DIY easily adjustable goat pack train
#1
Hey Guys,
I wanted to share something I figured out that maybe everyone else is already doing.  Out of my 3 goats only one is really well behaved.  The other two are about 50% of the way there.  The two about 20 yrds out infront and then come back.  It annoys me.  Plus I always feel like they are on the verge of taking off.  We train alot and it has paid off however we still need work, anyway.  So trying to manage those two on leads, 2 small kids and my bow is next to impossible.  So I started looking around the internet to see what other where doing.  I did not find much.  So I stated checking out how mule packers do stuff.  The old school guys quite literally would ty the lead of one mule to the next mule in lines tail.  That gave me the idea of hooking then of each other saddles inline.  Initially I tile the lead from one goats neck collar to the rear cross of the next saw buck.  Tht was a two way fail.  The rear goat had to much leverage fron the neck colar and the rear saw buck had to much left and right movement to stay centerd on the lead goat,  it would just slop off to the side the rear goat pulled on.  So back to the drawing board.So first I baught halters which took away the trail goats leverage.  Then I decided to use the front saw buck cross as the anchor point because it has more pressure on it do to the sinch and rought the rope under the rear saw buck so it stayed inline.  Then I started thinking about being able to adjust the length of the tether from the lead goat to the train goat.  I figure this could be important incase you where movig through a tight space or lots of people so you could really shorten it up, or if you just wanted to stop for a second and let them eat it would have to be longer.  So I used a frictin hitch to accompish this task.  The hitch I chose we use in High Angle and Tree Rescue, its called a Valdotain Tresse or "VT hitch".  Its alot like a Prussick but it only locks up one way and if you pull on it  will unlock its self for easy shortening the relock itself when tension is applied.  Boom!!  Easy roudy, miss behaving goat managment.  It works really well.  I use it for training as well as on the trail.  I can let the guy all go there own thing until one gets brave, then in line we go.  Its all pre rigged on the saddles so all I have to do is snap the goats halter to the next goat, adjust the length to my liki g and we are off.  I attached some pick to try and make the rigging more clear.  If this is all old new to the rest of you my bad.


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#2
Love that knot it seems like that would come in handy. In training I used a colorful little whip. If the back goat tried to pass I would tap him back in line and say "back". It didn't take long for them to get the idea to stay in line. Fortunately for me I had 3 goat that often walked in line so I just used their natural order and tied the lead goats collar to back goats halter and centered it on the saddle like I see you did with the small bungees. It is really nice when they finally get it and you walk by people or lead them down hill because of a freaked out horse on a narrow trail. Makes all the training worth while and keeps everyone safe when in a tight spot.
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#3
Nice! I use halter-to-saddle lines to tie youngsters to an older packgoat for trail training sometimes. It's especially handy when teaching to cross water or training them not to cut switchbacks. I like your VT hitch! Very cool!
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#4
Anyone have any ideas on what type/diameter of rope would be good to use as a breakaway line for a goat pack train?

I've been doing a bit of training with my goats tied into a pack train (thanks Mike for pointing me to this thread.) The Sopris saddles I use come with a tie ring in back for this purpose. It went pretty well until yesterday when we ran into a wasp nest on the trail, so I'd like to be better prepared for the unexpected next time even tho this was on a "safe" local trail.
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#5
My answer for a breakaway is the Nite Ize plastic dual carabiner or double gated. It is S shaped and comes in different pull strengths. It allows you to clip 2 things together like a lead rope and a D ring on the saddle. I use a 25 lb pull plastic carabiner at the tie off point. It provides some strength at the connection but springs open if the goat pulls hard in a panic. Most often it opens but doesn't break and is usable again. With this the tensile strength of breakaway line is not as important.
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#6
Nice, thanks!
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#7
Thats a good idea.  I never thought of the break away issue.  


Side Question-  Kat, How did the goats do with the bees nest?
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