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Preparing for my first overnight - hi-ties?

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  • #21
    I tie my horse to the trailer, and when we're in the mountains we use a high line. The high lines are permanent though, they are metal poles cemented into the ground. I sleep in the tack room of my trailer, but I'm a very heavy sleeper, and my horse is pretty well used to camping, so he's fairly quiet out there.

    The high line needs to be high enough to tie the horse above his eye level, and if they can move along the line or else are tied with friends, they seem to get a lot less fidgety.

    I would like to buy the corral panels that clip to brackets on the trailer, so you can make a stall-sized pen. My horse is used to being stalled at night, so that would be plenty of room. While I don't really see a problem with tying overnight, there is a higher "what if" gut feeling...I would prefer him to be standing untied. I just worry with electric paddocks, and some of the lighter panels...my horse is waaaaaaaaay more likely to break out of his little electric paddock and come to a bad end on a road or something than get tangled up in his halter. I'd need to be satisfied that the panels would contain him at least as well as his halter.
    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior


    • #22
      I have seen a handful of riders picket line their horses at rides (both endurance and CTR), but keep in mind that not all ride camps will give you access to trees to picket line from.

      My first choice for containing a horse at rides is an electrified temp pen. It seems to work well for MOST of the distance riders I see.

      With that said, my horse is notorious for taking down temp fence as well as letting other horses out at rides, electric be damned. Unless there are corral panels available to rent at a given ride, I keep him on a Hi-Ti. He seems to really love it and it keeps him happily contained while giving me peace of mind. He can eat hay and grain with his head down and is even comfortable enough to lay down on it. He has never gotten tangled in any way and hangs out quietly the whole time he's on it (no stretching or fighting or testing). I use it with his leather halter in case there's ever some sort of emergency situation, but I've seen it used well with a collar. I think the hi-ti is a great solution for anyone whose horse doesn't respect temp fence... provided that said horse ties well under normal circumstances.

      I'm sure that there are risks involved in the hi-ti (as the comments above indicate... yikes!) but I feel as though there are risks involved in any ride camp set up. I saw a woman whose horse panicked and bolted, dragging a pipe corral down a hillside WITH HER IN IT. There was a big storm a few years ago in the Pine Barrens that resulted in several horses being lost for DAYS after they burst out of their e-pens.

      My advice is to research all the methods, talk to various riders, and decide what works best for your horse; then take safety precautions to make whatever option you pick as 'fool proof' as possible. For example, put a breakable halter on a horse who is tied, take your horse OUT of a pipe corral to handle him, or put ID tags on a horse in an e-pen. Regardless of what method you pick, be vigilant and check your horse frequently while in camp.


      • #23
        It is very interesting reading all the options. In my area not many people (less than 20% I'd estimate) have corrals. Most are on high-ties or tied to trailers. Some ride camps don't even allow corrals due to lack of space. Often the ground is rock hard (if not actual rocks!) and you wouldn't be able to get a t-post in, let alone a step-in post!

        I think a horse can get hurt in any situation: padded stall, giant pasture, high-line, corral, you name it, they'll try to kill themselves somehow. I think in the beginning you have so much to worry about that keeping it simple might give you peace of mind, if your horse already ties to the trailer fine. I know I just started this whole endurance thing too, and the multitude of things to remember and think about is mind-blowing!
        "Do your best, and leave the rest, twill all come right, some day or night" -Black Beauty



        • #24
          We generally high line or if there are no trees available to high line to, we tie to the trailer. If you plan to high line, use tree saver straps to protect the tree. Instead of having to line up the rope to run over the cinch as someone else suggested, an easier way is to use the cinch as the tree saver and run the rope through the rings of the cinch. Thus you don't have to worry about the cinch coming out from under.

          Also, never, never, never tie directly to trees unless its's for a very short period, such as eating lunch. Horses can do a tremendous amount of damage to a tree very quickly, damaging roots, girdling from the rope, eating, breaking branches, etc. When you high line, do not tie your horse where he can contact any trees to protect them. Practice Leave No Trace principles when in the back country. Tying to trees and leaving damage is what gets horseman banned from trails they would otherwise have access to.

          *Stepping off my soap box now*
          Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert


          • #25
            What ever you decide to use, try it at home, over-night first. And remember your truck must stay hooked up, and the trailer wheels should be chocked.


            • #26
              When I was doing a lot of overnight trail rides with my Paso, I preferred an electric pen. Easy to set up, allowed him to move freely and lay down, big enough to put a water tub in the corner without needing to hang it from anything. Sometimes it was freestanding, sometimes off the back of the trailer (so wheel wells/fender was not in reach), depending on how much room there was. I used a marine battery, so no issues with weather or it not being "hot" enough.

