Learning more about leatherwork is a natural result when you get into horsemanship and horse tack.
The ability to fix your tack or even make some items can prove valuable (and even get you out of a pinch at times).
Pat Puckett Stirrup Hobbles
Pat Puckett is a gem and a staple in the horsemanship world. What is great about Pat is that he learns from experience. Everything he teaches, he has used on a ranch.
You can either learn from your own mistakes or the mistakes of others.
So, you listen when Pat shares a recommendation he learned after finding himself in a bad situation.
In one video, he was going over his saddle setup. Pat sells his own saddle design (which was the primary purpose of the video); but, during that video, he mentioned an interesting custom change that he made to his stirrups.
He attached a piece of leather to the side of his stirrup and connected it to the stirrup hobble.
Stirrup Hobble Adjustment For Safety
If you look at your standard saddle setup, where the stirrup meets the fender, there is a small gap. It doesn't seem like much; but, according to Pat, one time, he had a rope slide into that gap and get stuck.
A rodeo he didn't plan on.
So, following that event, he retrofitted his setup with a piece of leather from the stirrup to the hobble.
Thus, making it impossible for a rope to get caught like that again.
DIY Stirrup Hobble Guard
Will you or I ever find ourselves in a similar situation where a rope gets caught?
However, if you know there is a possibility of it happening, why wouldn't you take action to avoid it?
I know nothing about sewing leather or leatherwork. So, I re-watched Pat's video (to think up a design), went down the YouTube leather working rabbit hole, and bought myself some basic leather working items to put together version 1.0 of my Stirrup Hobble Guard.
Here are the items I used to get started:
How Is This Hobble Guard Different From Pat Puckett's?
In Pat's design, he permanently secured a vertical piece of leather to the stirrup's side, then laced the stirrup hobble through the top. The hobble and leather guard go where ever that set of stirrups goes.
That might work for him because he may change his stirrups infrequently.
In my situation, we change between a couple of different stirrups regularly. So, I wanted to develop a design that could stay with the saddle and not with the stirrup.
Here is what I thought up.
The stirrup hobble fishes through a loop at the top of the leather guard (similar to Pat's), but the bottom is the main change. So instead of securing it permanently to the stirrup, I added a leather loop that wraps around it and snaps. This way, you can unsnap that guard and hobble, undo the fender, change your stirrup, and put it together again.
The Stirrup Hobble Guard can stay with the saddle.
This is version 1.0 of the guard. The plan is to use it, find flaws, design adjustments, and make a 2.0 version at some point.
I will purchase better-quality leather (instead of the strap leather) to make the new one.
The goal is to get this hobble, and all of our stirrup setups, dialed in.
The primary motivation for this different design is to be able to use it when we change over to the TrailMax Overshoe stirrups that become a necessity with particular boots and when we go hunting.
(I am also working on a TrailMax Overshoe Stirrup leather tread that I am excited to learn to make.)
After growing up working on his family's farm in the Midwest, life brought him to Missoula, MT. There, he connected with a mustang named Dart and was called to a lifelong journey of learning about horses and horsemanship. It is his hope to share the knowledge, experiences, and resources he has come across along the way.
Want tO JOIN