Hobbling? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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I have a 13 year old QH mare who will not stand tied so a solid object. You have to tie her to a chain hanging off a tree limb so she can move around. She will usually stand quietly until you want to do something, like put a saddle on or shower her, but when you do, you just have to move around with her to get the task done.
I'm very new to horses (1 year), & I have been watching some training shows on TV. One method, by Craig Cameron, is to hobble the horse's front feet. They soon learn that they cannot walk around without tripping & learn to stand quiet. Has anyone used this method themselves & if so, does it work? Is there a better way to teach her to stand tied? She does lead well & respond to pressure, but when you try to tie her to a solid object, she gets very antsy & pulls back or will rear up if you keep bringing her to it.
Any help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 03:32 PM
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Hobbling requires different training than having her hold still, and may not even work if she's moving out of being "antsy" or "nervous." Not to mention it doesn't always work, my mare became the master of power running with hobbles on, my own mistake- but nevertheless.

Does she shy away when you pull out the saddle and blanket? Try just taking it out and rubbing it over her body if she's nervous about it. Or is she just antsy to get to work? If that's the case try lunging her before saddling to get some juice out. :)
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 07:48 PM
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Hobbles can help but it is not something you just go try on your own.
But it can go this easy with the proper preparation.

"The greatest strength is gentleness."
- Iroquois Proverb
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
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Does she shy away when you pull out the saddle and blanket?
No. She's real calm when you put the blanket & saddle on. She only starts circling when you reach for the girth belt & start cinching up. Once the saddle is on, she goes back to standing still & relaxed again. I always talk to her telling her she can move around all she wants. I'm still going to get the saddle on.
As far as getting some juice out, if she is in the pasture with her 3 month old son & another mare with her 1 month old daughter, I sometimes have to chase her around a bit to catch her. In those instances, I will usually swing the lead rope around so she will run a bit instead of casually walking away from me. Most days, she will let me catch her easily. I think she enjoys going out since she has been home-bound since Feb for "maternity leave". It's only been the last two weeks or so that she will go out without me ponying her baby around town with her.
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 08:23 PM
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Hobbling is NOT a tool to teach a horse to stand still or stand tied. The skills and uses are completely different. Yes, it can be as easy as the pics shown -- my horse will do that now, but I spent quite a bit of time getting her to that point.

Sounds to me like your mare is "cinchy" -- usually this comes from discomfort from the cinch. I would check for proper fit of the saddle, sore or sensitive spots in the saddle and cinch areas. If you can't find any sore spots, try just putting the blanket on with the cinch. This make take a bit of ingenuity to get a cinch on -- you'll need to replace the saddle with something else, like a very wide nylon strap (4") or a piece of leather or canvas.

I would just get the blanket on snugly, not tight at all and do that several times until she realizes that it doesn't hurt. Lead her around that like.

Then do the saddle, again only snug, not tight enough to ride on. Lead her again.

Keep going, until the saddle is tight enough for riding -- assuming that all goes well along the way. Keep a watchful eye for soreness though! You want her to feel safe and not threatend by the prospect of any pain.

This is going to take some time -- it won't all happen in one day. Especially if she has a sensitive spot. That has to heal up first.

Since she is newly a mom, her body shape could have changed so take that into consideration.
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 08:30 PM
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i watch Craig Cameron too:) love him!! and i hobbled a colt i was training for a friend. its not difficult and not dangerous either (in my opinion) but ive been around horses all my life... just make sure shes used to things around her feet before you go all out with the short hobbles
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 08:32 PM
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I agree with NorthernMama, if it's just at the cinch then its bothering her, or she just doesn't like it. Hope everything goes well, I've known a few horses who never did like being cinched, so good luck!
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-31-2011, 11:25 PM
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We tie them solidly until they relax and like it. If that takes 5 hours a day for a week --- so be it. I have never seen one that did not finally settle down, relax and cock a hind foot. I have done this with horses off of the track, spoiled buddy sour horses and downright mad horses. They ALL give it up if you don't give up first.

I like tying one from a rope or chain fastened to a tree limb but that is not where I groom, saddle and handle one. I want that to be a smooth safe place where I can actually control the horse. We have several 200 to 400 barrel oilfied tanks that now hold grain and 2 tack rooms. They are slick and smooth. We have welded horseshoes 7 feet above the ground and have nylon ropes with 6 inch bull-snaps fastened to the horseshoes. The nylon ropes are attached to the horseshoes with quick release snaps.

If you tie a horse to a place like that and keep a second lead-rope in your hand, you have total control. You can give a jerk and way "Whoa!" every time the horse moves and any horse learns very quickly to stand still, respect the lead-rope, respect the handler and 'lock up' when you say "Whoa!".

The other thing that you must learn is 'timing'. Any 'pressure and release' technique is totally dependent on your good timing to work. If the timing is off at all, it just plain does not work.

Say a horse does not like the cinch. Put a rope around the horse's girth area. Pull the rope tight. If the horse does not like it, just keep pulling the rope tight until the horse stops reacting. The instant the horse stops reacting, you release the pressure. Whether the horse learns to stand still or not totally depends on whether you stop putting any pressure on the horse the second he does the right thing.

Then wait a minute and repeat the thing he reacts to. Each time, he will stop and give it up more quickly. Pretty soon, he will stand relaxed and stop reacting at all.
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