It works very well. My horse is a big drinker, so I don't like to limit his water.
I also hang a hay bag on the trailer tie, so it's also high up. I use a bungee type lead so he can stretch it to the ground to pick hay up if desired, but can't get a foot over it.
I like the idea of a neck collar, so I will try that out and I'm going to look up those knots.
If I use a regular tie-out, then a large muck bucket holds the water and he's very good about not putting a foot in it. I hang a hay bag to the end tree or pole and that seems to work well for him.

May. 16, 2011, 01:46 PM
When I high line my horses, I feed hay on the ground in a pile, and keep piling it up for them. I have also fed with hay bags, but I don't like it much because the horses keep chasing the hole in the bag around and around no matter how I tie it. I tie the horses so they can nearly reach the ground with their lips if they stretch down or pull on the rope at the point just beneath the knot on the line. However, if the horses do not get along, I tie them a bit more snug so they can't get a leg over the rope if they strike at each other, and use a hay bag at each end of the line. Once they finish their hay, they get snugged up for sleepy-time to just long enough to reach the water.

Water buckets are on the ground, tied to the end posts and kept very full because the horses are not tied loose enough to reach the bottom of the bucket. The horses also can't get close enough to really get into the bucket with their feet. Ideally, I would use those big muck tubs, but I usually use regular flat-back 5 gallon buckets.

May. 17, 2011, 07:42 AM
We use hay bags - never hay nets. They have hay in front of them 24-7. We offer water often (every 30 min-2hrs, depending on how hot it is) except for overnight, and we use knot eliminators and Rope Ratchets for our high line at both ends.

Rope Ratchets are the Best. Invention. Evah.


Putting up high lines is SOOOOO easy now. Just clip it and zip it.

I was unsure of the strength of them, but we had 3 horses on our line last weekend and they held up great. When you get the inevitable sag in the line, just zip it some more. Eazy-Peazy.

May. 17, 2011, 09:06 AM
Did the package say how much the Rope Ratchet is load rated for? I didn't see it on the website. That does look easier than the heavy duty ratchet strap we use.

May. 17, 2011, 10:45 AM
Rope ratchets are the best invention ever! Put it up and it stays tight unlike our hand tightened high-lines. We use a small one and haven't had any problems.

tabula rashah
May. 17, 2011, 07:55 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions- I will let you guys know how it goes when I get back on Tuesday :)

May. 18, 2011, 09:45 AM
The 1/2" rope ratched has a load max of 500# - I'm honestly not sure which size we have. I'm pretty sure it's a smaller one. :confused:

May. 18, 2011, 06:02 PM
I have one horse between two posts if possible. That way I can set a knot eliminator at one end of the line and another knot eliminator at the other end of the line. I have a stainless steel ring that free floats on the line between the knot eliminators so my horse can walk up and down the line. I have the hay at one end and the water at the other end, forcing them to get exercise while tied, thus eliminating any chance of getting stocked up from standing. I have my water (muck bucket only used for water) in my muck bucket cart. I use the cart to take the bucket to the trailer to fill it up and also to stabilize the bucket. I use food grade 55 gallon plastic barrels with a hose and a spigot connected to it. I only have to cyphon the water once when I get to camp, turn off the spigot and when I want more water, all I have to do is turn the spigot on again.
My picket line is set with a ratchet so it stays tight. I also put a bell on it so if, in the middle of the night, there's any foul play, I can hear the bell and it will wake me up. Only had to get up once when a loose horse would up at our line at 5 am trying to get hay from my horse.
If by chance the water gets tipped over (hasn't happened yet), I can switch ends with the hay letting the wet end dry out.
Been camping with my horses for many moons and this has worked wonderfully!

May. 18, 2011, 09:11 PM
Does the bell ring a bit all night? I think it is a great idea in case they break the line and it would ring muchh louder but if I am sleeping in a tent I'm afraid the jingeling it would keep me up all night.

