How to Make a Haynet

Horses can be very expensive to maintain; so, it's a good idea to save money wherever you can. To make your own hay net you can use any suitable string (not natural fibers that the horse would eat, but plastic or nylon are good), but synthetic bailing twine is recommended because it's cheap! The measurements given here can be changed to make a bigger or smaller net, or one with bigger or smaller holes.


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    Tie the ends of 10 lengths together (or more for a bigger net, but make it an even number) of 7 feet (2.1 m) long strings. Make the knot as tightly as possible.
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    You should ask someone to hold the net up by the knot or nail the knot up or you'll get very confused and the string will get very tangled.
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    Measure 4 inches (10.2 cm) down (or less for a smaller-holed net) and mark with a felt-tip pen. Divide the strings into pairs (paper clips, or clothes pins, will be used to keep pairs together temporarily, until tied). Make a knot by tying each pair of strings together at your marks. Take the original paper clip off before you tie each pair.
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    Mark 4 inches (10.2 cm) down again from the row of knots that you just tied. Take two knotted pairs right next to each other, and choose one string from the pair of knots, and paper clip the pair of chosen strings together, for getting them paired correctly.

    Before tying the row of knots, check the pairs and the net. If any string is across any of the space inside the net, meant for the hay, then you've paper clipped strings together that aren't next to each other, or tangled them. To fix that, you probably need to start again and pair them. Tie knots where you have marked them. Do the same for the other pairs going around; so, now each pair is "holding hands" with the two pairs on either side of it. Spread the net -- and you should be able to see diamond shapes.
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    Mark, pair, tie and continue this for each row. Remember to check the net, as you have it clipped together, before you start tying each row of knots.
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    Make sure you have 2–4 inches (5.1–10.2 cm) of string left after your last mark, when you get to your last row. Instead of tying a standard knot, tie a quick-release knot (the same as when you tie up your horse) you will then have a loop. Secure this by tying a double knot with the loose ends. Trim the ends, if you need to and then burn/melt the ends to stop their fraying (using a cigarette lighter), but have water on hand! (Don't forget to melt ends of strings from the big knot at the bottom of the net.)
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    Thread a strong plastic drawstring through the loops. (This can also be made from bailing twine by plaiting three pieces together)
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    Finished. You can (very carefully) melt each knot somewhat, to prevent knots from loosening, with water available for any fire emergency. Fill it with hay and hang it securely.


  • Horses can choke on bailing twine, if they accidentally swallow it, so make sure to tie your knots really tight.
  • Horses' legs can get caught in a haynet when not used properly. Always hang them solidly; so, they can't fall. However, make sure you hang it at the correct height; too low and the horse could get tangled up, too high and seeds or stray pieces could fall in his eyes. A good rule of thumb is the horse's eye height.

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Categories: Horses