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Safety using a rope halter?

This is a discussion on Safety using a rope halter? within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        05-10-2013, 03:59 AM
      #21
    Started
    [QUOTE=DraftyAiresMum;2474673]Just as a "for what it's worth," I've had a horse break a 2" bull snap on its lead rope when it sat back hard. I was grooming a huge 17.2hh TB gelding who was built like a draft horse. Groomed his left side with no issues. Moved to his right side, touched his neck with the (soft) brush, and he absolutely freaked out. The bull snap broke on the top solid hook part clean through. Caught him by surprise, he went down on his hocks, and nearly took me down as he flailed to keep from going over. It all happened within five to ten seconds...not nearly enough time to even think, much less whip out a knife and cut him loose.


    I agree that hardware breaks. I'd almost rather that. But if in that situation, had nothing broken, what would you have done? It's very real and happens. Even with broke horses. I cut a lead last weekend. Let my colt go in the open (in a field, he was probly happy to eat grass) to jump in the trailer cut a lead rope that was tied with a quick release knot that got set and couldn't be pulled free. All while our 1100 lbs gelding trying to rip the wall off the trailer. I reamed my loving wife for not having her knife ON her.
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        05-10-2013, 09:16 PM
      #22
    Yearling
    I always use a halter with a breakaway strap/piece/etc., or a leather halter. Mudpie is a valuable athlete and teammate, and if he spooks or pulls back or becomes caught on something, I'll always prefer the equipment to break rather than my horse. I also try to always tie to twine if there are no crossties available.

    I use the blocker tie rings when trailering, but not so much elsewhere. Were I you, I would stick to a nylon breakaway or a leather halter, or be very careful about making sure that you don't hard tie.
         
        05-11-2013, 02:00 AM
      #23
    Trained
    Quote:
    The correct knot still tightens rather than loosens. Know of a stud turned out in a rope halter who got one of his hinds through during the night. He had to be cut free when they found him in the morning. Not that a nylon halter would have broken without more leverage/momentum than he could have possibly produced in such a position... But a correctly tied rope halter does not, in my limited experience, come undone without strong fingers!
    Of course it will tighten, and of course there is no knot in the world that could be undone while under the load of a horse pulling back!

    But the CORRECT knot, as shown in an earlier post, can be undone after the fact, no matter how tight it is pulled. I have very small hands and they are not particularly strong, yet I have undone knots on rope halters a few times that have had the full weight of a horse setting back.

    I can't really explain in text, but the way the knot is tied means you just have to push the top loop back a bit to loosen - You don't have to pull anything or feed anything through.
         
        05-11-2013, 02:16 AM
      #24
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wild_spot    
    Of course it will tighten, and of course there is no knot in the world that could be undone while under the load of a horse pulling back!

    But the CORRECT knot, as shown in an earlier post, can be undone after the fact, no matter how tight it is pulled. I have very small hands and they are not particularly strong, yet I have undone knots on rope halters a few times that have had the full weight of a horse setting back.

    I can't really explain in text, but the way the knot is tied means you just have to push the top loop back a bit to loosen - You don't have to pull anything or feed anything through.
    And after the fact, is too late.
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        05-11-2013, 02:30 AM
      #25
    Weanling
    When tying, if you loop the rope twice before knotting, it takes a lot of stress off the knot if the horse were to pull back. Also if I am dealing with a horse that may be prone to pulling back I will loop around the pole they are standing in front of and then tie to the next pole down (if I am tying to a fence.)

    A mare I used to own had a bad pulling problem from a lead breaking when she was young. Takes one time to instill a habit like that, there for I prefer that my equipment not break.
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        05-11-2013, 03:12 AM
      #26
    Trained
    Quote:
    And after the fact, is too late.
    Why?

    It should be well known that rope halters do NOT break. Therefore they should only be used when you want something that will not break, and in such a situation, you would make it as safe as you can and/or have a knife on hand.

    Why on earth would you want to be undoing a knot while a horse is pulling back I beyond me. You want it to hold so the horse doesn't learn to break equipment to get free, and if things go so pear shaped you need to free the horse, you should have a knife on hand so you can cut the ROPE, not try to get close enough to the head of a panicking horse to untie a knot.

    I think after the fact is the most appropriate time to undo a knot, myself.
    tbcrazy likes this.
         
        06-06-2013, 06:55 PM
      #27
    Foal
    The type of rope that I like to make my rope tack with is PNW Select Rope. There is a reason why the professional horsemen use it, just as a carpenter uses high quality tools, they do not want their "tools" to break, fatigue, etc while in the middle of a job.
    True, rope halters do not break...unless, you are using the cheaper types from China, such as a lower quality fiber...like the ones you get at the hardware stores. Their utility ropes break at 400 - 600 lbs. They also do not hold up to UV rays (which horses are always exposed to the outdoors) or to the weather (rain, snow etc). Which breaks down the fibers...I've been doing a lot of research on this...
    When I have asked several of the professional trainers, why they like the polyester over the other fibers...they kind of gave me a funny look...the majority responded with: "It lasts longer, more resistant to the sun and weather, withstands uric acid (urine), will not absorb water or urine as much as nylon (nylon absorbs 15 - 30% moisture, which in time creates a stiff rope) polyester only absorbs 5 - 12% moisture. Also, polyester will not stain and can be washed".

    Nylon Stretches, absorbs moisture, etc. While polyester has low stretch, extremely low moisture absorption and is more resistant to all the elements the horse industry can throw its way.

    So, again, the professionals are correct...I contacted PNW Select Rope to see if the guys/gals were right...once again...science supported the pro's statements.

    I found PNW Select Rope (in 17 different colors) through their dealers. If you want to buy it in cut lengths, it is available through Mountain Supply, or if you want it in bulk, there is Sunset Halters, Many Miles Designs or Hardware Sales.

    Again, true about the rope halters that do not break. However, if you have tied the appropriate safety knot on your lead rope, you would be saving your horse from a wreck...Rope halter or webbed halter.

    Oh, and by the way...I've seen just as many horse deaths from horses wearing a webbed halter too. Horses should not be turned out with any halter. The last horse I saw that died, was scratching her jowl with her hind leg...her hoof got caught up in the webbed halter...she fought and fought, fell over, broke her neck and spine...and still could not get near her to help. They had to shoot her.

    Therefore...if you are using good judgement on your tack and take any safety advice the professionals tell you, you should be Good to GO
         
        06-06-2013, 08:21 PM
      #28
    Yearling
    You can use a little loop
    Of bailing twine from the snap to the halter.

    Usually a snap will break anyway if the horse freaks out.


    I prefer a rope halter, with the rope directly tied to the halter, no metal.

    When I tie my horses, I don't want it going anywhere.. I mostly have studs though. So if I go anywhere ad tie that horse, it'll be tied good. Never had one pull back though.

    If it does freak one day, sorry buddy you're tied. Not letting him get loose and risking more horses getting hurt. I'll undo him when the fit is over if needed.


    Didn't read the other comments btw
    FaydesMom likes this.
         

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