              Whatever you pick, you've got plenty of room at home to practice!
              Patience pays.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks for all of the wonderful input. I have so much to learn, and having yet to ever be at a camp, I'm overwhelmed with choices.

                Great idea Melissa - I'm going to take a camping trip here on the farm and see how she does tied, then go from there. I'm not much of a camper at all, so this in itself will be quite an adventure for me!


                • #28
                  I think a lot of it is figuring out what works for YOUR horse(s). When we camp we have anywhere from 5-8 horses in the wilderness and they all get different containment based on their personalities and what they know as far as fencing, picketing, tying, staying close to the folks that brought you to the dance...

                  We have some horses that never leave camp, we have some that leave and come back just enough to totally freak out the other horses, we have some that will go back to the truck 40 miles away.

                  Figure out your horse and what will work for him/her.
                  “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey


                  • #29
                    I usually high line the horses; I only have a 2 horse trailer and the horses get a bit distressed if they can't see each other. I haven't had any problems with a high line except for three things:

                    1. Try it before the ride if you can. You may end up with a stressed out horse that walked a few lies in a tight circle.

                    2. Tie the line as tight as you can and be prepared for a little stretch. Tie the horse a bit shorter than you want him to be, because the line will probably stretch down a little. Or a lot! It is better the horse has to rest standing than have the line get too long and get tangled up.

                    3. With multiple horses, be certain they are well-spaced! Even horses that live together can get quarrelsome.

                    I know this all seems like a big deal, but it is really not that bad. Just always have plenty of rope if you need to cut it for some reason, and extra halters and lead ropes if you have any incidents - the time you forget this is the time you have a problem and go begging around camp! You may have to try a few things before you find the one that works the best for your horse. I do feel I need to add, there is only one horse I would ever trust in a pen of the many I have trail ridden over the years. I am just too paranoid for a piddly little electric corral or some light panels. Probably not the right idea to think about that but just my paranoid brain!

                    Good luck and have fun!


                    • #30
                      I would echo tying to trailer for first time. Provided your horse is well accustomed to tying to the trailer.

                      My 'new' trailer has swivel arms installed, each horse can basically move in a 'box stall' area and with weighted ropes to keep slack out which I haven't rigged up yet, they could lie down to snooze:


                      At one campground we use, there are tie rails (which we installed as a service project!) that serve as overnight accommodations:


                      If you go to www.bchu.com and click on Education you will get some info on high lines (go down to the 'know before you go' section). If you high line to trees, use tree saving straps such as these to prevent damage to trees:


                      Critical element on high lines is using rope that doesn't stretch so that a horse can't have a wreck as in the ugly situations described in other posts. I had a young horse have a close call once- his buddy stretched that line to lie down, and yes the young fellow (now 10) managed to get the high line around a back leg. Happily his buddy sounded the alarm and woke me up and I was able to cut the line before any damage was done (and there was a sheepish 'sorry Mom I won't do that again' and sure enough he hasn't).

                      In my old trailer w/o tack room I did indeed just set up a cot in the trailer (I keep my trailers scrupulously clean so no need for a tarp, I shovel, sweep and clean w/water before dark!). In the new trailer I'm happy to report I have a pull down cot in the tack room.

                      I have never used portable corrals or electric fencing, and I have friends that do, but I have also seen ugly wrecks with portable corrals, and told of fatalities due to escapes from the latter at at least one endurance ride.
                      Last edited by Beverley; Apr. 17, 2013, 01:17 AM. Reason: Typo


                      • #31
                        When I camp with my horse, I use the electric tape and step in posts. I did buy a tent, but found that it was just too much stuff to put up. I now just sleep in the back of the trailer. I got a small tarp put that down and put my cot on that and got an inexpensive runner rug(long/thin) that I put on the tarp next to the cot to walk on. My one splurge and something I love is my shower tent. I can't stand to go to bed dirty and sweaty and nothing feels better than a shower. I also got a small camp potty so I don't have to go wandering to the outhouse during the night. Here is a pic of my mare in her electric paddock. I got the taller step in posts as my horse knows how to jump and I thought the short ones might be too tempting. http://www.flickr.com/photos/simbalism/3565389077/
                        Here is a pic of my shower tent with the porty in the bottom right corner of picture. http://www.flickr.com/photos/simbalism/3416611843/
                        Here is a picture of my friend and her husband doing redneck camping. It turned out to be very cold, windy and threatening rain so out came the tarps and bungy cords.
                        Here is a pic of a little less redneck version http://www.flickr.com/photos/simbalism/3566205232/


