Teen Forum Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
Our young ones paw as well, and even using rubber tubs they often paw dust and dirt up into the bowl and I end up taking it away because I'm afraid that they'll get terrible tummy aches! One thing that helped me keep them from destructing everything is by putting the rubber tub inside of a tire. No harm to the tire if its pawed at, and it takes some strong pawing to move it. If they do move it, chances are it will scare the horse and he won't do it again xD that happened with Peppin, our yearling. I'm sure there are better options though.
As for hobbling- it might work, but be careful. You can easily hurt the horse and its best to have an experienced person do it the first time. If there is no one in your area that can help you though, research the types and how to correctly put them on, make sure they're going to fit correctly and in the right place- then put him in a confined area. Your sand roundpen should work just fine.
IME horses take to being hobbled a lot easier if you condition them for it first. This means desensatizing them to things being wrapped around their legs and knowing that giving to pressure releases it. Before hobbling a horse I start with teaching them to lift their foot, step, and put their foot down, according to the pressure that I put on a soft lead rope that is looped around their leg where the hobble would go. Once they do that well, I hobble them.
Some horses throw a fit at first, some take to it quickly. My mare Sour has had a lot of training already so hobbling her was uneventful. I just put them on, watched her for about 15 minutes to make sure she figured out how to 'shuffle' with them on, and then took them off. I gradually increased the time after that and now she'll wear them as long as I see fit without a fuss. My other horse (now sold), Clyd- was a different story. He was younger and rather reactive. I put them on him and long story short, he threw a tantrum, bucking and hopping and twisting around. Ended up tossing himself over onto his shoulder once before figuring it out. Then he stood, shook himself off like 'well that didn't work!' and quietly grazed for 30 minutes before I took it off. Never had another problem with that, but he did throw a fit that first time! If I leave them on though when he's in a grazing area where the 'grass is greener on the other side' he's figured out how to do this crazy hop-run type thing over to the next patch and he's darned fast! >.>
Elena said she uses the figure eight, which is a good hobble- but I personally prefer twist hobbles but they can be hard to find. They're made of cotton so there isnt any chaffing (atleast IME) and you can very easily release them should your horse get upset. Its really just your personal preference though.
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