• Elaine Egbert

76% of horse trail riders are women

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

If you like to trail ride your horse and want to get into horse camping . . . this is the place to see why it's fun to horse camp. Even if you are a gal who doesn't have a mister, apprehensive to set-up your own rig or high line set-up, you can make horse camping fun & simple with the right tools to set-up your own high line like i learned to do.

Of course women have lots of questions and learning at home before you hit the trail is the most safest way to start . . . in your back yard. I will share with you how easy it is to start and tools to get you there.

Planning Ahead & Questions:

Planning ahead for a camping with your horses for the FIRST TIME trip if you've not done that before can be discussed and planned in the winter. When you are researching places, how long your are going to be gone, traveling, how long to be there and the equipment to take can take awhile to figure out! Winter season it is a really good time to go over things when you might have more "down time" to plan, learn and get answers if you want go camping with your horse(s).

It's a good idea to have our "all-no-knots" kit ahead so you can practice "at home base" . . . find two trees on your property AND somewhere around the barn area in an enclosed setting in the pasture to ensure your safe while **practicing if horse gets loose off line!!! Also, you can use sturdy tall in-set posts like a State Park Horse Camp might have; take a 2 or 3 step-stool to place the tree savers up, and a lawn chair so you can sit-down to watch your horse if the horse needs to acclimate to the high line (especially if you and your horse are both new to the high line). This way you can make any adjustments to the lead line necessary to hold your horse. Be sure not have the lead rope too long (simply have your horse be only long enough to have his muzzle have to stretch to reach a carrot on the ground . . . this is a good way to see get a safe distance in length of tying lead rope to the high line.) And then you can go on to practicing with the 2nd horse and safe distance between horses, and putting up their hay bags and tips for safely doing that too, as well as being a safe distance from the trees.

How do you set up a "High Line" and HOW HIGH?:

Be sure to watch the feature videos on our Savvy Horse High Line section. We discuss how-to's on putting up your Savvy Horse High Line; I will be discussing in the future video what the horse looks like on the high line, how to tie the lead line, safety, how high up to put the tree savers up on the tree, (height-challenged people stool idea), how to get your high line rope tight, how far away from the trees might you place them and how far apart, what about hanging hay bag (safely) vs. on the ground, water . . . . and *BEING PRESENT while horse is on the high line, especially while learning and overnight'ng (that is super, super important to be having a watchful eye like kids in the camp if you know what I mean vs. being off-site too far that I've seen)!!! human/horse harmony sense is great thing to observe at home/home barn area when **practicing/learning before ever hitting the trail/campsite. That's what is so nice about horse camping because you can have your horses fairly close to your Living Quarters Horse Trailer/tent-truck set-up so you are close to your horses.

High Lines (vs. the old fashioned picket-lines of the Civil War) are meant to be placed up high so the lead rope line is above the horse's head, so they can reach down to eat without getting caught in their rope, and being able to lay down while on the high line at night to get off their feet to rest, and or walk around while being tied but secured to the high line . . . is meant to give them much freedom and comfort at the same time while staying put!

The Tree Saver Straps are meant to be placed approx. 6.5-7' above the ground on the tree to attach the high line set to. It is so to save the trees from being chewed, or hoof pawed or damage tree roots. The line being placed that high ensures the horses don't have the line too low to get caught in, they have comfort and safety all night long while eating/resting and moving around when they need to. I like to say the 7-10 rule-of-thumb . . . 7' high, approx 10 feet from 1st tree place the horse on the horse positioner to tie the horse lead rope . . . and same thing with 2nd or 3rd horse on the other tree.

When setting up you can use a straight line, L- or V-shape to utilize trees you pick out correctly spaced . . . TIP: sometimes it's a good idea to have extra tree saver straps to help set up the line of sight correctly for it to work best to set between trees correctly too depending on how you are set far or close trees; meaning not enough close, or trees too close . . . configure how best suit camp safely without hurting the trees. Sometimes . . . it takes a lot more time to find your perfect "set of trees" before you can even set-up!!! I've even had to change the 2nd or 3rd tree to make the tree high line of sight better in some instances. Then again if you are going where others have already put up their high line it's obvious . . . other times you want out of the wet pee/mud they made and make your own sweet spot if you get my drift. I will sometimes set my equipment out with stool, scout out the trees where we will be parked before we back into a spot, and before we set up to see if I like the tree distances, etc. to save frustration. If you are assigned a spot sometimes you have a choice to change where you put up your line or not.

Be sure to have your cable winch puller as a tightener or ratchet strap with wide-handle to tighten your line and check it maybe before retiring for the night and/or 1st thing in the AM. Water we put in buckets on the ground and offer especially at feeding time or just coming back from a ride . . . otherwise we pull them away until bedtime . . . we've found putting them up high on an upside-down muck-bucket with a 2 bungees to the muck-bucket as a stand with the weight of the water helps keep the bucket in place.

Take rubber feet pans if you feed grain to place on the ground while they eat. Be safe and happy trails.

*being present while horse camping is ultra important so the horse doesn't get into trouble, i.e. not being away at a nearby cabin/LQ while horse by themselves; please, it's always good idea to have horses in sight/in mind while horse(s) are on highline so you can help them if necessary, make adjustments and have peace of mind; have horse wear reflective gear at night while on the high line, etc. so you can see them with a flashlight.

#horsecampHighLineTips #CampWithHorses #SavvyHorseHighLine

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