One ear western headstalls - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Southeastern US
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One ear western headstalls

I ride English 80% of the time, and although I own western tack and trail ride in western tack, I've been in the habit of using my english bridle with my western saddle. I've decided that I really love the look of the 1 ear type western headstalls. I've never used one, so I don't know if there is any disadvantage or problem in using one. Also, is the split ear better or the one with the loop for the ear? Just way out of my territory here so if anyone can help, thanks! Also would love to know of particular bridles you recommend. Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Watertown, MN
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I've always loved the look of them... Until my horse discovered that by shaking his head really hard (or rubbing it just so on his leg) he could pull it off.... Not so much after that.
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 12:42 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Georgia
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all of my head stalls are one ear..I love them..MN is right though, IF your horse shakes his head hard or scratches on something it will come off sometimes..I don't usually have a problem with it, but if you do decide to go with a one ear make sure it fits well and pay attention to it until you're used to it. Browbands are nice on some horses they just don't look great on mine..She both have small heads and it takes up their face..(I'm really picky about a big headed horse?? I have no idea why, It just bugs me..It's sad I know..) I don't like the two loop ear though..that seems to come off easier than the one ear when they shake or scratch..and it looks goofy..just MO..

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 12:49 PM
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If you get a one ear and want to do pleasure riding, just be careful. I've never had one come off, but I've seen it happen.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 12:52 PM
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My one ear headstall has a throatlatch strap so it won't come off.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 01:55 PM
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I have always preferred the look of a nice browband headstall. I have had the same experience as others where a horse will shake it's head or rub on something and suddenly he is going sans bridle. To prevent that, they do make them with throatlatches like Sahara mentioned, but those are generally working headstalls. Show one-ears don't normally have a throatlatch. If I was using one though, I would much prefer the actual loop (sliding ear) to just having the slit. I may be wrong, but I would worry about the horse getting tired of having his ear pinched between the leather all the time. Not to mention that not all horses will have their ears in the same place. QHs usually have their ears set farther apart and more to the side of their head, whereas TB, some Arabs, and some gaited breeds have their ears set fairly close together on top of their head. With a sliding ear, you can move it to exactly where your horse needs it.

If you would like to see some with a throatlatch, here are some options:
Hawkeye Tack & Western Wear :: Tack & Saddles :: Leather Tack :: Leather Headstalls :: Circle Y 119 Sliding One Ear Headstall With Throat Latch
Rolled Sliding Ear Headstalls at

Always remember that feeling of looking at a big, open country over the ears of a good horse, seeing a new trail unwind ahead of you, and that ever-spectacular view from the top of the ridge!!! Follow my training blog:
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-16-2011, 02:05 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Georgia
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smorbs is right about the sliding loop..I didn't think to mention it until I read their one ears have sliding loops for that exact reason..

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