Horse Camping and Ways to Tie Overnight
Horse Camping and Tying to the Trailer
When horse camping some people like tying to their trailers. This is probably the easiest method but not the safest method for your horse. There are things on the trailer that can hook the lead rope. The horse can drop its head low, when they raise the head the lead gets over the poll, the lead is then really short which could cause a horse to panic and try and flee. There are also parts of the trailer where the horse can lodge it’s foot and rip off a part of a hoof or worse. It is quite confining for the horse and promotes pawing. I don’t recommend tying to the trailer for these reasons.
Horse Camping and Tying to a Hitching Post
Another method for tying overnight while horse camping is a hitching post. Most horse camping areas provide some type of way to tie your horse. For horse camping in areas that provide hitching posts you will have this option to consider. I do think they are safer than your trailer but they too confine the horse and the horse will eventually move around the end of the horizontal pole. The horse is now facing the opposite direction, the tie rope falls under the end of the horizontal pole, the horse then moves back and the rope comes around the top of the horizontal pole and is much shorter than before, which can startle the horse and cause him to pull back and try and flee. I have seen where the horizontal pole was not strong enough and broke. The horse then runs off pulling the post behind them and running faster and faster to get away from the thing that is chasing them. While a hitching post can be a safe method once you are aware of the potential problems so you can avoid them.
Horse Camping and the Portable Pen Method
Another method of tying overnight when horse camping that is extremely safe and allows the horse total freedom of movement is a portable pen. They usually have an energized rope or tape with small, pointed fiberglass poles to go into the ground. The fiberglass poles are hammered into the ground, the tape or rope, which is designed for this application and has tiny wires woven in the fibers to conduct the electricity, is attached to the poles with insulators. The rope or tape is then hooked to the power source with a handle attachment for a gate section to get the horse in and out. This is a great way to contain your horse overnight when you are horse camping except that not all horse camping areas allow you to use them. The horse tends to eat the grass down too much and kills it only to cause a mud spot later on.
Horse Camping and Tying with the High Line Method
The final method to use to tie overnight while horse camping, and the one that I use, is a high line method. A ring is attached to a long rope for each horse being tied. Tree saving straps are attached to two trees (make sure these straps are high on the tree) and the rope is tied to the straps and drawn up tight. The horse is then tied to a ring. If more than one horse is tied, make sure that the rings are far enough apart that horses can’t get tangled. Some horse camping areas supply high line posts which are two posts set in the ground with large hooks at the top to draw a rope through. If post are provided, make sure they are sturdy and not rotten and soft. I like this method because it is accepted and accessible everywhere you go. It is very safe and offers movement for your horse. You can tie long enough the horse can drink and lie down without being able to get tangled by stepping over the rope. It has enough give that even if the horse spooks it is not so confining and allows enough give that it usually eliminates the panic.
Bring All Horse Suppplies and Your Equestrain Equipment for a Great Time
What ever way you decide to tie be sure to bring along all your equestrain equipment for your camping experience. I like to bring along an extra horse lead rope just in case one does get broken. You will have a great time when horse camping if you can bring extra supplies to be prepared and you can contain your horse and keep him safe when tying.