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Dennis Moreland Tack
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Does your tack need some TLC?
If someone asked, could you easily pick out some of your favorite pieces of tack hanging in your tack room? Maybe it’s your go-to set of split reins (http://bit.ly/DMTackReins) that fit your hands just right and have developed the perfect level of feel over the years. It could be a trophy headstall (http://bit.ly/Headstalls) you won at a show, your first set of rawhide romal reins (http://bit.ly/RawhideRomals), or perhaps you simply have some pieces of tack that you use more often than others. We all have tack that we love to use and enjoy, and your tack will perform better when it’s used continuously. However, when you use tack continuously you need to keep an eye out for wearing on the leather and the buildup of dirt and sweat on your tack that can keep your tack from working to its best ability.
You should check your gear regularly, especially the parts that are often against the horse’s skin. If you see sweat and dirt built up, or if it’s particularly dry, it needs to be cleaned and conditioned. Keeping leather tack in good condition is critical for safety and helps to keep the communication between you and your horse at top level. It’s a great idea to check your tack for wear or damage before every ride. After your ride, wipe tack down with saddle soap and hang it properly where it has space to hang naturally. Follow along in the video below to learn about how to use saddle soap, pure Neatsfoot oil, and rawhide cream to keep your tack in the best working condition.
Saddle soap is a product used to clean and protect leather and is made from mild soap, glycerin or lanolin (sebaceous gland wax of sheep) and often beeswax. Bentley’s Saddle Soap (http://bit.ly/saddle_soap) is a spray on saddle soap that is easy to use and leaves leather clean and refreshed with no residue. Pure Neatsfoot oil is a fat rendered from the lower legs of cattle. It is used to soften and condition leather and will darken leather with repeated use.
Like leather, sweat and dirt can build up on rawhide and get absorbed into the fibers. Additionally, rawhide can dry out and feel rougher to the touch than usual. Rawhide is cured but is not tanned like leather is. Although pure Neatsfoot oil is fine to use on tanned leather when needed, it should not be used on rawhide. After you use saddle soap on rawhide, you can follow up with Vaquero Rawhide Cream (http://bit.ly/rawhide_cream) to help restore the natural oils that are taken out of the rawhide by use and exposure to air. After using rawhide cream, you’ll need to allow the piece of tack to sit for several hours or even overnight to allow the cream to fully soak in.
Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line handmade tack manufacturer and we’re here to help you! We carry Bentley’s Saddle Soap and Vaquero Rawhide Cream, so be sure to visit www.dmtack.com or call 817-312-5305 for more information on how you can get the products you’ll need to keep your tack in great shape.
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The Scoop on Spurs: How to Make Sure Your Spurs Fit Correctly
Spurs are a very popular piece of riding equipment, and when used correctly they can be a highly effective aid in cueing your horse. Spurs can come in all kinds of sizes, styles, and can even have special custom attributes added on to personalize them. The one thing that all spurs should have in common is correct fit to ensure they are working properly for you to better communicate with your horse.

You want your spurs http://bit.ly/DMTackSpurs to be adjusted to slide on your boots easily and rest on the spur ledges. They should be a little bit wider than the heels of your boots so they are able to move slightly up and down. They should not be so loose that they fall down below the spur ledge onto your heel bases. On the other hand, they shouldn’t be so tight they won’t move up and down at all. Spurs that are so tight that they can't move on the boot will end up hurting your feet or even damaging your boot. A good pair of spurs made of high-quality steel will be heavy enough that when they’re adjusted correctly they will always fall back into place.

A helpful tip if you need to make spur bands wider is to place the ends of the bands over the outside of a vise’s jaws to widen them. Slowly rotate the handle until your spur bands expand. Keep in mind you will need to spread them farther than the desired width as the steel is somewhat dynamic and will spring back slightly when the vise pressure is released. If you need to make your spur bands narrower, place the ends of the bands on the inside of the jaws of a vise and rotate the handle to tighten them. You can line jaws of the vise in a soft plastic material, a tough piece of cloth, or a piece of leather to protect the outside of your spur bands.

