I'm a faithful leather halter user, when I need to I will use a chain but that is rare. Sometimes if I need to give a lot of pressure I will put my hand on the under strap and give a quick pull down rather than use the indirect pressure of the lead rope. I think the problem people have with rope halters is that they can cause a lot of friction, like a rope burn. The same way that people can get their fingers hurt if they lunge with no gloves and the horse spooks, a horse could get hurt if they spook wearing the rope halter and come to the end of the lead rope. This isn't so much as pressure straight down but if the rope rubs them to the side and down there is a risk of rope burn. Also the knots would provide more pressure because they can dig into the face. My first horse and I had a session in a ground work clinic and the clinician put a rope halter on him, which my horse had never worn before. Needless to say he scared himself by attempting to pull back on the rope halter, felt the uncomfortable friction, and stopped with a nervous look. Maybe it made him listen better to the clinician, but I don't think a professional should rely on causing a horse a little pain to make them listen unless they have to. A rope halter is definitely not an object of torture, but in the wrong hands it can cause unnecessary pain.
"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are certain and the intelligent are full of doubt"
Last edited by roro; 11-28-2009 at 07:41 PM.