I was very excited when I saw there was a Trail Trials just over an hour away - most are about 3 hours. I was decidedly less excited when I realized the park it would be at has "horse camping" sites but they do not have any sort of pens. I immediately disregarded the high line poles they offered, and started searching for where I can rent portable corral panels (apparently not a service that exists, though it should along with horse trailers you can rent!), and then started looking at barns in the area that would allow an overnight stay. Then I started to look into portable electric tape-type fencing and finally settled on the QuikFence available on Amazon, which has tape strands integrated into the posts.
We were also initially debating between going up Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, but for traffic and work/school/family considerations decided to only stay the one night.
The estimated delivery time for my fence was between Monday and Wednesday the week of the trip. On Monday Fedex tagged the package in Kansas, heading to California. On Wednesday there weren't any further updates, so I called FedEx and told them it was imperative I receive the package on Friday. I was a little concerned when the rep told me he would try to locate it...
Same thing on Thursday, and I called them somewhat panicked Friday morning. They still seemed totally unsure where the package was and when/if I would receive it. At this point I pretty much shrugged my shoulders and threw a long rope in the truck and hoped for the best. At least I knew I would have a lot of horse camping experts around, and sure enough several people helped me get set up and Cupid was high line tied overnight!
The high line poles are just very tall sturdy wooden poles with an eye hook screwed in, so tall I needed my mounting block to reach. The rope needs to be taut, and it is pretty much impossible to get it taut enough without a ratchet which someone was nice enough to lend me. I initially envisioned a ring on the rope so the horses can move along the length of it, but I was told that is not what you want. I did not have a swivel snap, so I just tied a loop in the rope and attached a carabiner to that (I'd rather Cupid get loose than tangled...) You want the horse tied so they can just barely reach the ground. (And since the high line rope is up kind of high, the trick is to throw the lead rope over the top and use that to pull the high line rope down to tie the lead rope to.)
I tied Cupid to the high line after our ride so he would have time to get used to it, and I could observe him the next few hours. He was totally fine being tied there. During the day I had his hay net there, but for night time I just put the hay loose on the ground. And this may be somewhat controversial, but I did not leave water out for him because he likes to dump it but I offered him water regularly throughout the day and he drank a good amount.
We stayed up talking with a group of other Trail Trialers, and I went to bed around 11. I woke up at 1:30 (which is usually around the time my son wakes me up so I'm just used to waking up then), and took a peek out to see Cupid peacefully sleeping lying down! Not stretched out on his side but with his legs under him. My barnmate's horse was dozing standing up. They both seemed perfectly content. I woke up again at 4:30, and Cupid was still or again lying down. Then I woke up at 6 when birds started chirping and horses rustling. By then Cupid was also standing up and happy as can be.
So our first experience high lining was a success. I'm still going to be a little scared if I have to do it again, but at least I'll be better prepared!
And of course on Sunday I came home to this...