Although use of leg aids or cues is beyond the scope of this writing, it should be remembered as a general rule of good horsemanship they are used in the order of lightest to strongest and only used until you get a response from your horse. While keeping heels down, start by applying pressure with the side of your leg or foot, and if you get no response then gently press with the side (shank) of the spur. If you still get no response turn your toes outward so the rowels can be used. The strength of the spur cue can be gradually increased until the horse responds. Release the pressure to reward your horse for the correct effort. For help with proper cue and aid use, Dennis Moreland Tack recommends consulting with a professional instructor.

Dennis Moreland Tack makes spurs to fit everyone in the family. You choose the band size and width (spurs sizes 1 through 4), the length and curve of the shank (shank styles 1 through 4) and even the rowel (rowel styles 1 through 9) to meet your horse’s needs. Crafted from aerospace industry steel and hand engraved nickel silver, these spurs will last a lifetime. For more information on our professional quality handmade spurs visit http://bit.ly/DMTackSpurs, call or text 817-312-5305 or email dmtack@vrfmail.com.

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The Benefits of a Properly Fitted Breast Collar
Over time breast collars have generally become considered an optional item on a saddle. However, if you ride in disciplines where horses make quick stops and turns with powerful acceleration out of the turns, such as cow horse, barrel racing or roping, to name a few, you may already know how important breast collars are. They help keep your saddle centered and secure on your horses back as it powers through the maneuvers. One of the key components to making sure your breast collar is working to its best potential and to ensure safety is all in the way it fits on your horse.
A breast collar http://bit.ly/2ePVq8i that fits and is adjusted correctly will prevent your saddle from rolling sideways or slipping back. A good fitting breast collar allows enough movement of the saddle for your horse to make correct and powerful maneuvers while it helps hold the saddle and rider right where they need to be. Having a breast collar also helps you to not have to cinch up as tightly. This is especially true on horses with low withers, which is often the case on young colts.
Many riders might purchase a breast collar that’s too big. If you have to take several wraps of the tug straps around your saddle’s D rings, then the breast collar is too big. You also want to avoid having a breast collar that is fastened too tight. This could cause discomfort for your horse and restrict their movement. It’s better to purchase a quality breast collar that’s shorter in length between its D rings. This allows you to adjust the tug straps as necessary to properly fit both small and large horses.
When fastened, it’s important the breast collar is even across the chest (A). Adjust the tug straps evenly on each side until you have a comfortably snug fit with the centerpiece in the middle of the horse’s chest. Next, snap the center strap between the legs onto the D ring on the cinch so that it is right in the middle of the space between your horse’s front legs. If it’s off to one side it means your cinch D ring is not in the middle of the horse’s belly and you need to even out the length of your latigos on each side of your saddle to even up your cinch. Check after you saddle that you don’t have a twist in a tug strap (B). Finally, check your tug straps and center strap for wear before riding (C). This is an important safety measure because you never want to ride with worn leather on any piece of gear.
Breast collars are important pieces of equipment that help stabilize your saddle. I have a wide variety of handmade breast collars available for training, showing, ranching, roping, trail riding, and barrel racing http://bit.ly/2ePVq8i. I also make replacement tugs http://bit.ly/2iMmiDs and replacement center snap and buckle pieces http://bit.ly/2jJ9sdD. For more information please visit dmtack.com, call or text 817-312-5305 or write to us at dmtack@vrfmail.com.

We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!

