Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oxford, Nova Scotia
• Horses: 0
I know of two instances where a chain was used as a last resort. One was with a young arab stallion, who seemed oblivious to discomfort, pain, etc. He'd just started saddle training and was pretty good natured. Putting the saddle on, getting on was no problem, took it all in stride. He was being trained for Western and the trainer had a bosal on him, but getting him to stop, whether he was walking, trotting or cantering was like trying to restrain an ocean liner with embroidery thread. He just didn't notice it. She frequently used a chain just so that he might notice what was going on.
The other instance was my daughter had a 2.5 year old friesian and she had the most lovely personality. Gentle with Kims tiny chihuauhua, her new baby, and very interested in everything you were doing. But when she decided she was going somewhere, she went. We only had to use the chain for the first couple weeks and then we could put it aside, but in the beginning because she seemed to have a high tolerance for pain, like the stallion above, she just absolutely ignored everything except what she wanted to do.
So yes, I think that in the case of horses with a high tolerance for pain, where even rope halters don't work, there is a place for them. But you use them with discretion and the minute you can you put them aside.