Snubbing is a funny word. In the world of bronco equids, it means tying them up short and letting them work out what confinement by rope means. In the old days, folks didn’t have round pens nearly as often as they had snubbing posts. When I worked for Davy Sanchez 40 years ago, we snubbed them to a big strong post set in the middle of the corral. That was in the days when it was also not unusual to “choke them down”, so he had a lariat on the bronco and the bronc pulled until it basically passed out. Then it was over. We never had to do it twice. Was it a bad thing? I don’t know. We don’t have to do things that way much anymore.
Then there are “snubbing horses”. You snub your bronc to the saddle horn of a good neck reining (snubbing) horse and start taking him for a walk around the pen. This method is much more common these days. In his mustang training video, Monte Roberts snubs the mustang to a gentle horse. Roberts is a staunch advocate of gentle methods. No one seems to compare snubbing to a post vs. to a horse in levels of equid abuse. It seems to be because the snubbing point moves.
I watched Richard Shrakes’ mustang video last week. It’s kind of odd. He says it’s a step by step plan for gentling your newly adopted mustang, but it seems to require some very specialized heavy equipment — like a mustang safe bronc chute. Not available at many barns. But after he gets his mustang haltered, he opens the chute with four big men playing mustang tug-of-war. The horse goes crazy for a minute or two. But in about 3 minutes the horse is almost gentle. Hmmm. Mighty magical … might as well try it.
El Ocho had pulled away from me a couple of times the other day. Didn’t want him to learn a new habit, so I gathered up everyone at Mustang Camp and we turned into the best snubbing machine ever invented. Watch the video: