Once a horse is hobble broke, it can be a life-saving skill. They learn to stand and wait if they find themselves tangled up in something.
I had a student once leave a tied halter dangling in a stall. Not seeing the halter, they later put my mare in the stall, where she got her feet tangled in the halter. Luckily, she was hobble broke, so she stood waiting to be rescued, instead of panicking and getting hurt.
It is also handy to be able to hobble if you need to step down for a task and want to be sure that your horse will be there waiting for you.
Breezy got a hobbling refresher yesterday, as his ground tying isn’t as good as I would like it to be. During the summer when the grass is high, he is more motivated to ground (grass?) tie. During the fall and winter, not so much.
Since Breezy is a hobble hopper, I have been using a sideline hobble as well to curb that inclination. My ultimate goal is for his ground tying to be reliable enough that I can step off and take care of a calf and he waits for me. We aren’t there yet, I have had to walk home a few too many times when he has lost patience waiting for me!
While solving this challenge starts in an enclosed arena, the next task is to test it outside, in the pasture. Now, waiting for when you need it to work is not the time to test it-as I have learned by making this mistake with Breezy-and unintentionally created his hobble hopping habit. When he was 4, I put the hobbles on him after I stepped off to tag a newborn calf. The calf bawled and trashed, and Breezy panicked-leading to the habit of the hopping while hobbled. Not what I wanted him to learn. Since then, if the situation is calm, he hobbles fine. If he sees feed he can move to, or if his adrenaline gets up, cue the hobble hopping.
So, this winter we will be working on this by setting up practice situations where we can work through this, with my focus on his training.
So what do you think? Is hobbling a essential skill or controversial practice? Is your horse hobble broke?
#getgritty #horsemanshiplifecoaching #horsemanshipjourney