Hobbles for Mr. Big - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-11-2011, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 392
• Horses: 1
Hobbles for Mr. Big

Well, I keep reading that hobbles are a fine way to let your horse forage when taking breaks or camping. We have a set of fairly nice, but older, leather hobbles with chain linkage. Today I dug them out of the storage tote and put them on Mr. Big.

I'm not sure what I expected. I HOPED he'd be OK with them. But I didn't know. I don't think he's ever been hobbled but a prior owner might have used them on him.

First, he didn't want to be caught. He plays that game sometimes. I finally cornered him--and he stood stock still while I got the halter on him.

I tied him to the feed rack and went to get the hobbles. Other than pulling his foot away from me a time or two he was fine about having them put on. Second one actually went on easier than the first.

He tried to take a step, couldn't and stood still for the longest time. I used the time to remove his halter.

He took a couple of tentative "high steps" then gave me a look that said "Now, why did you do this to me?" And buried his head in the hay and ignored the hobbles.

I don't think hobbling Mr. Big will be an issue.

Wish I felt the same about the Mrs. big mare. She'll need 'em, too. Sigh.

Hopefully, Sunday we can try hobbling him when we stop for a trail lunch and see how he does in a more "realistic" setting.

"Don't just feed it! Ride it!" And the People said "AMEN!"
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-11-2011, 03:33 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 4,355
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My friends ride in the mountains very regulary & use hobbles all the time. We also use them on horses that like to paw alot while tied.
Your horse might stumbled a bit but he will get used to them & will eventually learn to get around.
Some horses are better at it than others. I've seen horses running at a gallop in hobbles & they can still get away on a trip.
One gelding took off in hobbles on one of their trips & they followed him for 9 hours down the same path before they caught up with him.
My friends put cow bells on their horses when they're hobbled just so that they can find them if they do happen to wander off ;)

"If a horse fails to do something that is because he was not trained to do it. If a horse fails to do something properly that is because he was not trained properly."
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-11-2011, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 392
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That's the plan, Ruffian. Ride in the mountains and use hobbles as needed. We'll highline at night, tho.

I just took the hobbles back off. He still didn't seem to care. Pretty mellow horse!

"Don't just feed it! Ride it!" And the People said "AMEN!"
SailorGriz is offline  
post #4 of 4 Old 03-11-2011, 04:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Out West
Posts: 141
• Horses: 5
I've used hobbles. For grazing purposes, I prefer the one-leg neoprene hobble with a 12" tie (with snaps at both ends) attached to hobble and halter. The horse can walk pretty normally but can't get its head up to really get running. Two caveats--the possibility of them stepping into deep water or getting the other leg over the rope. My Sailor horse has gotten his leg over and was able to get it back over without freaking out.

Having seen some hobbled horses go berzerk, my suggestion is to try it at home in a large open area where the horse is unlikely to hurt himself. Keep a hold of the leadrope.

I have read of people leaving their horses hobbled and loose all night. Personally, I would not do this. I prefer to have my horse contained (high-lined) when I'm sleeping.

The trail is the thing....Louis L'Amour
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