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This is a discussion on Bonnet? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category

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    01-02-2012, 01:40 PM
Green Broke

I think that's what they are called. It looks like a tie down but is above the horses eyes.
I was going through my Barrel Horse magazine, and a lot of the horses had ones made of wire.
Can somebody tell me the purpose of these? Seems a bit excessive...
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    01-02-2012, 02:43 PM
That's a war bonnet head setter. Very excessive IMHO because instead of taking the time to properly train a horse to give to the bit and break at the poll, they just slap one of those on there to keep the horse from jacking his head up in the air and getting out of control.

On the top, the ears go between the 2 poll cables
beau159 and DrumRunner like this.
    01-02-2012, 05:08 PM
Green Broke
Wow:/ kinda sad what people will put on their horse!!
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    01-02-2012, 06:49 PM
Some horses need it. My friend uses it but uses vet wrap on the metal so its less harsh. I like it a lot it gives more control over horses that need it.
    01-02-2012, 07:07 PM
Green Broke
A good friend of mine uses it, she has a very nice mare but she's just a lot to handle running barrels. A tie-down isn't enough for her but the war bonnet is and it doesn't hurt her or anything. It's just what her horse works best in.
HarleyWood likes this.
    01-02-2012, 09:59 PM
Green Broke
With proper training though, you shouldnt need it period...
IRaceBarrels likes this.
    01-02-2012, 10:11 PM
Green Broke
It's not business or my decision on what she does with her horse. She's a 1D horse who has won her quite a bit of money and she paid WAY more than I could afford. Her horse doesn't do well with a tie-down on, she wins with the war bonnet on. The girl is obviously doing something right..
    01-02-2012, 10:26 PM
Green Broke
And I am just saying, it's a pretty harsh peice of equipment..
    01-02-2012, 10:42 PM
Green Broke
It's really not that harsh, it looks harsher than it really is.
    01-02-2012, 10:56 PM

Depends on what it's made of. There is no reason--NONE at all--to use a bike chain or twisted wire one. That's animal abuse and "training" through pain and intimidation. Period. Rope is also cruel. The cable ones I also do not like, but I have used one without splitting it over the ears, and wrapping the nose generously in Sealtex. That just made it like an ordinary tie-down that was gentle if the horse did not push hard into it, but harsher if the horse decided to test it. I have also used a leather bonnet split over the ears. It was a barrel horse that needed help keeping its head down (needed something to balance against in the turns), but a tie-down noseband made the horse tuck its nose and fling its butt. This was the compromise, and it worked well without being cruel.


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