May. 19, 2011, 08:24 AM
At first I wasn't sure of how much the bell would ring when jostled so yes, it did take some getting used to but the peace of mind is certainly worth it.
It does jingle quietly as a rule just from normal activity however, you know for certain when something is wrong and it rings aggressively. Just know the quiet jingle is quite comforting and lets me sleep well. :)

May. 24, 2011, 10:48 AM
I use a grooming colar with a big 2 inch ring on it to tie the horse instead clipping to the halter. The collar is snugged up enough so it won;t slipped over their head yet loose enough that the ring I put on it will slip over buckle and all.

This allows the horse to roll and not wind the rope around his neck. I almost lost a horse who rolled on a high picket line. Found him with the rope wrapped around his neck and his tongue hanging out. Luckily we were able to get him back and up on his feet.

Ditto to all who talked about the knot eliminator and rachettes!!!! Love that tightening up feature!

tabula rashah
May. 24, 2011, 12:03 PM
Well we're back from camp- It went great!!! The horse I took was really, really green but she did absolutely everything I asked of her and more.
The highline worked out great. I had gotten stuff to make my own, but when I arrived the friend I was camping with already had hers set up with a space for my horse too, so I just used that. I did hay on the ground which worked fine and ended up just offering her a drink many times throughout the day as she dumped it the instant I sat it down everytime. She seemed quite happy to be there and was comfortable enough to lie down and snooze.
Thanks everyone for the advice!!

May. 25, 2011, 10:37 AM
......and now you're hooked. :D

Welcome to the club! :lol:

May. 25, 2011, 12:38 PM
Isn't it cool that your green horse took to it so well? For some reason I always find that so satisfying. Hope you enjoyed your time away:)

tabula rashah
May. 25, 2011, 01:40 PM
......and now you're hooked. :D

Welcome to the club! :lol:

LOL! I was more than hooked before- I'd just always used a portable corral:lol:
Now if only I could get my DH dragged out there!

tabula rashah
May. 25, 2011, 01:44 PM
Isn't it cool that your green horse took to it so well? For some reason I always find that so satisfying. Hope you enjoyed your time away:)

Yeah, it's a great feeling isn't it? :yes: And yes, I had a wonderful time- it was so nice to be away from the phone and the computer!!

May. 25, 2011, 01:55 PM
The first (and only) time I used a bell it drove my bonkers. It jingled gently when the mare was eating and moving slightly, but when she fell asleep (or stopped moving) the jingling would stop which in turn sent me into panic that she got loose and left (which btw, she's never done, so I'm not sure where all that was coming from...). I drove my tent mate insane that night. I gave up on the bell idea after that.

And with regard to the feeding on the high line, I fed on the ground. Put hay in a pile and tied her long enough so she could reach it. I used one of those big muck buckets for water since it was more stable.

May. 25, 2011, 02:17 PM
LOL! I was more than hooked before- I'd just always used a portable corral:lol:
Now if only I could get my DH dragged out there!

Ah ok, I get that now. DUH! Lol. It really is awesome when you take a greenie out and they do so well....my greenie had his first high line overnight a couple of weeks ago and made me so proud. :D

Camping this weekend for three days, so hopefully he does just as well this time.

Congrats, and happy camping!

Mtn trails
May. 27, 2011, 04:39 PM
Don't forget to clean up all hay and manure and either take it home with you or deposit in designated area if there is one. Feeding hay off the ground is very wasteful and looks unsightly if left; and no, the deer or other animals are not going to eat it. Use a hay bag to keep hay contained and clean up any that the horse doesn't eat. Sorry, this is just a pet peeve of mine.

I use a come-along to keep my rope tight. I like the idea of the rope ratchet but it looks like it could be pretty difficult to get to the right height if you've got a couple of loaded hay bags hanging from your high line. Probably end up with Popeye arms :lol:. Come along works great, just crank it up easy-squeezy.

We're going in this weekend to an area we haven't been in a couple-3 years. Can't wait.:)

Everyone have a safe and happy Mem Day weekend!