Leather halters shrink when wet? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 07-11-2012, 03:49 PM Thread Starter
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Leather halters shrink when wet?

I'm in the market for a new halter, as the one my mare has is pretty old and starting to show the wear-and-tear. Plus, I've always thought it is too big for her (noseband too big & sits too low on her?). The picture below shows the size of the noseband, though the way she's standing on the cross-ties, it doesn't necessarily look like it's sitting as low on her nose as it does without the tension from the cross-ties.

I'm partial to leather, and was going to get a cob-sized leather halter (she's a 14.3 Morgan, and cob sized in other things like flymasks, bridles). Someone told me that leather halters tend to "shrink" when they're allowed to get wet and can become uncomfortable on the horse's head. Is this true? It makes sense to me, but the leather halter she's had for awhile now is ancient, and it came with her so I don't know how big it was when it was new (it's been through lots of baths, rainstorms, etc.- it's meant to be her one and only halter). How much shrinkage would you typically expect- enough to go with a new horse sized halter rather than cob-sized?
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-11-2012, 03:57 PM
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I'd go with cob-sized.
That halter is sitting too low even with the tension from the cross-ties so I can only imagine how low it sits without the cross ties.
Of course, I am assuming that that halter is average horse sized, but if it's warmblood sized or large horse sized, average horse might fit fine.

Unless she has a head on the bigger side of cob, leather halters are usually pretty adjustable so even if it did shrink, I would think that you would be able to let it out a hole or two so it wasn't uncomfortable...

Do you have any barn friends with a cob sized leather halter that you could try on her, just to make sure? Or even a friend with an average sized halter to do the same thing with? If the cob size is too small when you try it, then you know you need average size, vice versa.

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Last edited by Wallaby; 07-11-2012 at 03:59 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-13-2012, 06:10 AM
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Leather halters need to be taken care of even more then saddles since they are on a horse more and subject to all kinds of weather and abuse. I've never experienced a halter that shrunk, it could be because the leather on your halter is drying out.

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post #4 of 13 Old 07-13-2012, 06:40 AM
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Yeah it's too low on her nose so I'm thinking she needs a smaller one anyway.

Leather needs to be cleaned and conditioned often but I haven't had shrinking problems. It's so thick so I doubt it would shrink anyhow..

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-13-2012, 07:07 AM
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I doubt it would shrink - but with a bit of watering, your horse might grow!

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post #6 of 13 Old 07-13-2012, 07:08 AM
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Bahaha like Chia pets.. only Chia horse

Btw she is a VERY cute horse. Love her beautiful eyes :)
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-13-2012, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Btw she is a VERY cute horse. Love her beautiful eyes :)
Thanks Sky- she uses those cute eyes to her advantage frequently
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-13-2012, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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So I decided to go ahead and order a cob sized padded halter from Smartpak- I read a lot of reviews here and online, and people seemed to like it. I was having trouble finding a cob sized leather one in our local tack shop- seemed like all the had was cob sized nylon. I'm a little nervous about ordering it online, but since the one I have isn't the greatest point of comparison anyway, I'd be taking a chance in person or online. It should get here in the next couple of days, I'll post new pics once we have it.
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-13-2012, 09:10 AM
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Thanks Sky- she uses those cute eyes to her advantage frequently
Oh I'm sure she does :P!

As for Smartpak, they have an amazing return policy. Free return shipping and no questions asked. Same as Dover! So I think if it doesn't work out you'll be ok

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-13-2012, 10:14 PM
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The cob sized should fit. I have a 15.1 morgan mare and a horse sized halter on the smallest settings is just to big for her.

I've never had a leather halter shrink...or any halter for that matter so I don't think that will be a problem.

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