UhOh!!! Chain Problems. . .

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UhOh!!! Chain Problems. . .

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    09-17-2008, 05:38 PM
UhOh!!! Chain Problems. . .

Hey everyone! Ok, here's the deal this time, lol! I'm fitting my yearling filly for Halter, and didn't think there would be any problem adding a chain, since she was already very good with nose pressure. Wellll, she didn't like it at all! When she feels it, she RAISES her head, and runs backwards, snapping the chain over her nose. For some reason I tried to hold on to her the first couple of times, then started walking with her, so it wouldn't hurt her. Her nose is slightly ouchie and she has a bit of swelling, which is freaking me out. I made her set up with the chain and be good, then immediately took the freakin thing off her! I have to show in the chain, so any tips would be wonderful. I'd take a couple pics if I still had my camera, but oh well. My friend is coming over tomorrow to take some great shots of all of them, so hopefully the swelling will go down (I rubbed some linement on it). I feel like such a rotten person. I'm supposed to be decent with horses, but have never had one blow up on the chain before. It actually scared me because all she would do was go back. She didn't want her hood on yesterday night (it happened yesterday), but I went ahead and put it on because we don't want her hair growing. Any suggestions? And please don't tell me just don't use the chain. Its what you show in, in halter. Thank you!
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    09-17-2008, 05:58 PM
Don't you usually show halter with the chain under the chin?
    09-17-2008, 06:13 PM
Ya, you can show with it in the mouth, over the nose, against the top gum for stallions, and under the chin. When I was with my trainer, we started my mare and a gelding out with it over the nose, then when they were dropping their head, we switched to under the chin for the mare, but kept the gelding over the nose. I'm really not sure which would be more appropriate. I don't really know much about Halter, other than lunging and sweating to fit them out, and having more calories in their diet. That would be a question for someone who shows a lot, lol.
    09-17-2008, 08:14 PM
Some people dislike under the chin because it causes some horses to raise their heads, back, even rear if used inappropriately. However, it seems some horses like one better than the other: my colt prefers under the chin, my friend's colt from 3 years ago preferred over the nose.

So I don't know...possible try a different technique, especially since her nose will be tender for a few days.

But truly, if it were me, I'd probably go about desensitizing her with the chain before I tried it again. Work with her so you can rattle the chain all around her face and lay it and drag it across any part of her without freakouts.
    09-17-2008, 10:21 PM
Can you check the regs for halter? I don't show, but I have watched and I don't recall that everyone had a chain through the halter. Can't you just clip it on the bottom as an extension of the lead? Something sounds off, or the rules there are different than here.
    09-17-2008, 10:37 PM
Ok -- this was bugging me so I did a search. I couldn't find anywhere that for a filly in halter class you had to have a chain. I did find the texas 4-h regs which states: "Lead straps are often attached to a chain and snap. The lead strap may be snapped below the jaw in the center ring of halter,
Or the chain can be run under the horse’s chin and snapped to the upper or lower halter ring on the right side of the horse’s head
" -- which means if you choose to have a chain you can hook it up either way UNDER the halter, but not over and not in the mouth. I did find places where it is specifically stated that chains are not permitted through the mouth and curb chains must be of a certain size.
    09-18-2008, 02:53 PM
NorthernMama, In AQHA shows, you HAVE to show studs (even weanlings) with the chain under the top lip against the gums. I was always told you have to use a chain, but I'm going to ask the president of the club what the rules are. They try to stay as close to AQHA show rules as possible, but I may not have to use it.

Sara, Yes, It does seem like every horse has its own preference. I am going to desensitize her to the chain before I try it again. I actually had it on her today and she was a lot better. I set her up a couple times and then took it off to lunge her. I'm going to try under the chin after she is used to it. Thank you guys for the tips. It was helpful!
    09-18-2008, 03:02 PM
I was going to say the same thing northernmama, any halter shows I've been to the chain is attached to the lead rope or under the chin. Most are attached to the lead rope.

Valleychick, I would get a copy of the rules for your area. Why go to extremes when you don't have to.
    09-18-2008, 03:06 PM
This is from trhe AQHA rule book.


Evaluates conformation of the American Quarter Horse as a breed. Halter classes are divided by age and sex. Horses are shown with a leather halter and are traveled before the judges so that lameness and quality of movement can be evaluated. Horses are judged on balance, structural correctness, breed and sex characteristics and degree of muscling. Of these, balance is the most important.
    09-18-2008, 07:18 PM
It isn't going to the extremes, It is looking more professional. We have always used a chain and it just looks better and you can set them up better (at least I can.) I was asking help on getting her used to a chain not the whys of it. Sara helped me with that, so I'm thankful.

I actually went home and played with her. She is a lot better now. As far as the chain under the chin, for right now she needs to get used to carrying her head level with her withers. It is a little harder for her to do that with the angle her neck attaches itself to her withers, so she carries it a few inches above her withers.

I don't think the chain is extreme at all, Once a horse is trained, you barely touch the chain and they respond. It's not like I'm shanking her to death, she just over reacted because she didn't understand, and since I am not a professional trainer, I messed up and put pressure against her nose when I tried to hold her, then realized what I was doing and corrected it when I first tried the chain.

You may or may not have actually shown in competitive halter, but having to pull a horse around to set it up doesn't look nice. However, trotting it out with its head down looking nice and responsive, stopping when you stop, and setting up quickly and quietly with minimal ques looks fantastic. We all have our different opinions though, and we are all entitled to them.

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