KBR Horse Training Information

Exercising Body AND Mind

Humane Restraint

Building Yourself a
Practical and Inexpensive
Handling Chute

Occasionally we'll run across a horse that suffers from "terminal fidgets" or the "yeah, buts." These horses refuse to stand quietly and when the handler tries to correct them, their response is to increase their avoidance response rather than pay attention to the handler and deal with this situation. The catch-22 here is that until the horse learns to pay attention, he will usually continue his evasive response to certain elements of being handled.

"Learn-Learn" and "Take Two" are a couple of effective games we will play with these horses which brings success a great majority of the time. However there are occasionally situations such as horribly overgrown feet or veterinary needs which don't allow us to attempt Learn-Learn. In addition, some horses are so preconditioned to be neurotic at the tie pole that they behave quite well when being taught in the round pen, but start self-generating stress and anxiety once at the tie pole.

In these instances we needed to be able to place the horse in an environment where his choices were limited, he couldn't get hurt or hurt us, and we could work with him until he could get comfortable with being handled all over. While safe restraint is a necessary component of this chute, the fundamental objective is to use it as a learning tool.


We designed our chute using old utility poles which were discarded by the telephone company, some 2x12 lumber which we had at the stable and some old quarry belting.

The chute itself is 90 inches long, 26 inches wide at the front and 29 inches wide at the entrance. The 2x12 side rails are set 42 inches above the ground (measured from top of rail to ground) and are covered with quarry belting for safety and to eliminate splinters. The side and end rails are lag bolted into the utility poles. The cross tie rings in front are set at about withers height.

Top View:
Handling Chute
Entrance View:
Handling Chute
The single side rail allows
access to belly and legs

Dimensions given are for lumber before padding is attached.


View of lag bolt assembly.


Closeup of tapered ends

Continue to Handling Legs & Feet

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KBR Horse Training Information, 1997 Lamm's Kickin' Back Ranch and Willis & Sharon Lamm. All rights reserved. Duplication of any of this material for commercial use is prohibited without express written permission. This prohibition is not intended to extend to personal non-commercial use, including sharing with others for safety and learning purposes, provided this copyright notice is attached.
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