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Iron, Oxbows, and Dog Houses: The History of the Stirrup

Have you ever tried riding without your feet in the stirrups, perhaps to practice on balance or leg position? While it can be useful to practice form and position if done safely, there is no doubt that when you take the stirrups away you begin to realize just how much you might depend on them when you do have them. At Dennis Moreland Tack, we know the importance of having quality, dependable stirrups, which is why we find the history of stirrups so interesting.
Check out the information below written by one of my good friends and tack historian, Phil Livingston, on the history of the stirrup:
Stirrups http://bit.ly/DMTackStirrups are a relatively new innovation in the history of horsemanship. No one knows exactly when, or where, stirrups were first used. The first stirrups were probably rawhide loops at the end of rawhide straps and used by the horseback herders/warriors who wandered the plains.
When Hernán Cortés invaded Mexico in 1519 his small group of cavalry men rode the war saddle of Medieval Spain. The stirrups they used were cast iron, often worked in engraved designs. One style was similar to the present English stirrup, although the tread was broader and slightly curved. The other was large, weighing some ten pounds each, and shaped to form a Christian cross. It was called the Cuneiform pattern.
With the introduction of cattle to Mexico after the conquest, huge ranches developed. Cowboys were needed to handle these cattle and where you have cowboys, you have saddles and stirrups. The prevailing stirrup pattern, circular in shape, was cut from a 2” thick block. A small half circle was in the center just large enough to provide a “toe hold” for the rider. The style was to prevail for some two hundred years, ridden by Mexican and Californio vaqueros, mountain men and early-day Texas cowboys.
Another style of stirrup appeared in Mexico in the late 1800s. A wide (up to 6 inches) length of wood was steamed or baled until it became flexible, then bent and lashed around a form until it dried. A halt was invented at the top of the U-shaped box to hand the stirrup from the leather. The style quickly gained popularity since the rider could insert his foot all the way to the boot heel and gain more security. This “box stirrup” is still seen today on Mexican charro saddles.
Early Texas cowboys modified the box stirrup by narrowing the top to accommodate the three-inch stirrup leathers on their saddle. Called the “Dog House”, thousands of these stirrups hung from saddles following Texas Longhorn cattle up the trails to Kansas and beyond.
Following the gold rush of 1849-1850 the population of California exploded. Many turned to the cattle industry, either as a rancher or a cowboy. The need for riding equipment boomed. Saddle trees were improved and a new stirrup which gave more “foot room” was devised. Named the “Visalia” for the town where it was developed, these stirrups rapidly replaced the old, carved wooden ones which had come from Mexico. The Visalia stirrup is still the most popular western stirrup and is used by riders of all disciplines.
Another stirrup which appeared in the 1870s was the Oxbow. It was named because the curved bottom resembled the shape of an ox yoke. The pattern quickly became popular with rough-string riders because it was easier to hold on a pitching horse. Like the Visalia, it was built of bent wood with a galvanized iron binding.
Rodeos had become more than just a cowboy past time sport for cowboys by the 1930s. The old Oxbow stirrup, standby with several generations of bronc riders, was slimmed down to a ¾” tread to fit the bottom of the boot better. Timed event contestants wanted a stirrup which supported them when they stood to rope but were also easy to get out of. The old Texas Dog House was revived, usually covered with leather to add weight.
Stirrups are the result of “form follows function” and, in spite of numerous style and material modifications, continue to do the same job that the first rawhide loop did for a primitive horseman.
Phil Livingston is the author of War Horse and The Driftwood Legacy, among many other books.

Dennis Moreland Tack builds hand-crafted flat bottom http://bit.ly/2MVQ9rv and oxbow http://bit.ly/2pql7he stirrups. Call or text 817-312-5305 or email dmtack@vrfmail.com to discuss your stirrup needs.

We’re a full line manufacturer of quality handmade tack and we’re here to serve you!
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Do you know how a Curb Strap works on a Curb Bit?

