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Using a High Line

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  • Using a High Line

    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?
    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
    So you might as well have a good time"

  • #2
    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.


    • #3
      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.


      • #4
        Originally posted by katarine View Post
        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).
        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!


        • #5
          High tie

          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.

          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)
          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.
          Equus makus brokus but happy


          • #6
            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...).


            • #7
              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


              • #8
                Originally posted by Painted Horse View Post

                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.


                • #9
                  We do what Painted Horse does.


                  • #10
                    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.


                    • #11
                      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 ...


                      • #12
                        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.
                        Last edited by Heart's Journey; May. 17, 2011, 09:16 AM. Reason: add more info


                        • #13
                          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.


                          • #14
                            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.


                            • #15
                              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.


                              • #16
                                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.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks for all the suggestions- I will let you guys know how it goes when I get back on Tuesday
                                  "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                                  So you might as well have a good time"


                                  • #18
                                    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.


                                    • #19
                                      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!


                                      • #20
                                        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.