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Camp & Trail
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Camp & Trail
picket line
 windy Last Activity 2014-09-01 9:24 PM
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Prairieland

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Subject : picket line
Posted : 2010-10-16 1:44 PM
Post #125838

Have been looking for a picket line. Have never used one before so need everthing that goes with it. What is a good web site to go to to order one?
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Painted Horse

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-16 3:12 PM
Post #125844 - In reply to #125838

I don't use a picket line, But I do use a highline.

I assume you want to control the horses while in camp. I prefer the highline to a picket line, Because it gets the ropes up high enough that the horses can not tangle them around their legs. The basic difference being a picket line is strung at chest height while a highline is overhead.

What you want is a good rope, Probably 30-50 feet long.  I prefer the 1/2" mountain climbing type of rope but the old timers used the Manilla or BTM type of rope. I've seen some newer ropes that are made from Kevlar and boast almost no stretch.  What ever you get, choose a rope that has little to no stretch. With 3 or 4 horses weighing a thousand pound per horses pulling and tugging on the rope, anything that stretches will be hanging around their knees by morning.

You will need some tree savers. These are just a web strap to put around the tree so the rope doesn't damage the bark and kill the tree.  You also use an old cinch, old seat belts, or Nylon straps that are part of a ratchet strap system.  The wider the better it spreads the  pressure.

The basic rules of a highline are:

7 feet high

7 feet between horses

17" of lead rope.

7' high gets the highline above the head of almost all horses. I personallly can reach 8' high, So I always try to tie at least that high on the trees. That way if there is a litttle sag in the middle of the line, It's still above my horses heads. Remember, What ever height it is when you go to bed, It will be sagging lower when you get up.

You need some kind of drop to attach your lead ropes to.  There are companies that sell metal gadgets that you feed the rope through and then you can tie your lead to them. Google products like "Knot Elimenator"  these sell for $5.00-$10 each. The are easy to slip on BEFORE you pull you highine taunt. Impossilbe to remove or move when the highline is tight.  I prefer to use some lighter rope, nylon Parachute or 1/4" cord and make a Prussic Loop. I then tie the highline to the Prussic loop. It can be slid along the highline to increase or decrease the spacing between horses, If I don't have any pressure on the loop. When there is pressure on the loop, like when a horse is pulling on his lead, they will not slid. The 8-10" piece of rope weighs almost nothing compared to the metal Knot-Elimenators.

I tie my lead ropes a little longer than the recommended 17". Just long enough for my horses to stretch and get their nose to the ground. Any hay I give them I put directly below the highline attachment. When I go to bed at night, I adjust the leads up a little shorter. You want to be careful that the horses can't get a leg over the lead.

So in summary what you need is:

A heavy rope that you can string between two trees. Packers often use the same 30' long 3/8" pack rope that they cinch up their packs with. Saves weight by suing the same rope in two jobs.

Two Tree savers or straps to protect the trees.

Some Prussic Loops or knot elimenators

Some nice things to have.  A pully or rachet to help tighten the highline.

My horses have spent MANY a night secured to highlines.

 

Here is one source to buy

http://www.outfitterspackstation.com/highline.html



[Edited by Painted Horse on 2010-10-16 3:15 PM]

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Painted Horse

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-16 3:21 PM
Post #125845 - In reply to #125838

And another source for highline kits.

http://www.outfitterssupply.com/Four-Horse-Highline-Kit-with-In-Line-Swivels/productinfo/WPHK110/

I personally just buy a good hank of rope and the other pieces when I see them on sale.

Since I highline a lot during October hunting season. I like a rope that doesn't asorb water. Since it can often be 10* in morning when I get up in late October, I hate a wet frozen rope. They are almost impossible untie.


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Prairieland

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-16 6:39 PM
Post #125852 - In reply to #125838

Thanks, yes the highline is what I was thinking of. Probably would be a good idea to practice this at home between trees before going someplace. Our horses have never been tied to a highline. Information much appreciated.
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Dwight

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-16 7:34 PM
Post #125855 - In reply to #125838

I was going to suggest that.  We practiced ours at home before their first time overnighting on the line.  Best to do it with a buddy and some hay to keep them busy.

You may also consider feeding their grain with feedbags.  Feedbags are so much easier to deal with than buckets or pans.  Just be sure their tie rope is long enough for them to reach the ground.  They figure it out pretty quickly.  And the feedbags take up less space in the trailer.

We have a 15 gallon muck bucket we use for water.  In it we pack a water hose, tie line, ropes, tree savers, knot eliminators, come-along, hay nets and feedbags.

You can find everything you will need at  www.horse.com 

Happy camping!


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Painted Horse

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-16 10:32 PM
Post #125869 - In reply to #125838

if your horses are used to being tied ( hitchin rail, side of the trailer, trees etc)  It's usually not a big deal to train them to use the highline.

Things to watch for: Look at the ground and try to tie your horses where they clear footing. vs stumbling over roots or small trees. Don't leave buckets for them to step on or trip over.