                        • #32
                          I second the 5-foot posts if you do decide to go with a portable corral. My horse did just fine with the shorter posts for many rides, until one time when I had to camp near the vetting area. He got excited watching the trot-outs and decided to try to jump out of his corral. Luckily, he didn't get hurt and didn't go far. I got the 5-foot posts, and now he doesn't even think about it, since the top line of tape is up so high.
                          RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by BigHorseLittleHorse View Post
                            I second the 5-foot posts if you do decide to go with a portable corral. My horse did just fine with the shorter posts for many rides, until one time when I had to camp near the vetting area. He got excited watching the trot-outs and decided to try to jump out of his corral. Luckily, he didn't get hurt and didn't go far. I got the 5-foot posts, and now he doesn't even think about it, since the top line of tape is up so high.
                            Can I ask where you got your taller posts?
                            "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                            So you might as well have a good time"


                            • #34
                              I got my 5 foot posts from Jeffers. At the time that was the only place that seemed to carry them. Lately though I have seen them at my local feed store(Southern States).


                              • #35
                                I've used all of the suggestions over the years.

                                Electric Fences work well, But I've had deer and elk run through camp and take out my fences, They don't know what a hot wire is and panic when they run into it and get shocked, You find the hot String laying in the forest the next day, If you fid it at all.

                                I've tied the trailer, But then I don't get any sleep. I feel every tug of the horses all night

                                I've install HiTies on every trailer I've owned and they work Great. Just kinda expensive for 4 horses and sometimes tough to find space for that many around a trailer, Especially if you have awnings, ladders etc on the side of the trailers, You still feel a little movement of the horses while you sleep, but not near what you would if they were tied directly to trailer.

                                I use high lines a lot, if there are trees in the area. It is probably my preferred method. We will put the horses in a Hot Wire enclosure during the daylight hours and move them to a High Line at dark. Just remember the rules of a High Line. 7' tall, 7' spacing between horses and 17" of lead rope. If I can watch the horses, I sometimes give them longer leads so they can eat hay off the ground. But I shorten them up at dark or if I'm not in the immediate area to watch them.


                                • #36
                                  I tie to the trailer. Always have. Horse is ALWAYS there. I have only had one horse untie himself. And at that, he stayed put. I do have a long lead rope to do so. No issues.

                                  My last arab, who died over the summer, was just fine on a high line. But he preferred to be tied to the trailer, especially at night. How did I know this? He would stretch the high line as far as it would go and his butt would be in the direction of the horse trailer. And he would just stand there, not pulling back fighting, but just standing there, protesting. I found this out when I went to the LBL ride. My trailer was right there, and there were high lines set up already. So I used them, but he really preferred to be at the trailer. He was very good right there at the trailer. All my other arabs also preferred to be at the trailer, tied.

                                  If I get one this is the hi tie I would get. See them, LOVE them. My chiro/endurance vet has these and uses them. Nice. He has a stallion and he stays on the hi tie also. But at night I think the stallion goes into a solid small rp. Things happen at night. Stallions are a big attention for mares looking to get down and naughty at ride camp.



                                  • Original Poster

                                    You guys are giving me invaluable advice. I think what I'll try to do before my first LD, is volunteer at a ride. That way I'll have the info you've all shared, and I can see how people do it locally as well.

                                    Beverly, that camping link you provided should be on the FAQ page - excellent info there!


                                    • #38
                                      I think that sounds like a GREAT idea. I have also volunteered many a times. I like to scribe at the vet line.


                                      • #39
                                        If I go alone, I collapse the dividers in my 3 horse stock trailer and my Arab has his own stall overnight. If I go with my friend and her Arab, we often toss both of them in there. The boys are buddies and neither is interested in lying down anyway. We also just tie them to the trailer. We've done that for two years now and it's worked out fine.

                                        This year I do plan on getting a small charger and some step in poles to make a portable corral though just so they can move around more.

                                        Frankly I'd not spend the extra money to get anything this early in the game. Endurance really doesn't have many rules beyond finishing with a heathy, fit to continue horse. Do a few rides, look at others' setups (and ask questions!!! Endurance folk are usually happy to help out a rookie!) and see what you like and what you don't like.

                                        Don't buy a bunch of stuff for your first couple. I sleep on a blowup mattress in my gooseneck or the back seat of my truck for the colder rides. I just used my regular tack (still do actually) for rides. I did get a biothane bridle eventually, but that's about the only thing I've gotten specifically for endurance. I trail ride a lot too though, so I use it for that too.


                                        • #40
                                          Another quick tip that was given to me at my first ride and that I still use to this day: Tie your horse the way (and length) you desire, whether it's to the trailer, hi-tie or highline and then use an extra lead rope when you want to take him away from there. That way you don't have to spend time again and again re-tying at the correct length. (Of course do check it to make sure it hasn't stretched or that the knot is getting loose.)
                                          "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."