I follow NH in a pretty generic way, and I do use a rope halter on Scout when I lunge him (CA - style Lunging for Respect). He gets heavy in his face on the circle, and sometimes gets excited and tries to make the circle bigger. With the rope halter I can give a quick, gentle bump and not be hauled aroung the perimeter of the arena. My sister accomplishes the same thing with a nylon strap halter and a stud chain. The reason for my preference of the rope? I don't have to move the chain to change directions. Eventually, I will wean him onto a "normal" halter, for sheer practicality (I use a leather strap or nylon web halter for every other aspect of horse handling, save riding).
I definitely see where the author of the article is coming from, and it definitely gives food for thought. I see the rope halter kind of like the double bridle: it offers clarity and definiteness to cues, allowing the handler to give "whisper cues." Nothing good or bad about it inherently, but like so many training tools, it is best not in the hands of a complete idiot.
'stands up and applauds'
Originally Posted by themacpack
ANY item, improperly used, can be a problem item. Used properly, rope halters are no more OR less dangerous than any other.