Monday, May 17, 2010

Day nine: Hobbling

Stevie's first experience with hobbles was pretty uneventful (as I want every experience to be!).  There was a little bit of fighting the hobbles as she figured out how to balance herself, but all in all, it was a good session.

First off, do your homework.  Practice your leg tugs and review your ground work.  You need to know how to use your hobbles.  Get really good at taking them on and off quickly and smoothly.  Just in case, carry a knife with you (a good all-around horsemanship tip, by the way). 

The hobbles I'm using are pretty standard.  Start off by looping the hobble around the off-side pastern, and running it through the first ring. 

Next, run the strap of the hobble through the second ring.  The only parts of the hobble that should your horse should be felt lined. 

Finally, buckle the hobble, snugly, around the near side pastern.

  Stevie did fairly well.  First she wanted to investigate what was holding her legs together.

Then, tried to test how far she could move her legs. 

She only went too far once.  Took a little stumble to her knees, but popped right back up no worse for the ware. 

By the end of the session, she was standing quietly (albeit playing with her lead rope!). 

Please use caution and common sense.  Horses are large animals, with an exceptional amount of power and strength.  They are also concerned above all with their own personal safety, and will do whatever they feel it takes to keep themselves from harm.  Being individuals that act and react differently, the only certainty you have when working a horse is uncertainty.  I am a professional trainer with twenty plus years experience, yet even with the knowledge I possess, I still get hurt from time to time.  This blog and the accompanying media are for entertainment purposes only.  No responsibility will be assumed for injuries or damages incurred while trying to use these methods at home.  Please ride responsibly; protective gear can save your life!

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