Melissa J. Nixon, DVM
Tonight we will be learning some useful knots and techniques with ropes.
The bowline knot is very useful as it will not slip. Even after being immersed in water and used to pull a heavy weight, however, it can still be untied. I have always found the story of the bunny coming out of his hole, running around the tree, and then diving back down his hole to be helpful in remembering how to tie this knot.
Many times we will not have enough halters for leading or tying horses and cattle. Lengths of soft cotton rope can be made into halters with attached lead fairly easily once the bowline knot has been mastered.
When we run out of stalls but still have plenty of trees, then high lines will enable us to tie horses or cattle during evacuation sheltering. We use tree savers to protect the trees - anything from old cinches, twigs spaced around the tree under the rope, old towels, felt, whatever.
Place tree savers as high as you can reach. Use Dacron, poly, or cotton rope - really, anything but nylon, which is too stretchy. Knot eliminators are available but are not absolutely necessary. Make the line as tight as possible, as there will always be some stretch.
It is best to have a swivel type snap on the lead rope when attaching to a high line.
Tie animal fairly short as their pulling will bring down the high line and enable them to reach water and feed. We do NOT want them to be able to step over the rope!
We may want to shorten ties at night to eliminate tangling and fussing when we are less able to keep an eye on tethered animals.
|(High Line Illustration)|
Dogs should never be tethered with rope or a leash that they can chew through. However, if we run out of stalls and kennels, dogs can be tethered with plastic covered metal cables or - if that is all we have - chains. They should be tethered in such a way that they cannot reach other animals and cannot get tangled around objects.
Goats should not be tethered.