from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fetter for horses, or cattle, when turned out to graze; -- chiefly used in the plural.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fetter for horses, or cattle, when turned out to graze; -- chiefly used in the plural.
  • transitive v. To impede by a hopple; to tie the feet of (a horse or a cow) loosely together; to hamper; to hobble.
  • transitive v. Fig.: To entangle; to hamper.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To fetter or hamper the legs, as of a horse, to prevent leaping or straying; hobble; hence, to trammel; entangle.
  • To harness (a horse) so as to change its gait mechanically.
  • n. A fetter or shackle for the legs of horses or other animals when turned out to graze, to prevent them from leaping or straying: used chiefly in the plural.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. strap the foreleg and hind leg together on each side (of a horse) in order to keep the legs on the same side moving in unison


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • It's not a hobble (hopple) hanger (an aid to keep the horse on gait almost always used only with pacers;trotters rarely use them).

    Oslo Grand Prix: Horserse

  • The little maples and beeches flung their sprays of vivid green foliage above the darker shades of the witch hopple into the soft-lighted air of the great house of the wood and filled it with a pleasant odor.

    In the Days of Poor Richard

  • Smith led him to the edge of the bog, knelt down, drew aside a branch of witch-hopple.

    The Flaming Jewel

  • The people of the territories are denied the power to form State governments unless they consent to fasten upon them the slave-hopple, the iron wristlet, and the neck-spike.

    Supplementary Prose, from Complete Prose Works (1892)

  • We tie him to a tree, and hopple his fore and hind feet, lest he may struggle.

    The Scalp Hunters

  • My horse, well trained to such tactics stayed where I had dismounted, without tie or hopple.

    The War Trail The Hunt of the Wild Horse

  • The latter plan is the best, because the animal, side-hoppled, is able to go but little faster than a walk, while the front hopple permits him, after a little practice, to gallop off at considerable speed.

    The Prairie Traveler A Hand-book for Overland Expeditions

  • Two methods of hoppling are practiced among the Indians and hunters of the West: one with a strap about two feet long buckling around the fore legs above the fetlock joints; the other is what they term the "_side hopple_" which is made by buckling a strap around a front and rear leg upon the same side.

    The Prairie Traveler A Hand-book for Overland Expeditions

  • In turning out pack animals to graze, it is well either to keep the lariat ropes upon them with the ends trailing upon the ground, or to hopple them, as no corral can be made into which they may be driven in order to catch them.

    The Prairie Traveler A Hand-book for Overland Expeditions

  • When a horse is thus caught, the hunter leaps from his steed, and lets out the lasso gradually, choking his captive till he is obliged to stop: he then contrives to hopple or tie his fore-legs; to fasten the lasso round his lower jaw; to breathe in his nostrils, and to lead him home.

    History, Manners, and Customs of the North American Indians


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