Try to position the horses over durable ground, Far enough away from any trees that they don't damage the roots.

Pay attention to who are the neighbors.  Tie horses together that get along. Strange horses or bossy horses should be spaced farther away from the others.

Make sure the trees are solid. I've tied to trees I thought were solid, But when I tugged on them, they tipped over. Several horses can put a lot more pressure on the tree than you can. choose carefully.

Retighten your highline each day. Regardless of what rope you buy, They have some stretch. Multiple horses will pull some slack into a rope.

 


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rose


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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-17 8:28 PM
Post #125907 - In reply to #125838

We use chain, a come along and tree savers.  Chain keeps hay bags from moving around and chain can be tightened easily.  
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Bleve

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-18 1:50 AM
Post #125918 - In reply to #125838

One thing I thought I'd add to the great overview already given is that I use a collar instead of a halter while on the line. I also use a bungee style trailer tie between the line and the collar. This allows the horse to move around and even lay down with a much lower chance of getting somehow tangled in the rope. And I have a panic snap release on the line as an added bonus.

The nylon collars are pretty cheap, or we actually use some leather hobbles that double as a collar (with the added bonus according to my wife that leather should break before the horse unlike the nylon ones).
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Bleve

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-18 1:52 AM
Post #125919 - In reply to #125838

Streak and George resting at Pontiac Lake SRA

[Edited by Bleve on 2010-10-18 1:53 AM]

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Bleve

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-18 1:54 AM
Post #125920 - In reply to #125838

I know the far horse looks like he's being choked, but he has plenty of slack. Also by using the bungee trailer tie they can slide a little on the rope if I attach them between two "knot eliminators" or whatever your preferred product is.
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TheOtherHorse

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-18 6:40 AM
Post #125922 - In reply to #125838

I set mine up just like Bleve. Collars, with stretchy cross ties clipped to cheap carabiners clipped to the high line, and the horse can slide between the knot eliminators (I use cheap 3" metal rings from TSC instead though). Though one of my horses sometimes gets greedy for grass just out of reach and I have to clip hers directly to her halter when she's pulling too much on the collar. The cheap carabiner clips break if the horse gets in a bad mess, but not if they're just pulling on it. I also make sure the high line is high (have to jump to reach it), and tight (we use a heavy duty ratchet strap on one end).
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bloodtrail

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-18 12:25 PM
Post #125939 - In reply to #125838


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bloodtrail

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-18 12:41 PM
Post #125940 - In reply to #125838

oops on above post, hit enter when logging in and then took too long adding verbiage to "edit" the post.

Was going to tell The Other Horse, use your lead rope to pull the hi-line down to you so you can reach it.  I've jumped before too, just easier to throw the end of the lead rope over and then pull it down.  :)

We use the hi-line kit from Country Supply (now Horse.com).  Had it at least 3 years and works great.  You do have to tighten it up every day.  I leave a panic snap attached to each knot eliminator and tie the lead rope to it in case of emergency.  But, that way, the panic snap is always there.

Practice, practice, practice.

Mary B in Texas


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Painted Horse

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-18 4:19 PM
Post #125955 - In reply to #125940

I've used the sliding carabiners also. But with 4-5 horses. That requires too much highline. And we typically turn out the horses during the day and highline them at dark. So I'm not worried about them being able to graze, but rather about them being under control while I'm asleep.

My horses do lie down while on the highline. If I know they are tired and wanting to lay down, I'll sometimes give them a little longer lead. But it's all about keeping an eye on them. If I'm leaving them in camp while I'm gone hunting all day. They get tied up short so there is no chance of getting tangled while nobody is around to watch them. If I cooking dinner, sitting by the camp fire or some other activity where I'm close by, I'll tie them a little longer.

I usually bring an hot wire with me. When time and space allow we string the hot wire up around the meadow and allow the horses to stretch, move about and graze.   We have too many deer and elk in the mountains where  we camp to trust a hot wire at night. Deer andElk don't know what a hot wire is and run right thru them, often dragging the hot through the forest as the run off. So the horse can enjoy it during the daylight when I can see them and they are highlined at night.  The forest service has gotten a litte fussy about hot wires lately. We used to run the hot wire down to the edge of a lake or creek so the horses could drink. But the latest rules consider a hot wire a "Structure" and the rules prohibite campers from erecting a structure within 200 feet of any water.  It used to be they just worried about you putting your tent up with in 200 feet of the lake.  But they gave us a warning ticket the last time they caught us with a hot wire with in 200' of the lake.


