Saturday, July 06, 2013

Horse Retention: Unbranded Style

Westernhorseman Blogs - Full Story

July 2nd, 2013 / Author: Western Horseman

The journey pushes onward: Four men, 13 Mustangs and more than 3,000 miles.

We’ve spent more than two months on the trail and traveled more than 1,000 miles thus far on our trip. We’ve been lucky to find smaller traps or corrals for some nights, but the majority have been spent outdoors where the nearest fence might be 15 miles or more away. Retaining our horses at night is always a problem and we’ve tried many methods. We’ve learned that it is best to be overly safe so that you wake up to the sound of jingling horses, not the sound of scratching heads wondering how far you have to track your stock.

• Pickets. We picket at least one horse every night, sometimes two. We use approximately 14-inch metal stakes with a swivel and hook attachment on top. For a rope we use a 1-inch cotton rope around 30 feet long. On our extremely broke picket horses we’ll sometimes use a ½-inch rope, but the smaller the rope, the easier it is for the rope to get caught in the heel of a horseshoe or burn your horse’s ankles. For cuffs we prefer a nylon cuff with replaceable padding in order not to burn our horses’ ankles. We attach the cuff to the horse’s ankle and snug it down fairly tight. After driving the stake, attaching the rope and cuff, I walk the horse in a circle at the end of the rope...

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