Horses in Camp
The number one rule is to keep one horse tied to something at all times. This gives you one to ride if the rest get away. Be watchful as horses are great escape artists.
The National Forest Service has a very limited number of campgrounds with horse corrals. Horses are not allowed within any USNF campground so using a camp at an edge location where you can picket the horses outside of the camping area.
You can use baling twine to tie logs to trees in a standing position and build a corral next to camp and you won’t need a high line. Do NOT use nails or wire or the USNF Service considers it a “permanent” fixture which is not allowed. Cut the twine to let the logs fall to the ground and be sure to take the twine home when you’re packing to leave.
If you have the misfortune of having a horses die while in an established campground, it must be removed. If it happens in the forest, notify the nearest ranger station of the horse’s location so they can take the necessary steps to dispose of it.
Where there are ropes, horses get tangled which is why using cotton ropes is important. If using picket pegs, be sure to keep them far enough apart to prevent one horse from entering another’s territory. Check them often because even the experienced horse occasionally gets tangled. Watch your horse’s reactions when first being peg picketed as not all horses will accept the pegging hobble idea. The nature of the beast is to fight the restraint and this can lead to serious injury in some cases.
Take turns caring for the horses. They need water in the morning before leaving camp, again at mid-day and in the evening. Do not leave horses peg picketed while away from camp. Do this while you are fixing lunch and taking a rest before heading back out to hunt. Horses need about 1-1/2 hrs. to eat enough hay (morning and night) or 2-3 hrs. 2x per day when grazing. Feed them their ration of grain before the hay or grazing.