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flyinghfarm

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-18 6:31 PM
Post #125959 - In reply to #125838

If your horse is broke to a hot walker it is already started on being highlined, in that it is accustomed to being contained by a vertical tie above it.  We keep a folding lockback knife at the highline area, if things get bad, it is there.  We have never had to use it, but have had neighbors who did......the nice quiet gelding got his tie line wrapped around his feed/hay bag that was hanging beside him, and as he walked around, the two twisted together til he choked to the point of collapse.  Not trying to scare you, but when unattended (ie gone to the bathroom, or off to eat, whatever) have just the horse and his tie suspended from the high line at those times......safer thataway......ours too have been many places and many hours at the highline without incident...
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Bleve

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-18 11:48 PM
Post #125976 - In reply to #125838

Trail and Pleasure is where I got my picket line kit (no offense to Painted Horse, that's just what we call it in MI). Got a set that included 100' of rope, ratchet, two tree savers and four "knot eliminators" (I see they only carry the swiveling kind now which I'd like to upgrade to).

I do have a horse that likes to wrap himself around his hay bag, we solve that by hanging his hay bag at one point about five feet from where he's tied so he can get to it, but can't walk around it. But I agree that having a method of quick release (panic snap, knife, etc.) is important.

Painted Horse I hope you appreciate how good you have it. The majority of places we go to are marked by miles of designated trail, not acres open to exploring. I wish we had half the opportunities you have.
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Gone

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-19 6:43 AM
Post #125983 - In reply to #125838

Michigan including the UP has alot of beautiful trails. We have also lost alot due to the DNR/issues. I am blessed to ride these trails even though a majority of them are marked. I don't take for granted what I have in my "backyard."

[Edited by Gone on 2010-10-19 6:46 AM]

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Painted Horse

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-19 11:07 AM
Post #125994 - In reply to #125838

I always thought of a Picket line as being what they tied horses too in the old cowboy westerns. A rope run through camp at chest height to the horses. A high line was always a system that was HIGHER than the horse. But no offense taken, Call it what ever is appropriate for your part of the country.

I do appreciate the access I have to public lands.  I often have to explain to out of staters whey they can't find any horse camps in Utah. It's because so much of the state is public land. Why pay for a horse camp on private land, when you can pull off of the road and park on public land.  Between Forest Service, BLM and State Trust over 74% of Utah is public. Nevada is 76% Idaho is 60% So we do have tremendous access.


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gliderider

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-19 4:54 PM
Post #126026 - In reply to #125838

You don't need trees for a picket line, just a sludge hammer and something for sticks.  I use a high line and hooked the tie rope up on the top ring of the haulter but switched to  neck strap.  Seems safer.  I have had at least 5 horses take to picket line easy no fuss.  I did see one horse once tangled up in his lead, and that horse was an old seasoned highliner, did not have a neck strap on and the line was hooked to bottom of haulter the horse had laid down and got hind leg messed up a bit.


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Bleve

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-19 6:17 PM
Post #126036 - In reply to #125983

Originally written by Gone on 2010-10-19 6:43 AM

Michigan including the UP has alot of beautiful trails. We have also lost alot due to the DNR/issues. I am blessed to ride these trails even though a majority of them are marked. I don't take for granted what I have in my "backyard."


I agree, MI has some great trails and there are definitely problems with the DNRE. I just can't think of too many places where you can easily drive off the road, set up camp and have accessible riding from there. There's probably more in the UP, but finding them is next to impossible unless you know someone. It's hard to tell public and private borders in some of the state forests where you can actually ride cross country.
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Gone

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-19 7:39 PM
Post #126042 - In reply to #126036

Originally written by Bleve on 2010-10-19 7:17 PM

Originally written by Gone on 2010-10-19 6:43 AM Michigan including the UP has alot of beautiful trails. We have also lost alot due to the DNR/issues. I am blessed to ride these trails even though a majority of them are marked. I don't take for granted what I have in my "backyard."
I agree, MI has some great trails and there are definitely problems with the DNRE. I just can't think of too many places where you can easily drive off the road, set up camp and have accessible riding from there. There's probably more in the UP, but finding them is next to impossible unless you know someone. It's hard to tell public and private borders in some of the state forests where you can actually ride cross country.

 

I know.....I love my state. Aside from exploring my own, I do want to explore other parts of the US. Everything has its' time. I am personally furious with what has happened to our access to "our" land, the taxpayers.


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bbsmfg3

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-20 11:01 AM
Post #126056 - In reply to #125838

I've seen far too many rope burns caused by the methods mentioned above and we've experienced too many of them our self. Most horses can reach their ears with their rear foot to scratch or remove a pesty insect. When they do they can get the lead rope caught on their rear pastern and you have a dandy rope burn. No one is fast enough to reach a horse when this happens, regardless of how close you are.

To remedy this, I've started using 1/8" cotton leads run inside a piece of water hose. The 1/8" rope will break before damage is done. I'd much rather have a loose horse than a rope burn.
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Prairieland

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Subject : RE: picket line
Posted : 2010-10-31 3:47 PM
Post #126482 - In reply to #125838

Used our highline overnight at a campground with no corrals this weekend. Worked just fine horses were ok with it. We didn't know we were going to go until last minute so took rope and tree saver we used bought at Orshelins on our way. Just tied a loop in rope every 7 feet and everything worked out just fine. Plan to get a professional one soon.
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