Rope halters painful? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Rope halters painful?

I just came across this article and wanted your thoughts on it. Horses for sale, horse health news, trail riding and horse chat.#

I think any halter could cause pain with enough force applied to it. When using a rope halter you use much less pressure then you would on a nylon halter, so could that really be hurting your horse??
I just got a new gelding last night and still intend to work him in a rope halter (he has horrible ground manners). I'd much rather work him in that than put a chain on him or just get dragged off by him and risk us both getting hurt.

What do you all think about rope halters, or really any type of training halter?
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post #2 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 06:36 PM
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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.

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Last edited by roro; 11-28-2009 at 06:41 PM.
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post #3 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 06:43 PM
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The only time I don't use a rope halter is when I trailer, in which case I'll use a leather halter. Regular halters are like big pillows on the horse's head and can actually teach the horse to lean on you. Sure you could put a chain on them, but that's getting stronger and harder, not smarter, plus it just hurts. It's forceful.

With rope halters (good quality ones) the horse can feel the slightest thing so the person ends up doing less. It's much more clear in regards to communication. So no, I don't think rope halters (except for the ones that are stiff and have 4 knots on the noseband) in and of themselves are harsh. ANY tool can be cruel in the wrong hands of course, but I won't use anything other than a rope halter :)
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post #4 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 06:50 PM
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I love rope halters...Iv NEVER seen a horse get "rope burns" wth?. Iv used nylon halters and rope halters..The horses respond better on the lunge line,ground work,being tied ect with the rope haulter... Of course you should NEVER turn a horse out in any halter unless its a break away.The picture of the horse on that page was probably left tied or caught up in a fence.How the heck could he have got those burns just from a rope halter? That could happen with any halter. And no I didn't read the article cause for one I think its a load of crap.
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post #5 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 07:23 PM
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Yea I've never seen a horse get rope burn from a rope halter, either. I read the article and I, too, think it's a load of crap. JMO.

Last edited by Spirithorse; 11-28-2009 at 07:26 PM.
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post #6 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 07:43 PM
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I use rope halters and nylon halters. My stud is only in a rope halter my bf is the one for that. He had a nylon halter on and he just didn't respond with it on so mt bf put a rope halter on and the stud listens. He doesn't put a stud chain on him at all unless absolutely needed. The stud listens really well. My foals are in rope halters as well. I think that training a horse I prefer to use rope halters easier for them I think. They seem to me not to set back as much. This is JMO. I like them a lot. I have never had a horse get rope burn from a rope halter.
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post #7 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 07:53 PM
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i use rope halters, i love them. if the horses truly misbehaves, yes, they could hurt. but i love them because theres no big metal clip that blocks you from feeling what the horse is doing, even when your not looking at them :)

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post #8 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 08:23 PM
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i love rope halters & have never seen a horse get rope burn from them. i dont think they are excessively harsh or anything like that

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Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. ~Albert Einstein
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post #9 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 08:23 PM
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Love rope halters. Didn't read the article because I personally don't care. If you're stupid enough to leave your horse unattended and let it burn yourself, its your fault.
The whole point of a rope halter is to give you control. I use rope halters, however I rarely need to yank down hard. The pressure points are there to remind the horse if there be the need, the halter can hurt if yanked on.
I don't float my horses with a rope halter, I use a nylon one.

My horses, and especially my yearling is not very responsive to a nylon halter. Yes, he will still lead and be good but I don't think he has a feel for it. I like my horses to be used to both in case the first halter I grab in an emergency is a nylon one.
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post #10 of 31 Old 11-28-2009, 08:32 PM
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ANY item, improperly used, can be a problem item. Used properly, rope halters are no more OR less dangerous than any other.
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