Help, Hobbling! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 01:56 AM Thread Starter
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Help, Hobbling!

I am going to start hobble training my two horses. I have chosen to just use 1" cotton rope. I know how to properly tie it as I have had horses that were already hobble trained in the past, but they came that way :) I have a perch mare which I think it woulf be hard to find hobbles to fit her legs. Both my paint geding and perch mare are pretty level headed and desensitized to rope. I think the mare will be a little less reactive, but will take longer to give in as she is the stubborn type. My gelding is a little more reactive but gives in really quick.
Any advice? how have you all habble trained your horses? My BO gave some advice, pulling on each front leg with the rope around the horses leg till it lifts and gives in, then hobble the horse and encourage to try and move. Unfortuately I do not have a round pen, where I would prefer to teach this, but I do have an arena. SHould I keep the horse on a line, or let it figure it out by itself. I have also heard of hobbling the horse, and putting grain in a bowl about 6 or eight feet away from the horse, so the horse moves forward a little and keeps its mind off of the hobbles and on the food (this would keep my mares attention for sure, as she is a food addict(. I want to keep this experience as positive as possible. ANY ADVICE WILL BE APPRECIATED
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 08:12 AM
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We used to hobble-train everything. I still do a few, but can't train much any more.

If you just put on a pair of hobbles, some horses learn to 'hop' with them by just moving their front feet together. I've seen a few that could run nearly as fast with hobbles on as they could without them.

To prevent this and to teach horses that they also have to give to the pressure of a rope with their hind feet as well, I add a single 'picket hobble' to one hind foot attached to the front ones with a 'sideline'. I used the sideline on both hinds -- one at a time.

The biggest advantage you get from hobble training is that should the horse ever get tangled up in a fence or a rope, the horse will just 'lock up' and stand still. Teaching a horse to stand with 3-way hobbles (front two and a hind sidelined) teaches one to not struggle or fight getting tangled up in wire with any feet involved. I have had horses stand in one spot for more than 24 hours because they had caught a foot or a shoe in a fence and they just stood there while the rest of the herd left and were completely out of sight. They did not have a scratch on them, thanks to them being hobble-trained.

Another thing I did when I hobble-trained a horse was to put the top of an old sock on the horse's pastern and put Duct Tape over it to hold it in place before I put hobbles on the horse for the first time. Some horses struggle against the hobbles the first time or two and the old sock prevents them from getting rope burned or rubbing any hair or hide off.

I have sold horses and years later the buyer called me to ask if I had hobble-trained the horse they bought. They have told me some bizarre stories of how the horse got all tangled up in some kind of wreck and should have been ruined and just stood there until someone got them out of it. I was riding a horse a couple of years ago that got into wire in tall grass in a pasture gathering cattle for a neighbor. He just 'locked up', I got off, and it took wire cutters to get him out of it without having him get cut up. The result could have been a tragedy and a horse worth a lot of money could have ended up worth zero.

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post #3 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by mramsay View Post
I am going to start hobble training my two horses. I have chosen to just use 1" cotton rope. I know how to properly tie it as I have had horses that were already hobble trained in the past,
You want to use a rope for the hobbles? Not my choice. I use leather hobbles and you should be able to get proper hobbles to fit your percheron. They come in different widths and lengths. Shop around. Proper hobbles slide much more easily than a rope ever would, IMO.

Quote:
My BO gave some advice, pulling on each front leg with the rope around the horses leg till it lifts and gives in, then hobble the horse and encourage to try and move.
Well that sounds like a crash course. A friend gave me a really good article about training. I will see if I can find it again and post a link. If I can't find the link, I will try to type out what I did.

But I did not encourage my horse to move when hobbled. By the time the hobbles went on her, she knew that something around her feet meant her movement was restricted. Even now, 2 years later, when she is hobbled I never lead her. If I want to move her to another spot, I remove the hobbles, move her, then put the hobbles back on. Her first episode with hobbles was on lush grass, so she didn't want to move much. She took her first step and was ok with it. Then all was fine until she tried to put out her front foot to scratch her head. Well, that didn't go as planned and she had a bit of a spaz attack -- lasted about 10 feet, and never a problem since.

I'll go look for that article now.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 08:26 AM
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I can't find it at the moment. I will try to post later tonight.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 08:40 AM
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Hi just some questions about hobbling. I like the idea that a horse would stand still if caught up in wire, what are other reason that you teach a horse to be hobbled?
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 08:56 AM
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Thick soft cotton rope is good when beginning to hobble train. You are on the right track with getting the horse to move it's leg when you tug on the rope, at the knee as well as the ankle. This is when you find out if there is any rope fear. (I had one that was terrified of rope touching his legs and this type of work got him over it). When you do use the rope to hobble be sure you use a fast releasing knot. He may stumble a bit but you need to be able to release him if it looks like he's going to get into a wreck. Most times they seem like they will but manage to stay on their feet. Some horses just don't move and never test the hobbles.
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chandra1313 View Post
Hi just some questions about hobbling. I like the idea that a horse would stand still if caught up in wire, what are other reason that you teach a horse to be hobbled?
Say you trailride, you could leave your horse hobbled so it doesn't have to be tied and can graze. It's really useful, so you can leave a horse out without fencing or being tied.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by LovesMyDunnBoy View Post
Say you trailride, you could leave your horse hobbled so it doesn't have to be tied and can graze. It's really useful, so you can leave a horse out without fencing or being tied.
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Thanks, I was wondering about if it was used for that. I never hear about people using it around here, so I figured it must be one of those things that people just don't do anymore. I like the idea of it though. The horse can eat at the same time.
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 10:50 AM
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One of the reasons that I always hobble train.

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post #10 of 15 Old 05-31-2012, 02:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
We used to hobble-train everything. I still do a few, but can't train much any more.

If you just put on a pair of hobbles, some horses learn to 'hop' with them by just moving their front feet together. I've seen a few that could run nearly as fast with hobbles on as they could without them.

To prevent this and to teach horses that they also have to give to the pressure of a rope with their hind feet as well, I add a single 'picket hobble' to one hind foot attached to the front ones with a 'sideline'. I used the sideline on both hinds -- one at a time.

The biggest advantage you get from hobble training is that should the horse ever get tangled up in a fence or a rope, the horse will just 'lock up' and stand still. Teaching a horse to stand with 3-way hobbles (front two and a hind sidelined) teaches one to not struggle or fight getting tangled up in wire with any feet involved. I have had horses stand in one spot for more than 24 hours because they had caught a foot or a shoe in a fence and they just stood there while the rest of the herd left and were completely out of sight. They did not have a scratch on them, thanks to them being hobble-trained.

Another thing I did when I hobble-trained a horse was to put the top of an old sock on the horse's pastern and put Duct Tape over it to hold it in place before I put hobbles on the horse for the first time. Some horses struggle against the hobbles the first time or two and the old sock prevents them from getting rope burned or rubbing any hair or hide off.

I have sold horses and years later the buyer called me to ask if I had hobble-trained the horse they bought. They have told me some bizarre stories of how the horse got all tangled up in some kind of wreck and should have been ruined and just stood there until someone got them out of it. I was riding a horse a couple of years ago that got into wire in tall grass in a pasture gathering cattle for a neighbor. He just 'locked up', I got off, and it took wire cutters to get him out of it without having him get cut up. The result could have been a tragedy and a horse worth a lot of money could have ended up worth zero.
Hi Cherie,
I always look forward to your posts and really respect your opinion--you offer a no-nonsense, get the job done approach which I really appreciate. Coul you give me a brief run down on your hobble training methods
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