Have you ever wondered how a curb strap (also called a chin strap) works to help slow down or stop your horse? On a leverage or curb bit (a bit with shanks) the curb works in conjunction with the bit and the rest of the bridle to apply pressure to the horse’s chin. If the curb is adjusted correctly, this pressure should help slow or stop your horse. To understand curb strap adjustment, it’s important to know how a curb strap functions in relation to the bridle.
On a curb bit the shank is the portion of the bit’s cheek piece that extends from the point where the mouthpiece is attached to the cheek piece (the butt) downward and includes the rein ring. The purchase is the part of the bit’s cheek piece that extends from the butt to the top of the bridle ring. Each bit has a right and left shank and a right and left purchase http://bit.ly/bitparts. The curb strap works in conjunction with the rotation of the shanks and purchases.
View the attached photo guideline to help visualize how a curb works:
1a. When the reins are pulled pressure is placed on the mouth by the mouthpiece and the bit http://bit.ly/DMTackbits revolves around the point of rotation or butt of the mouthpiece. This causes the shanks to move behind the point of rotation.
1b. At the same time the shanks are moving behind the point of rotation, when the reins are pulled, the purchase, which we know includes the bridle rings, moves forward of the butt (point of rotation) of the mouthpiece.
2a. The combination of the movements of the shanks behind the point of rotation and the purchases forward of the point of rotation causes the curb strap http://bit.ly/DMTackcurbs to contact the chin and continue to become tighter as the reins are pulled tighter. This puts the horse’s lower jaw in a vise-like situation. In addition to the pressure from the pull on the reins, the amount of pressure from the curb is dependent on how loose or tight it is adjusted. A helpful hint: sliding 2 fingers between the curb and the chin, with slack in the reins, and adjusting the curb to that point is generally a good guideline for proper adjustment.
2b. At the same time and because of the rotation of the purchases forward, the crown piece on the headstall (attached to the bridle rings via the headstall’s cheek pieces) is pulled down causing pressure on the horse’s poll.
A horse that is trained properly to ride with a leverage bit should respond by bringing his nose in, lowering his head and slowing his foot movements until he stops and/or the pressure on the reins is released. It’s always a good idea to allow a horse to get used to the feel of a new bit, a new curb or any curb adjustment before applying pressure to the reins. Always check to make sure everything is positioned on the horse correctly and adjusted correctly before getting on.
Dennis Moreland Tack makes a variety of handmade curbs. From snaffle bit colt to finished horse, you can find the curbs http://bit.ly/DMTackcurbs you need at Dennis Moreland Tack. If you have questions call or text 817-312-5305 or write dmtack@vrfmail.com.
We’re a full-line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!
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Breast Collars Throughout History
Breast Collars, in one form or another, have been in use since ever since riders began putting padding between themselves and the horse. The purpose: to keep the cinched saddle from sliding back and out of place. Ancient sculptures show Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek and Roman horsemen using a breast collar. The use of a breast collars http://bit.ly/breastcollars pre-dates stirrups by several thousand years.
When the Spanish Conquistador Cortez invaded Mexico in 1519 his small group of cavalry men all rode the old centerfire rigged War Saddle. Since the saddle was prone to slip back on the horse, a breast collar was used, usually with a shoulder strap to hold it up. And, a crupper under the horse’s tail and attached to the saddle was also required to maintain stability (illustration a).
From the formation of the American cavalry in 1812 military saddles were single cinched and both a breast collar and crupper were used. Many Civil War photos show horses rigged with these pieces of equipment. It wasn’t until the McClellan saddle was adapted that they were discarded.
Early Mexican vaqueros soon moved the front cinch forward, hanging the rigging directly under the fork, and solved the problem of saddle slippage. The un-needed breast collar was discarded, probably because it would catch on limbs when chasing a cow through brush. Both North American cowboys and South American gauchos followed their example and breast collars were seldom seen. The Texas development of the full double rigging in the early 1800’s added even more saddle security (b).
Only on the Pacific Coast and Nevada ranges did the centerfire rigging remain popular. A martingale of the time (a leather loop around the horse’s neck with an additional strap down to the cinch) helped stabilize the saddle in addition to being a fashion accent (c).
The rise of contest roping in the early 1900’s returned the breast collar http://bit.ly/2nslPdH to popularity. While the first generation of contest hands didn’t use one, those that followed learned that a breast collar was necessary. It not only kept the saddle in place during a hard start but was a “plus” when they laid their slack behind a 900 pound steer and rode by for the trip. It was also a handy place to tuck up the 2nd rope that they carried. The calf ropers and steer wrestlers quickly followed by example. By 1940, the majority of timed event contestants used a breast collar (d).
