Training Horse To Accept Hobbles
I'm interested in teaching my horse to accept standing hobbled, not neccesarily as a matter of hobbling becoming "the way" I restrain him day to day, as opposed to cross tying, etc., but as part of helping him to become a well rounded, well broke horse.
Also, I don't own a set of hobbles, what kind are best?
Thanks in advance!
Hobbles have had a bad rap for some time ,but the rewards of training your horse with them is great.
A young horse is introduced to standing with a halter and lead rope on the middle of a small pen or corral.
A lead rope is used to touch their legs and introduce them to having something around their pastern area of the front legs.
I start this as they are babies ,but lets just say this horse came in to your place and you are going to hobble train them.
I start by working the front and rear legs like this
As the horse becomes more accustomed to the pressure/restraint,then the hobbles are introduced.
There several kinds on the market and it is very easy to make them also.
This is a two year old that has been hobbled about 50 times.
The hobbles are always introduced in a low stress environment and the handlers job is to keep the horse safe and calm.
Some horses will jump forward at first and some will start to pivot on the forehand.
If a horse is trained like this and they become tangled in wire they will just stop and wait.
The restraint training is not done to "teach them a lesson" or to "Make them submit",but it does teach them to stand quietly and to relax.
Most of my horse just go to sleep.
A horse that is trained like this will just stay where you put them and ground tying is a very easy lesson.
Marecare does it the same as I do basically. I use 2 people, me to handle the rope and someone to handle the horse. I use a soft rope like Marecare.
I place the soft rope around the left front pastern like Marecare but stand beside the horse, off a little but near the hind flank and ask the handle to walk the horse forward ONE step while I restrain the foot with the rope. The first time the horse usually pulls the leg out of the rope, easy to do but by the 3rd time they stand with the leg held up with the rope. I repeat this a few times with the left front until the horse stands patiently every time the handle moves him a step forward and the leg comes off the ground but the horse just stands. This only takes a few minutes.
I then do the other front, then the left back , then the right back.
I find again after about 3 tries the horse just stands with the leg up.
On the back I stand directly behind the horse but well back, say 4 feet or 5 depending on the rope and when the horse is asked to take one step forward and the leg comes off the ground, I hold it for a second and then get the handler to back the horse one step to put the foot back on the ground. This teaches the horse when the hind hobble goes tight to back up to releave the pressure.
I do this for 3 days, on the second day the horse usually accepts this training right away. I still do it another day.
I MAKE MY OWN HOBBLES. Yes I buy 4 or 5 types but a homemade pair work just as well and I call them soft hobbles.
I will post this and then go looking for pictures of my homemade hobbles
This is what I call a soft hobble. I bought 2 cuffs for $7 each and join them together with a strong elastic band. Yes the horse can lift his leg but with effort and it quickly pulls it back down. This is the type I start with on the 4th day and I have yet to see any fight.
This is a homemade set on the back legs. I teach to hobble both front and back and sometimes I hobble all 4 , sometimes just fronts, and sometimes just backs.
I will go in to how I make the back as soon as I can find a picture but any kind work just as well. Again this is what I call soft hobbles, If the horse gets in trouble it can still adjust a leg to steady itself and if it honestly exploded it would break the elastic but for normal little lifting a foot to test it just stretches. A good safe hobble to start with
I hate the size of that picture but don't know how to downsize it.
But that shows a simple homemade hobble.
You need 4 rings and 2 snaps.; I used swade but material would work find. I space the rings about 7 inches apart, cut the material about 2 inches wide and loop it over through the rings until it is folded double and then just use the normal sewing machine to sow it up. I end up with the rings secured about 7 inches apart with material. I then use a very powerful elastic band folded twice on itself to join two rings. the snaps are easy to clip the hobbles together around the legs.
I have done 3 horses in the past year of so and none fought in any way other then the inital wrap of the lead around the leg and that was to only step out of it or shake it off. NOne went more then 3 times per leg at learning how to hold the leg up with the rope.
It is simple for 2 people to do. any fight and let the horse escape the rope but repeat immediately and within a few tries he will accept.
Do this for 3 or 4 days or until the horse accepts right off the bat and then while stand quiet somewhere comfortable put on the fornt pair and stand and brush letting the horse get use to the feeling. If he has his homework done he will just stand. I then try the back.
Within the week I am brushing without cross ties.
As marecare said , ground tying, just dropping the lead, slapping on the hobbles is right there. A hobbled horse learns to stand quiet anywhere and once trained to just stand you will be suprised at how quickly they accept groung tying.
Any questions? Marecare obviously has a good handle on how to do it:D
I tried to change the picture for a smaller one but can't edit once I repost???
this is another showing a homemade hobble but smaller size picture
Thanks so much! This is extremely helpful, and sounds much simpler to introduce than I thought it would be. Where do you get the heavy elastic at? I do have some small bungee cords around, would one of those do a similar job as the flat elastic? How about denim as opposed to suede? I really like the idea of the homemade soft hobbles. :D
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