I bought a pair of hobbles, they're these ones: Premium Harness Leather Hobbles Figure 8 Hobble - eBay (item 400203359443 end time May-16-11 15:59:01 PDT) and I haven't gotten them yet but I'd like to start prepping her for them now since I basically have 50 days until camp, aka 50 days to get her hobble trained. I imagine she'll be pretty easy, but who knows.
So far I found a Youtube video that recommended teaching your horse to be led by something around his leg/fetlock and therefore teaching the horse to give to pressure from anywhere, as a first step with hobble training. They recommended practicing with all four legs. So far, Lacey pretty much has it down with her front legs. I've practiced that before with her, just as a "for fun" sort of thing and she thought nothing of it. I haven't tried with the back legs yet because I'd like her to be 100% with the front legs before I try her back legs.
She's really good about her legs in general: they're really easy to pick up, any little touch on them pretty much means "pick up your foot" to her so she's always giving her hoof here and giving it there since she thinks that's what I want.
I'm thinking the next step might be doing her back legs, then perhaps tying the end of the lead rope around her fetlock and using that instead of just the lead rope around the back of her leg then doing that to all her legs when she's comfortable?
I've tried to watch Youtube videos about it but some of them are so scary and look ridiculously dangerous! I want Lacey to be totally ok with this. I don't want her to feel like she has to do anything more than the minimum of "omg. There is something around my legs?! What to do?"ing.
I also don't have a round pen. I'm thinking that once my hobbles get here and she's ready for them, I'm going to (after riding her for a while to get her a little tired) take her into the lower field (that I can close the gate to), put her on the lunge line, put the hobbles on, and back way off to the other end of the lunge line and let her do whatever she does, within reason. I don't want her going too crazy (which she shouldn't if she's prepared right, I think) so if she's connected to me by the lunge line, I should be able to control her pretty well and there's lots of nice grass in the lower field so once she's comfortable, she can hopefully just graze while wearing the hobbles and get used to them in a hopefully non stressful way for short periods of time everyday.
So does anyone know of a great video to watch or personal experience with hobble training?
And I know that this topic could become controversial but I'd appreciate it if we could keep controversy to a minimum.
I'm not a dumb kid that's just trying it out "for fun", I have a smart highly desensitized horse that has most likely been hobbled before, I have a good reason to need to hobble my horse, I'm trying to go about it the best way possible, and I'm aware that it could be dangerous.
Help me out? :)