Horse Halters

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Welcome to Horse Halters

Horse Halters seem like a straight forward piece of horse tack. Every horse owner has one. Every horse wears one at one timer or another.

But the easy part ends there. There are several types of horse halters that should be investigated. Which halter is best for what purpose is important to know.

 

ROPE HALTERS

Rope halters are not the prettiest halters. For that reason, they are usually not the first halter a novice horse owner purchases. Most are nylon, stiff nylon, or poly material in black or bright colors.

However, rope halters are the halter of choice for most professional horse trainers. Because the material is thin, it imparts more pressure to the sensitive areas of the horse's head and face: his nose and his pole. During early training, a horse must be taught to give in to the pressure and move with his halter. He will learn the lesson much more quickly with a rope halter than a nylon halter.



 

 

HALTERS WITH KNOTS

Knots add pressure. Pressure is what teaches a horse to perform a maneuver.

The knots on the top of the nose of a properly constructed training halter add a pressure point on the sensitive top of your horse's face. When your horse balks against the halter or throws his head up, the knots "bite" and teach him to lower his head, move with the halter.

All knotted halters are made of rope (which is much thinner than flat halters) and adds pressure at the poll when the horse resists moving, tying, or keeping his head down.

A few knotted-rope halters also have side-pull rings on the cheek, which makes them more versatile during your training sessions. You can use them to teach lateral flexing or actually ride with them as you would with any side-pull.

 

NYLON & LEATHER HALTERS

Most horses own and wear a flat horse halter made of nylon or leather. It slips on the horse's head and helps you lead or tie him. The flat strap is comfortable and doesn't put too much pressure anywhere on his face. This is a fine feature unless you have an untrained or high-strung horse who needs more control, in which case the rope halter is the better choice. For even more control, add a chain lead shank that can be wrapped over your horse's sensitive upper nose to increase the pressure exerted on his face if he fights the halter. Be careful, though. Stallion chains can scar the face if used severely.

 

 

TURNOUT (BREAKAWAY) HALTER

Horses who are wearing a halter can get into a lot of trouble. Weanlings have a propensity for lifting their rear leg to scratch their cheek (especially if they haven't worn a halter very frequently) and getting their hoof caught in the cheek strap. Pastured horses often scratch on fence posts or trees and catch their halter. When they panic, they can get hurt.

Used on unsupervised horses, a Turn-out horse halter is a nylon halter with a single-layer strap of leather across the horse's poll. That strap is strong enough for most general activities such as leading a trained horse. However, it is made purposely weak so that it cannot withstand abrupt pressure such as might be exerted by a horse who is caught, panicked, or trapped by his halter in a pasture.

This is certainly the only type of halter that should be used on an unsupervised horse.

Turnout halters are rarely used to tie a horse because of their inherent weakness. The risk of losing a horse because his halter broke is usually higher than the risk of a horse hurting himself when tied.

 

 

GENTLE HACKAMORE

Used much like a horse halter, the Gentle Hackamore pressures the underside of your horse's jaw as well as his face. It is very comfortable to wear, having no bit. But if he balks or refuses to lead, throws his head up or generally gets unruly, the metal plate beneath his jaw will bite as well as add pressure to his pole.