|WASHINGTON COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY (Washington County, Utah)|
From The Forge: Mormon Hobbles Forged By Dennis Manning
These hobbles were used by Mormon travellers on their way to Utah to prevent their horses from being stolen.
Mormon Puzzle Hobbles were iron hobbles connected by a chain and used to hobble horses or other livestock so that they would not wander off when not otherwise constrained such as by fences.
The unique feature of these hobbles was a chain mechanism that could be easily put on or removed if you knew how to do it. But if you did not know the trick, it was almost impossible to remove. This prevented the theft of animals by native Americans or other uninitiated.
These hobbles were developed by Mormon blacksmiths and were used by pioneers crossing the plains as well as by settlers in the intermountain west.
At least two pairs of these antique Mormon Hobbles exist in Washington County. One is at the Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum in St. George and the other is at the Jacob Hamblin Home in Santa Clara.