One day of sunshine and everyone is packing for the big back country adventure, the bucket list trip of a lifetime!! As the gear is getting packed Trailhead Supply’s phone rings…..I have a question? or two… What do you feed your animals and what does one do with the horses and or mules overnight? One of the most common aids used is hobbles…. Now just because it’s a week away from Valentines Day don’t go getting all 50 shades of gray on me. Hobbles are a great way to keep your stock around while they are turned out grazing. I never leave the stock in hobbles loose overnight. It is not safe and I’m allergic to walking. Hobbles will not keep them from wandering off to parts unknown, so keep an eye on them. This is why I bell all of mine as well, so I at least have an idea of which way to start walking. Hobbles come in many different styles and constructed out of a wide range of materials, some good some not so good. The most common is of course leather, that’s no surprise. When looking at leather hobbles look for smooth edges and a soft latigo lining. You’ll find some leather hobbles lined in sheepskin, fleece or some other kind of man made fluffy stuff……doesn’t matter I’m not a huge fan of any of them. Burrs, sticks and pokey things not to mention sand will work its way into that soft pile of kindness you bought to be nice to your horse and rub those legs raw. Remember even on soft lined leather hobbles you still need to keep them oiled and conditioned or that leather will become stiff and saw into them. There are synthetics, neoprene doesn’t hold stitching and they pull apart. Nylon webbing unless lined with something soft can really burn some hide. Now as traditional of a guy that I am, I’m a huge fan of Biothane. Biothane is basically a polyester webbing with a TPU or PVC coating that makes it more durable, waterproof, easy to clean and weldable material. It is tough, lasts a long time, but soft and to care for it you wash it with water. A big plus is it comes in orange so if the stock does kick it off you have a good chance of finding it out in that big ol meadow they were grazing in. As long as we are talking hobbles, get hobble that fit. This is important if you are running small hoofed animals…mules, ponies etc. they will be able to step out of figure 8 style hobbles and the buckle less hobbles. Buckle less hobbles is a one size fits all hobble, but the last time the farrier was out my string runs from a size 3 to a 000. So, one size just doesn’t fit all. While you are out working with that new mule getting her use to those hobbles you might as well pour another cup of coffee…….
What's your favorite type of hobbles?
See you on the trail.
PS- Due to frequent requests and questions about where we get our biothane hobbles we are now building them to sell and will be listing them on the website in a few weeks. If you are interested in getting on our pre-order list give us a call at 406-752-4437 or shoot us an email at email@example.com