Saturday, February 6, 2010

Halters and Safely Haltering a Horse

Horse people are pretty particular about their equipment and the most basic of horse equipment is a halter. Halters are generally of two types, webbing halters with metal or brass hardware using a buckle to secure the halter on the horse and rope halters which are tied to secure it. I like minimal hardware so I exclusively use rope halters.

I also use tied in lead lines,…. that is lead line without a snap. Snaps usually have a spring loaded mechanism that eventually gets caked full of sand plus springs can lose their strength. When using a lead line with a snap, that snap becomes the weakest part of the halter and lead.

I have seen people put halters on standing directly in front of the horse. It’s only a matter of time before that horse’s head comes up and gives you some free dental work if it doesn’t knock you out. Instead approach from the side holding the halter under the neck, reach over the horse’s neck and bring the long line of the halter over the horse’s neck across his poll (behind the ears), then slip the nose band of the halter over his nose, snug it up and tie the halter. When you tie the rope halter, use a half hitch and ensure the end of the halter long line is facing to the rear – towards the horse’s butt,….that way the horse can’t move his head quickly and end up poking himself in the eye.

You can see a demonstration in the video below.

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