The first contest breast collars used in the arena were simple leather straps (probably 2 inches wide) around the horse’s chest. A shoulder strap kept it from dropping down and the billets passed around the saddle’s tie straps. It didn’t take long for cowboys to realize that shaping the collar to conform to the horse’s confirmation improved effectiveness since it eliminated pressure on the windpipe. This was the prevailing style through the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s.
It was also learned that a strap running from the center collar to the cinch held it down and in place. Breast collar design was modified to three piece construction – two side panels and a hold down strap all connected to a center ring. This not only gave a better fit, allowing the collar to move with the horse, but secured the saddle better. This style has become the most popular style, available in widths from one inch to three inches depending on the rider’s preference and use (e).
Roping big, heavy cattle required single steer ropers to modify their breast collars. The “tripping collar” follows the shape of the contoured model but is much wider (three to five inches) to spread out the shock of a steer hitting the end of the rope. Two billets on each side – one to the saddle dee and the other to the cinch ring – really hold the saddle in position. This style is also popular with team ropers.
Another contemporary style is popular with working cowboys and is called the “Pulling Collar” http://bit.ly/PullingCollar (f). It looks much like the martingale mentioned earlier but, instead of encircling the horse’s neck, the two tug ends are buckled around the saddle fork. Combined with the strap to the cinch, this collar really holds the saddle down on the horses back when it leans into the rope.
Regardless of the style or width, the purpose of the breast collar is to keep the saddle in its correct place. A large percentage of today’s western riders consider one an essential piece of equipment.
This history was written by my good friend and tack historian Phil Livingston. Phil is author of War Horse and The Driftwood Legacy among many other books.
Dennis Moreland Tack builds Pleasure, Show and Roper Breast Collars and Pulling Collars. Some are accented with beautiful hand braided rawhide, and are available with or without silver. Check out our selection here: http://bit.ly/breastcollars. Call or text 817-312-5305 or email dmtack@vrfmail.com to discuss your breast collar needs.
We’re a full line manufacturer of quality handmade tack and we’re here to serve you!
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Learn the Best Way to Measure Your Horse for a Hackamore
Would you like to know how to measure your horse for a hackamore? It’s not easy to find an answer and it’s also not easy to know just where on the nose to measure. There’s many varieties of hackamores available. We’ll focus on measuring for a Texas style hackamore http://bit.ly/hackamores with a hackamore rein http://bit.ly/hackamorerein but this technique will work for almost any hackamore with a noseband and heel knot.
A hackamore needs to fit well so it can function correctly. There needs to be enough space between the noseband and the nose so the horse can breathe comfortably and chew. This space also allows for a slight release of pressure to occur when the reins are dropped. This release of pressure also acts as a reward for the horse when he brings his head into position for collection as he is driving forward from behind. Hackamores are great tools to use in the training for collection because they work with a pressure and release system, just like a bridle does, but without the bit.
When the hackamore rein is pulled the heel knot moves up as pressure from the noseband is applied to the nose. When the rein is released; caused by either the horse moving his head into a more lateral position or the rider releasing the pressure (or a combo of both) the heel knot falls. As it falls the pressure is released on the nose. The pressure and release can only work if your hackamore fits correctly.
Follow along in the video to learn the simple way to measure your horse for a hackamore http://bit.ly/hackamores. You’ll need a lead rope that’s approximately ½ inch in diameter (twine and string don’t work well because they get too tight on the nose while you’re trying to measure) and a marker.
Place the lead rope around the nose where you want the hackamore noseband. Although this is personal preference a good choice is half way between the point of the eye and the bottom of the nostril. The bridge of the nose supports the hackamore here. It isn’t too low in the sensitive area of the nose and it isn’t too high where it can’t function correctly. Mark a line on the lead rope where the 2 lengths meet under the chin. This is where the heel knot begins. Since the hackamore rein will be tied right in front of the heel knot you want to make sure you have enough length to accommodate the rein. There should be space between the edge of the rein that is closest to the chin and the chin. After your lead rope is marked lay it out flat and measure between the marks. This is the size hackamore you need.
Hackamores are the first tool of communication used on young horses in many training programs. A lot of horsemen and horsewomen find their horses work better in a hackamore regardless of their age or level of training.
Dennis Moreland has been making hackamores http://bit.ly/hackamores by hand for more than 40 years. They fit like they are supposed to and respond to the pull and release of the rein smoothly and instantly. Call or text 817-312-5305 or write dmtack@vrfmail.com with any questions.
We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!
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The Secrets to Running Martingale Use

