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This is a discussion on Halters within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        06-04-2010, 06:20 PM

    I'm sorry if this has already been posted, but I'd just like to know why people don't like non-breakaway halters on horses turned out. I mean, I understand they could get caught on something and the horse could hurt itself, but are there other reasons?

    At the barn I board at, the majority of the horses have halters on during fall/winter/spring since lessons are going on and horses are constantly being pulled in or put out. In summer, they usually don't have them on as much and instead have fly masks. Should I be concerned about Rainy having her halter on?

    Generally she doesn't have it on as much as the other horses, since she's rarely, if ever, used in lessons. But we've never had a problem with keeping halters on, so I guess I'm just a little overconcerned/worried.

    Also, where could I find a breakaway halter/what is a good brand of breakaway halter?

    Thanks in advance, and again, I'm sorry if this has already been posted.
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        06-04-2010, 06:26 PM
    A horse can easily break its neck if a regular halter gets caught on something, which is why they should never be turned out wearing nylon halters.

    Breakaway halters are very easy to find; any on-line or store front tack shop should have them. Breakaways usually have leather inserts that will snap if a certain amount of pressure is applied.

    It's just foolish to turn a horse out with a nylon halter, knowing the damage that can happen. Especially since breakaway halters are neither rare nor expensive.
        06-04-2010, 06:39 PM
    Thanks for your post- I always love hearing your opinion!

    I definitely understand that danger- unfortunately, I know if I mention it to the BOs, they'll just say that it's not worth buying halters for them (plus the majority of the horses don't belong to the barn, so they wouldn't want to buy them all halters) and that since we've never had a problem, it's not a big deal. :/ However, I think I'll see if our local tack shop has them to offer, or could order one for me (I hate trying to order things online), since Rainy's halter is about to go anyway. I might mention it to the other boarders too, but for the barn owned horses and the BOs' horses, I doubt they'll get anything. :(
        06-04-2010, 06:53 PM
    You're very welcome.

    Apparently I have something of a following here, which is interesting. On several other BBs I'm known as that 'meanie doodie head' who doesn't throw sunshine and butterflies at everyone.

    Horseluver, all you can do is protect your own animal. I know it's hard to turn your back when you see something dangerous, but you can't fix stupid, nor can you interfere with how someone else treats their animals as long as they're not being abused or neglected.

    I've quit tipping at windmills. I do what I can, when I can. Other than that, to preserve my sanity I've learned to turn my back and walk away. You will too, eventually.
        06-04-2010, 07:07 PM
    I love your posts because you don't throw sunshine and butterflies at everyone! I wanna know what's what!

    It's definitely hard for me to hear everyone say halters are dangerous then go to the barn and have nearly every horse wearing one out. :( But I'm checking out a few break away halters online, but I figure I'll go to the tack store so I don't have to pay shipping if it's not necessary. :P Anyway, the only concern I have about the breakaway halters is how quickly/easily it breaks away- will it pop off if she just scratches it against the fence, or does it need more pressure than that?

    Sorry if these are really silly questions, but before joining HF, I'd never heard of them, so I don't really know anything about them!
        06-04-2010, 07:17 PM
    They're not silly questions. All of us were noobs at one point, and don't let anyone tell you differently. We all had to learn the same things, and I did it the same way you're doing, by asking someone with more experience.

    Breakaways won't snap under just a little pressure, so her rubbing on the fence won't do it.

    I was hand grazing my TB out in my trainer's field, when he stepped into the chain on the lead line. He jerked his head up, and the breakaway piece on the halter snapped. If it hadn't, he'd have broken his leg.

    I don't normally use lead lines with chains, but I'd JUST brought him home and that was the one his former owner had given me. I hadn't taken a regular lead line with me, so I had to use that one. Had my boy not been wearing a breakaway halter, I'd have had to put him down the same day I brought him home.

    So you see, even us oldsters still do stupid stuff now and again.

    I no longer use that lead line and he has another breakaway halter, just in case.
        06-04-2010, 07:46 PM
    Thanks for the answers! That's scary! But another good reason to have one.
        06-04-2010, 10:53 PM

    Sorry I have a question for you and if it sounds stupid...just lemme know. Why do you keep halters on your horses? I personally don't own a break-away halter, I know cases where they have come in really handy but my horses don't wear halters in the pasture. Hope I didnt make myself sound like an idiot lol.
        06-05-2010, 01:47 AM
    At my barn, we keep halters on because horses are being led in by smaller children who can't reach up to put halters on some of the taller horses- plus it's just more convenient when pulling in horses. I'm not saying it's a good idea, but it's just easier.
        06-06-2010, 02:10 PM
    My trainer has this horse who has a big head. So finding him a halter is hard to find. But... she took a nylon halter and cut off the cheek strap and replaced it with a hay string. So if he got into trouble it would break. That's kinda weird.

    There are 20 something horses at our barn and only 3 of them have break away halters on. Everyone else has a regular halter on. My Bo likes to keep the halters on so just incase they break out of there fields they are easier to catch.

    My trainer tells me that I should get a break away for my horse because sometimes he can be stupid in the field. I've had him for a whole year and knock on wood there hasnt been any problems with his halter. So im just going to keep the one he has on now. But I do have a breakaway halter in my trunk. So if he does end up ripping this current halter,i can always switch over to the other one.

    Are leather halters okay to trailer in? I have a show coming up and I want to use the leather halter on him .. so I was wondering if it would be okay to trailer in.?

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