Why Rope Halters?

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Why Rope Halters?

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    07-28-2009, 09:37 PM
Why Rope Halters?

Why does Clinton Anderson and Pat Parelli use rope halters for their training?

Also why does people use them for lunging?

Last question... always a mystery...

How do you adjust the knots and where are they suppost to go to fit properly?
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    07-28-2009, 09:55 PM
Super Moderator
Rope halters seem to make certain horses a little easier to work with since the horse can't just lean into the halter like they can with a nylon one. I'd bet that's probably why and it probably also has something to do with how rope halters look different than normal halters so they can be kinda a special NH thing (even though more and more non-NH people are using them.)

They probably used them for lunging for similar reasons. I personally would never use them for lunging my horse because she's start rearing if I yank on it too hard and she's running or something so it's just easier and safer for me to switch to a nylon one for lunging.

I'm not sure how to adjust store bought ones, I know with homemade ones you can just loosen the knots and move them around... I try to keep mine adjusted so that the nose band closer to the cheek bone than the nose but not on the cheek bone, if you know what I mean?
    07-28-2009, 10:16 PM
Green Broke
I used a rope halter before I got into parelli because Chance was bolting and dragging me every where the first time she tried it with the rope halter she never did it again xD Then I found parelli but

It adds pressure to the pressure point which I guess it takes less for the human to get the message across that Doing that is going to be uncomfortable.

Theres also less material for the horse to lean on.
    07-28-2009, 10:26 PM
Green Broke
Rope halters bring more responsiveness than a canvas or leather halter because they have a "bite" to them where the others allow for a LOT of pulling/leaning against. A lot of old schoolers also use them simply because that is the "original" halter - one you could literally make on the spot if/when needed.
    07-28-2009, 10:38 PM
Green Broke
The knots are specifically placed to work off the pressure points on a horses face. I don't do natural horsemanship persay, but I have one for my 2 year old filly because she was borderline unmanageable with a regular halter. I think it's a MUCH better alternative then using a chain, and works just as well (maybe not on a stallion, or even an amped up rowdy racehorse, but for the general population).

As for lunging, I wouldn't personally lunge with a rope halter unless my horse was well trained to lunge. I could see the pressure points confusing a young horse, and have them not understand what you're asking because they're pulling the lunge line taut.
    07-28-2009, 10:43 PM
Rope halters are more clear than nylon or leather halters. A horse can lean on you all day with a regular halter on, it's like a pillow on his head, but he can't lean on a rope halter for long before it's uncomfortable. Not painful, just uncomfortable. A rope halter is light when the horse is right but he can feel it when he shows opposition. In a regular halter, the horse has no "release" from the bulkiness, so there is no clear release. Regular halters are not good tools for making horses light. The only time I use a leather halter is when I trailer, but for everything else I use a rope halter.
    07-28-2009, 11:47 PM
Originally Posted by Velvetgrace    
Why does Clinton Anderson and Pat Parelli use rope halters for their training?
Clinton Anderson uses a halter with four knots .. two knots over the nose for "more bite".... I don't use these types, I don't think it's necessary, haven't had the need to and I've retrained bolting and rearing and all that with a regular halter (flat web) and a rope halter that just has the two knots on the sides (which really don't do much except hold the halter together)

I use the halter that's more like Parelli's. Plain and simple.

Also why does people use them for lunging?
Why not? The horse doesn't care what you use, he cares about how you use it. I lunge horses all the time with rope halters and it works out great. I do the "lunging for respect" that CA does....sending (shoulder moves away) and stopping (by way of disengaging the hip). You can teach roll backs and all the gaits and teach a horse not to pull againt you (hip disengagements are the key)

You can get a horse so light that he doesn't pull....he keeps his nose tipped in toward you and moves accordingly with just a simple light opening or closing of your hand on the lead rope.

Last question... always a mystery...

How do you adjust the knots and where are they suppost to go to fit properly?
The knots aren't supposed to be pressure points. Simply adjust the halter so the nose part doesn't block the airway and the halter fits properly behind the jaw, not hanging too loose. That's it.

I like rope halters because they are handy. They're light. You can leave em under the bridle for tying or leading him if you need to keep the bridle on.

I have trained using the web halters (flat) and you can get the same result, but just like anything, a little help (lighter and more direct contact...in other words,...the horse has nothing to lean against) with the rope halter does give you an edge....but again, it's not necessary. But it is nice.
    07-30-2009, 04:48 PM
I live by rope halters anymore. My horses are awsome with them. Not that my horses are bad but I like that if I tie them up with them they are not going anywhere. My 6 year old Paint gelding used to break everything. I went through countless leather and even 3 ply nylon halters... He learned that if he pulled hard enough they would snap and that's what he did every time... I bought a rope halter and tied him to a tree with it and he went to town pulling and rearing trying to break it... Needless to say it did not break and I can tie him anywhere without pulling. I use them on my 3 year old and he walks and ties like a dream. They are not harsh or mean by any means... And if fashion is your thing they come in every color and design.
    07-30-2009, 05:01 PM
Yep, yep. The only thing not mentioned is that if you tie and something happens (like your horse spooks), there is no hardware to break and let your horse loose. Rope halters are ton's stronger and generally a horse will stop fighting before they break something. Nylon halters with the buckles, all it takes is one firm jerk from a horse and the tongue of the buckle breaks, then you have a loose panicked horse.
    07-30-2009, 05:02 PM
The knots in the rope halters hit pressure points I believe. Makes the horses listen faster.

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