Style, Safety and Convenience
By Havilah Parisi
What is one of the major things that horse owners can’t live without? No, it isn’t a pasture, nor is it a fancy barn; it is the hitching post that they tie their horse to. Horse owners don’t often think about where they are tying their horse. It is just there and they use it when they are tacking up, grooming, clipping, checking and doctoring wounds, when they are getting trimmed and shoed, and so on. What goes into these amazing and indispensable inventions?
Hitching posts have been around for a long time. If you have ever watched an old western movie you will see them outside the bars for the cowboy hero to tie up his horse. There are many types of hitching posts. The ones that you will see in the movies have two stout wooden posts that are dug into the ground and one wooded poll that connects them. They many have metal rings drilled into them or not. I have seen a modern adaptation of that with metal pipe that is cemented into the ground. Just a post of a wooden fence, trees, a lone poll in the ground, the trailer that you hall your horses with, and many more will work great. The list is endless of the things that you can use for a hitching post.
There are some things to take into consideration when choosing what to tie your horse to. It is best if there is some shade. They may be standing there for a while and if a tree is nearby and it offers shade, that may be a good idea. The thing that you use to tie your horse to must be strong and immobile. For instance, the light weight metal pipe fencing is not usually bolted into the ground and so if the horse got spooked and he pulled back, he could easily pull several panels of the fence on top of him and get injured. The pretty white vinyl fencing often used around arenas is weak and they can easily break it, creating sharp strands that can jab them. Many horses like to paw when they are tied. Sometimes they can get their foot caught in their lead rope. In order to help prevent this, horses that are tied with the lead rope not lower then the beginning of their chest can’t paw and get it caught. Most hitching posts are about four feet high or taller.
The humble hitching post, a piece of wood, metal or just a helpful tree nearby is an essential part of every horse property. I would say that most every horse owner would say that life would be nearly impossible without a means of tying their horse. A good hitching post on the perfect horse property will be strong, shaded, have good ground for the horse to stand on, and tall enough so that their horse can’t hurt themselves. Hitching posts are just one piece of a horse property. They aren’t flashy and they don’t take up very much room, but they are a very key part.