Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
What pros? I am sorry, but I disgree based on sheer mechanics of the two different tools. I suppose any tool can be made to be harsh depending on how it is used, BUT rope halters are soft, light weight, and somewhat loose when pressure is not being applied. Yes, they are effective at applying pressure to points when needed. Rope knots applying pressure are different than metal chain links. If a human were to loose their temper and jerk a chain hard, it would inflict much more pain and reaction from the horse than if the same was done with a rope halter.
I also have to disagree with the implication that mares are more "hyper" than stallions. I can promise you that my young stallion becomes very hyper in new places, BUT he listens to what I ask him to do, he is respectful, and he moves his feet where I ask. I believe it is likely that a stallion is more of a POTENTIAL hazzard in public places than a mare. I also feel that a stallion will try to test limits more. I am of course generalizing - you really must consider the individual horse rather than its sex. I have expected my horse to behave in public, and practiced skills to help me do that, and what do you know - I don't need a chain to take him places.
You are not planning to trailer with a chain on are you? I see accident and tramitized horse written all over that. Otherwise, it might be an appropriate situation to use a chain - if you already have the confidence to use it properly, and not overuse it, which seems unsure. Is is possible to go to the place of purchase an hour early, or even a few times before you move her? You could do some ground work with her ahead of time, and start building a relationship based on respect and trust. I don't think slapping a stud chain on is the best way to start a new relationship if it can be avoided. Having an arena or round pen can be helpful, but not necessary. Any somewhat flat, clear area of ground will do. It sounds like it might be worth your time and money to take a few lessons in this department to give you some cool "tools". Maybe you could even try to set up a lesson with a trainer who will come out with you before you move your new horse.
Good luck with your new relationship - I'm sure you will make a decision that works well for you and your new friend.