One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘the enemy was trying to hamstring his horse’
cripple, lame, hock, disable, handicap, injure
2‘we were hamstrung by a total lack of knowledge’
handicap, constrain, restrict, cripple, shackle, fetter, encumber, block, frustrate, cramp, bridle
hamper, hinder, obstruct, impede, inhibit, retard, baulk, thwart, foil, curb, delay, set back, slow down, hold back, hold up
restrain, check, curtail
North American informal bork
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