A running martingale is designed to help a horse learn to carry its head in the position that will allow it to use its body correctly to drive from behind and with collection. Running martingales http://bit.ly/2cPagLY should be used with direct pressure bits such as snaffles. When the horse raises its head the martingale applies pressure through the reins to the bit. The horse brings its head down and back to get relief from the pressure. The signal is consistent each time and the relief is immediate making it easy for the horse to understand. At the same time if the rider pushes the horse forward with seat and leg cues this combination of signals allows the horse to find the position where it’s easy to use its body to travel in a relaxed and more collected manner.

A running martingale consists of a neck strap that loops around the base of the horse’s neck to hold the martingale in place. A chest strap runs from the base of the neck strap, through the front legs, and attaches to the cinch with a snap. Two straps with steel rings at the ends run from the chest upward. The reins are threaded through the rings. A safety strap runs from the top of the neck strap, under the swells of the saddle and up over the horn so the loop cannot slide forward on the neck if the horse unexpectedly drops his head too low.

Bozo Rogers, AQHA and NRCHA judge, NRCHA Bridle Horse World Champion, and 3 times AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse Honor Roll Awardee explains proper fit. “When the horse is standing naturally the forked straps should be just long enough to come within an inch or 2 of the horse’s jaw when held taut. You want to have a straight line from the point of the horse’s mouth up through your elbows. A martingale that’s too short will cause the horse to break at the point of the withers to get relief from the pressure. This will leave it strung out behind instead of up under itself driving forward. A martingale that’s too long won’t have any affect.” The neck strap should be adjusted so you can run a hand between it and the horse’s neck. The strap running from the chest to the cinch should be snug but not too tight.

“I like to ride my young horses in a running martingale to get them ready to learn collection” Bozo Rogers says. “It helps them but doesn’t confine them. There’s a little play there and once they raise their head the martingale applies pressure until the horse responds. It’s a great piece of equipment to help the rider teach the beginning steps of collection.”
Training for collection takes a lifetime to learn. If you aren’t experienced in the use of running martingales or in training for collection you may want to study with an experienced horseman. It is an exciting concept to adopt into your riding!

Dennis Moreland Tack makes Running Martingales http://bit.ly/2cPagLY, California Martingales http://bit.ly/2NKvWGN, Training Forks http://bit.ly/2KPhsra and German Martingales http://bit.ly/2KPhsra. They fit and function. Call or text 817-312-5305 or write dmtack@vrfmail.com to discuss martingales or any tack you have questions about.

We’re a full line manufacturer of quality handmade tack and we’re here to help you!
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Learn the Best Way to Attach an Off Side Billet or Double Off Latigo

Have you ever bought a new double off latigo (billet) http://bit.ly/2fhQs2u and had trouble getting it on your saddle? Since it doesn’t need to come on and off very often a person doesn’t get much practice attaching a new one! You may run into a problem getting a new one attached.

