Product Review: Corrals 2 Go
By Robert Eversole
Horse camping is that extra-special cherry on top of the trail riding pie. At the end of a day spent exploring trails far and wide, a calm, quiet camp is a beautiful thing. There’s nothing like ponies munching contentedly as we enjoy the campfire and tall tales of our adventures.
Falling asleep to the soft sounds of the horses eating and gently moving is part of the magic of horse camping. Of course, the awful antithesis of this is waking with a start to discover that the ponies have gone wandering. It happens to all of us. And if it hasn’t happened to you yet, it’s an indication that you should go horse camping more often.
Sweet dreams of trails traveled turn to nightmares in a heartbeat when the horses and mules vanish into the night. At best, it’s lost sleep and the hassle of rounding them up. At worst, your trail partners may never be found.
But how do we safely and securely contain our mischievous mounts? I’ve always been a fan of highlines. Properly done these are fabulous for keeping our horses safe and near camp. Highlines, however, do have a few challenges. What if there aren’t any handy trees? What if highlines aren’t allowed?
The solution I turn to when highlines aren’t an option (and sometimes when they are) is Corrals 2 Go portable travel corrals. These safe and secure steel corral panels let me get a good night’s sleep without having to worry about my animals going on walkabout.
Corrals 2 Go panels are made of sturdy ¾ inch square steel tubing that holds up to my rough treatment, holds my beasts, and stores conveniently when not in use.
Steel vs. PVC
I choose steel portable panels because steel is a superior material to PVC. Steel is strong, lightweight when manufactured properly, and will not degrade over time due to UV radiation. Additionally, if (and when) there is a problem, steel will bend. PVC is brittle and can shatter into sharp shards. Not something that I want my trail buddies to encounter. My thirteen ¾ inch steel panels are also much easier to store than an equal number of 2-inch diameter PVC pipes.
During my research on portable corrals I talked with Corrals 2 Go designer Dave Selzer about why he came up with these panels. The fact that Dave is a rider (he hasn’t graduated to mules yet, but we can’t hold that against him!) and knows what it is to keep our animals safe and secure overnight made my decision on panels much easier.
What is portable? I’ve seen people with standard fence panels tied to the sides of their trailers and my backcountry highline kit weighs under 3 pounds, so portability can vary. For trailhead camping I want the best combination of lightweight (so I can easily set it up), small size (so I can easily transport it), and sturdy construction (so my animals stay put). Seems like a bunch of contradictory wants, but Dave was able to make it all work.
I prefer to reduce my workload when horse camping as much as possible. And at less than 20 pounds per panel the Corrals 2 Go system keeps me from working harder than I need to. The panels hang securely over my trailer’s wheel wells in transit with the collapsible hangers that Dave also invented. I can easily set up the panels by myself.
Since I started using Corrals 2 Go panels, I’ve grown even fonder of them. I generally travel with three animals and I can put all of them in together with plenty of room for each.
I have found that with Ruger (my inquisitive troublemaker) I needed to run a hot wire along the top rail to keep him from pushing the panels toward the always greener grass that is just out of reach.
Robert Eversole, ”the trail meister,” owns www.TrailMeister.com, the largest database of horse riding and camping areas in the U.S. with free trail and trailhead information, trail maps, and much more to help horse enthusiasts experience the joys of trail riding. Robert is a registered riding instructor with PATH International, a mounted search and rescue team member, and a U.S. Marine who has served on the board of the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington (BCHW). He is enjoying his new career helping fellow trail riders stay found and safe on the trail. When not on the trail, The Trail Meister resides near Spokane, WA and teaches land navigation to a wide variety of outdoor groups across the nation. For North America’s largest horse trail and camping directory, trail tips, and more, visit www.TrailMeister.com.