Properly fitting a rope halter. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Properly fitting a rope halter.

Maybe someone can answer this for me. In recent months and years, I have begun to see more and more people using rope halters. That, in itself, isn't the question because I use them as well. However, I see more and more people handling horses with the halters tied on like this.

And I am not picking on Parelli in particular, it's just that he and his students are where I most often see it.

This picture is from his website

My question is this: Why? Why do they have the halter hanging halfway off the horse's face? Is there some special purpose that none of the rest of us are privy to? That, to me, is an improperly tied and fitted halter.

IMHO, a properly tied rope halter should look like this
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post #2 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 11:53 AM
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I agree with you: it should be up farther. Abby's slips down once in a while (I only use it when lunging because her neoprene lined one makes her face sweat and get itchy) because it's older and stretched out. One day I was leaving the arena after it had slipped. This older lady stopped me and yanked it up and goes "Don't want this down this far or it'll cut off her airway." It was down about where those last two pictures (not including Rafe) are.
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post #3 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 12:05 PM
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Thank you for bringing this up Jen. It seems there are more people with rope halters because they think they are "trainers" or its "what so and so uses". The problem is that when they aren't tied properly it can get super dangerous. I honestly have no idea why people wouldn't realize that a super loose or too big halter is ok.

To me, the horses that have them on the correct way look more comfortable. Could just be me seeing things though
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 12:08 PM
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I always have mine about where Rafe's is. Sometimes it slides down a little lower because I haven't tightened it enough but then I always fix it so it's back up.
I think it may be because with a traditional halter the chin strap thingy should be about mid-cheek, so maybe people are trying for that with rope halters too?
Those first pictures seem highly dangerous to me, what happens if the horse is tied and pulls back enough to get out of the noseband part (since it's down so low) and it's only haltered by the poll strap?

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

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post #5 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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It's one thing if it loosens up a bit while you are working them. I think pretty much everyone has that problem at least occasionally. It's just when they put them on so loose to begin with that it makes me wonder what they could possibly be thinking.

Not only do they run the risk of having the noseband end up completely off (or in the horse's mouth) if they pull a bit, but also a well timed head shake or a light rub could result in a loose horse.
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post #6 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 01:52 PM
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Great thread! I agree, I see the noseband of those halters go too low too often.

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass: it's about learning to dance in the rain..."

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post #7 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 07:05 PM
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The throatlatch should fit in the throatlatch area and the noseband about two fingers below the jaw bone. When a nose band gets too low the cartilage can be broken if the horse should struggle against the halter. When a knotted halter is put on too low it is not functioning how it was designed.
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post #8 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, Liz, did I mention that I am halfway to your barn to pick Peanut up? I expect him to be caught and ready to load when I get there .
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post #9 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 07:12 PM
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I agree with the thread *and* you will have to fight me for peanut. What a handsome hunka flesh he is!
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post #10 of 27 Old 05-18-2011, 07:16 PM
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Jen, this should be stickied.
If you're up for it, could you please post something about the correct way to tie a rope halter? I don't have a rope halter myself but have used them lots in the past - one of my (many - ha!) pet peeves is improperly tied rope halters. An employee of mine was notorious for tying them wrong... one day a horse flipped out, set back and the knot slipped so the noseband was suffocating him - had I not had a knife to cut the leadrope, I have no doubt the situation could have ended very badly.
Regarding your original post - I also hate seeing horses turned out (even supervised) with rope halters so poorly adjusted. That's just asking for the horse to step through it and have a wreck.

PS - back off ladies, I laid claim to Peanut long before any of you!!!!

PPS - that picture should be the poster for this thread "properly fitted halter = happy poneh!"

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