How to Hobble a Horse – The Definitive Guide

Hobbles help keep your horse secured when tying a horse is impossible. Hobbling is a technique that allows you to control your horse’s movement in a very precise way. The benefits of hobbling a horse include improved obedience, easier handling, and increased safety. In this article, we will explain what horse hobbles are and how to use them properly. We’ll also discuss the different types of horse hobbles available on the market today.

What Does It Mean to Hobble a Horse?

Hobbling a horse involves using ropes, chains, or straps to restrict the horse’s movement in certain ways. When hobbled correctly, a horse can still walk and graze but cannot run or kick. This makes it easier to handle and move the horse around when necessary.

Why Hobble a Horse?

Hobbles are used when training a horse. As well as during horse shows, parades, and other events. They can also be helpful when the horse needs to be restrained for veterinary care or transportation. Hobbles are used to train horses to stay calm when transporting.

Two hobbled horses grazing

What Types of Hobbles are Available?

There are three main types of hobbles you can choose from:

  • Rope hobbles;
  • Chain hobbles;
  • Strap hobbles.

Each hobble type has its own set of upsides and downsides. Let’s take a closer look at each type.

Rope Hobbles

Rope hobbles are made from a length of rope with two loops on either end. They can be easily adjusted to fit any horse. Such hobbles provide a good level of restraint. However, they can also be easy to escape from if the horse pulls hard enough.

Chain Hobbles

Chain hobbles consist of a length of chain with two clips on either end. They provide a good level of restraint. These are difficult for the horse to escape from. However, they can be uncomfortable if they rub against the horse’s skin.

Strap Hobbles

Strap hobbles consist of a length of the strap with two buckles on either end. They provide a moderate level of restraint and are comfortable for the horse. However, they can be easy to escape from if the horse pulls hard enough.

Which Type is Best?

The type of hobble you choose will depend on your own personal preferences. As well as what you’re using them for. If you’re looking for something that provides a high level of restraint, then chain hobbles are the best option. If you’re looking for something more comfortable for the horse, then strap hobbles are a good choice.

Two nice black horses stands in river

How Do You Hobble a Horse?

The most common hobbling method is to use two ropes, chains, or straps. They should go around the horse’s ankles. The hobbles should be tight enough so that the horse cannot run. But not so tight that they cause pain or injury.

Another way to hobble a horse is with a “kicking chain”. This device consists of a metal chain with spikes on it that are attached to the horse’s hind legs. It prevents the horse from kicking its feet out from under itself and injuring itself.

There are also hobbles that go around the horse’s neck. These are called “neck hobbles.” They prevent the horse from moving its head too much and getting injured.

Finally, there are “body hobbles”. These are devices that go around the horse’s body and restrict its movement. They are used to prevent the horse from running away or getting out of control.

What Are Kicking Chains?

Kicking chains are attached to the horse’s hind legs and prevent them from kicking out. If you’re looking to avoid your horse from kicking other horses or people, then consider this device. They can be uncomfortable for the horse, so it’s important to only use them when necessary.

How to Use Kicking Chains for Horses?

First, you’ll need to find a flat spot on the ground. Next, you’ll need to put the horse’s front legs in front of the chains. Then put the chains around the horse’s hind legs. Finally, you’ll need to adjust the length of the chains so that they’re not too tight or too loose.

Hobble Training Your Horse

To train your horse to accept hobbles, start by putting the hobbles on for short periods of time. Gradually increase the amount of time that the horse wears them. Be sure to reward the horse with treats during and after training sessions. If at any point the horse seems uncomfortable, stop the training and consult a professional.

Teach your horse to accept pressure on its limbs by applying pressure yourself. Gently squeeze the horse’s legs and apply pressure to the hobbles. Start with using a soft cotton rope for hobbling. Reward your horse with treats when it remains calm.

When your horse is a little bit tired, it’s the best time to teach hobbling. After a long walk or a light ride, put the hobbles on your horse. Let the horse stand for a few minutes and then remove the hobbles. Repeat this several times until your horse is comfortable wearing them.

When you’re ready to go for a walk with a hobbled horse, attach the animal to a lead rope. Start with short walks around your property. If the horse seems uncomfortable, stop and give it time to adjust. As your horse gets used to being hobbled, you can take longer walks.

Get a pocket knife handy in case of emergency. Make sure the place is safe for you at first. And you’re able to cut the soft rope if needed. Ask horse trainers for help so they can consult you. They will explain what to do with hobbling horses.

Man cutting leather horse hobbles

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Make Horse Hobbles?

To make hobbles for a horse you’ll need some rope or straps, scissors, and a buckle. First, cut two pieces of rope or strap that are each the same length. Then, fold one piece in half and create a loop with it. Do the same with the other piece of rope or strap. Next, take the two loops and put them through the buckle. Finally, adjust the length of the straps so that they’re not too tight or too loose.

Are Horse Hobbles Cruel?

Some people say that horse hobbles are cruel. Because they can cause pain and discomfort to the horse. However, if used correctly, horse hobbles can actually be very beneficial to the horse. They help keep the horse from moving around too much. As this can lead to injuries when transporting the equine. Additionally, they can help prevent a horse from kicking other horses or people.

What Are Horse Hobbles Made of?

Horse hobbles can be made of rope, leather, or nylon. They usually have a metal ring or clip on one end. And a strap that goes around the horse’s leg on the other end.

hobbled tethered spotted gray horse

Do Horses Need to Be Hobbled?

No, horses don’t need to be hobbled. But, some horse owners prefer to use them. Especially when transporting their horse or when the horse is in a new environment.

Where Do You Put Hobbles on a Horse?

Hobbles should be put on a horse’s hind legs. The strap should go around the horse’s leg just above the ankle. It’s important to make sure that the hobble isn’t too tight or too loose.

How Much Are Horse Hobbles?

Hobbles for horses cost anywhere from $15 to $50. You can find them at your local equestrian store or order online.


Horse hobbles are a great way to keep your horse from running off. They’re also a great tool to use if you need to catch your horse. If you’re going to be using kicking chains, make sure you know how to hobble a horse. And if you’re making your own horse hobbles, be sure to adjust the length of the straps. So that they’re not too tight or too loose.