To be safe you want to attach it to the off side saddle Dee so the leather is doubled over. It’s not as safe to simply thread it onto your saddle Dee. That will leave you with only a single piece of leather holding your saddle on. Follow along in the guideline below to learn how to attach your double off latigo the safe way.
1. Thread it onto the ring of your cinch buckle. Make sure the ends are even.
2. Run the doubled ends through your saddle’s right Dee ring. Go from outside to inside.
3. Bring the ends back through the cinch buckle ring. Place the buckle tongue in the desired holes. Make sure the tongue goes through the same holes on each side of the fold.
4. Tuck the ends through the keeper on your cinch so they’ll be out of your way.

To stay safe you want to make sure you check both your latigos for wear or damage on a real regular basis. As far as aging and wear goes, it doesn’t matter what they’re made of. Leather and nylon will both wear with age and use. A hop or buck or just any movement can apply a moment of extra pressure to the strap or straps and if they’re worn or aged they may break. This is one piece of tack you really depend on.

Dennis Moreland Latigos http://bit.ly/2dHjuYn and Double Off Latigos http://bit.ly/2fhQs2u are handmade from carefully chosen tight, dense latigo leather. Each latigo is cut and edged by hand. They are just the right thickness to be very strong but they won’t leave a lump under your fender. If you have questions please call or text 817-312-5305.

We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!
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A Hobble Broke Horse is a Safer Horse!

Dennis Moreland Tack recommends teaching your horses to accept being hobbled. Hobbling helps a horse learn not to fight against being restrained. It’s another form of desensitizing or sacking out horses and can really help keep your horse safe if it ever gets anything tangled around a leg.

“When I was young and working on the ranch I turned an older horse out when it was snowing and the herd started playing” says Dennis. “I heard the wire fence creak. I hurried to check and this horse had slipped and was upside down with his hocks in the barbed wire and both hind shoes in the net wire. He could have cut his legs had he fought that wire but he had been hobble trained and he laid there and never moved. I had to go get him up. Young or old, horses need to understand what hobbles http://bit.ly/2K0Ff6B are.”

Introduce hobbles as easily as possible. Use a sandy arena or another area that has soft footing with nothing for the horse to get caught in.

On foals you can wrap a soft cotton lead rope above the knees with a twist in the middle that you can hold on to and let go of as needed. Young horses have soft bones and you don’t want to do too much. For training mature horses place the soft cotton rope around the pasterns or ankles with the same twist in the middle. Once they accept this rope, which is generally fairly quickly, the leather hobbles http://bit.ly/2K0Ff6B can be used.

“I prefer a figure 8 hobble, which is the shape of the hobble when it’s on a horse’s legs, and I like to have a long tail for training. When it’s on the horse you’re going to have a lot of tail hanging, but if you have a colt that is squirming, you can buckle one of the first holes and gradually tighten it as the colt settles down” says Dennis.

Be sure to keep the distance between the middle rings or Ds on your hobbles close. If you leave 8-10 inches between the horse’s legs he can learn to run with the hobbles and that defeats their purpose. Approximately 4-6 inches is a safe amount of space.

Hobbles made out of nylon should be avoided. They often have sharp edges that can cut a horse’s legs.

A horse taught to accept being hobbled will give to pressure and understand release, will be more likely to be still if caught in wire, is easily secured when there’s no place to tie and will not have his mouth or neck jerked by a tied or stepped on rein. Hobble training can have huge pay-backs. A hobble broke horse is a safer horse!

All of the hobbles at Dennis Moreland Tack are made of soft but strong latigo leather and stainless steel hardware. Latigo is more resistant to heat, and has more cushioning and flexibility than other leathers. Only stainless steel hardware is used. Chrome and brass deteriorate and can rot the leather where it folds around buckles or rings. This causes a safety hazard that can be hard to see. Check out the selection of handmade figure eight hobbles here: http://bit.ly/2K0Ff6B. Style used just comes down to personal preference. Please call or text 817-312-5305 or email dmtack@vrfmail.com if you have questions.

We’re a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you!
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