Quick question for all you horse/mule men out there. What is your preferred method of securing your critters in camp so that they are still there the next morning?
I used to camp with Kapital, and I'd carry a roll of plastic electric fence Tape and a small power unit that ran on two D cell batteries. The tape and power unit (which I got from one of the big equine houses- the power unit was about the size of a 9 volt battery) fit well inside a saddle bag. I'd cut some 4 1/2' saplings to make a 12'x12' paddock at the camp site and he would respect it and was very happy. Small size, easy to carry, put up, take down and re-pack.
Of course, if your guys respect and will stand at a picket line, there's always that. Kapital didn't especially like being tied to a line all night... he liked to walk around and lay down. Of course, he was an endurance horse and we did lots of 50s and a few 100 milers, so being out in the woods for conditioning and competing was just another day at work for him. We had a lot of years did a lot of miles together.
Our three horses have been trained to respect both high-line and ground-line hitching. The high-line is run between two trees with the rope tied and stretched about seven feet above the ground. Either figure eight knot loops or line swivels are spaced about twenty feet apart and the horses leads(attached to breakaway halters) are tied to the figure eight knot loops or the swivels (we allow about 4-6ft of slack.
With the ground-line the horses are tied the same as the high-line but with the ground-line running along the ground. We also carry soft rope hobbles but only use those for lunch breaks or short stops and usually when no trees or brush is available for hitching.
The forest is a wilderness only to those that fear it, silent only to those that hear nothing. The forest is a friend to those that dwell within its' nature and it is filled with the sounds of life to those that listen.
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