To halter, or not to halter? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 21
• Horses: 0
To halter, or not to halter?

If you have your horse out a lot, should you keep his halter on if he's hard to catch, or should you take it off? I've heard bad stories of horses hurting themselves, but he's just about impossible to catch without it. Should I take that risk, or let him halter less?
Michaela W
17mwallingford is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Missouri
Posts: 41
• Horses: 0
I would never leave one on mine. I have seen themm get it caught and when that happens it is not a good thing
Cincinnati is offline  
post #3 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 03:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 84
• Horses: 0
That has always been a back and forth question and everyone will have different opinions on the matter. You can always get him a breakaway halter which will come right off if he gets it caught on something, instead of hanging him up.
Secondly, I would work with him on being caught instead of running away from you. Carry the halter around with you whenever you are around him so that it becomes a natural thing for him to see. Than, if you go out to catch him (give yourself some time, don't rush it), advance and retreat. See how close he lets you get, even if it is just a couple of feet. Talk to him, hum, sing, whistle, whatever to keep his focus on you, but avoid eye contact as he is a prey animal and only predators make eye contact. If his body language tells you he is going to flee, than stop and take a step back. Do that one step at a time, back and forth, until he lets you near him. When he does, pet him and than walk away, don't even try to halter him at that point. This is just showing him that he doesn't have to run away from you.
A few minutes later, go back out and start it all over again. It might go faster, it might go slower, it might go the same, but either way, take your time and be patient. This time, slip his halter on, but put the rope around his neck first so that he doesn't bolt. You might have to do this several times, but it will be worth it in the end when you have a horse who comes to you instead of running away. Good luck!
Horsegal16 is offline  
post #4 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 03:26 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,231
• Horses: 7
I do not keep halters on my horses, but they are easy to catch because I have taught them to be.

A year ago I got an un-handled mustang mare who did not have a halter on her, we drove her up into the trailer brought her home and it took two weeks for me to get a halter on her. Once it was on I left it on and kept a 6ft lead rope attached to it until I could confidently catch her. During that time I kept her in my round pen minimizing her chances of getting caught up in something.

I suggest keep the halter on and teach your horse to be caught, while you have it on him minimize the risk of him getting caught on something and maybe use one of those break away crown pieces that will break if he does get caught.

Personally I refuse to allow a horse to avoid being caught. I have the opposite problem they all meet me at their gates and I feel bad if I don't stop and pet them all on my way by. There are lots of threads on here with information on how to teach your horse to be caught and come to you.
Yogiwick likes this.
gssw5 is offline  
post #5 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 05:44 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 385
• Horses: 3
I never leave a halter on mine when pastured, they're too easy to catch. Most of the time they meet me at the gate. When they see me with a halter they know they're going to the fields that they keep looking at on the other side of their fence. I always walk them there and let them graze for about 30 minutes before I groom and saddle them up.

But when riding at my friends house, I leave a halter on them while they run around with the other horses for about an hour before we go for our ride.
dlady is offline  
post #6 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 258
• Horses: 1
I've been to barns where they keep the halters on and barns where they always take them off.

Personally, I would always take the halter off unless it was a day where I knew there would be a lot of back and forth. The mare that I was leasing used to have her halter on all day unless it was raining since it was a leather halter, and it rubbed and opened sores behind her ear where it was resting. I just don't see a point.

Sure, I guess it makes life easier if your horse is hard to catch, but that's just a bandaid solution to me to be totally honest. There's no real reason to have a halter on 24/7.

"If you act like you've only got fifteen minutes, it will take all day. Act like you've got all day, it will take fifteen minutes."
-Monty Roberts
Alexandra V is offline  
post #7 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 07:22 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 4,611
• Horses: 5
This is why you don't leave a halter on. The horse got caught up on the fence while turned out.

I have seen a horse try to take the fence with them when they got stuck. My bf had to cut the halter off the filly before she broke something (or herself)

They can get legs stuck in them as well and then you have a leg injury on top of it. IF you really need to, buy a turnout halter, and replace the crown strap with leather (i would say thinn crap leather so in an emergency it will brake better).
beau159 likes this.
KigerQueen is offline  
post #8 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 08:01 PM
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Carousel Capital
Posts: 1,525
• Horses: 1
The first barn that I started riding at always left the halters on the horses but they have had many accidents which involved said halters to become caught on posts and therefore, injuring the horses.

When I changed barns the horses are (usually), put out without their halters on.

However, everyone has a different opinion on this matter.
Wild Heart is offline  
post #9 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 08:07 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 5,286
• Horses: 1
Originally Posted by gssw5 View Post
A year ago I got an un-handled mustang mare who did not have a halter on her, we drove her up into the trailer brought her home and it took two weeks for me to get a halter on her. Once it was on I left it on and kept a 6ft lead rope attached to it until I could confidently catch her. During that time I kept her in my round pen minimizing her chances of getting caught up in something.
My BO's granddaughter did a yearling mustang program and did the same thing. The yearling mustangs came pre-haltered and the participants were required to have a small area (approximately typical round pen sized) for them to be kept in initially. This is about the only situation I'd consider leaving a halter on 24/7, with daily training sessions until you're able to confidently catch and re-halter the horse. I'd be very hesitant to turn out a horse that couldn't be easily caught in a large area, with or without a halter. You can't do much training if you can't get near them!
verona1016 is offline  
post #10 of 33 Old 01-27-2014, 08:15 PM
Super Moderator
Join Date: May 2012
Location: CT USA an English transplant
Posts: 24,896
• Horses: 3
Its easy for me to say never turn out in a halter because all my horses are good to catch. If I buy a new horse and don't know what its going to be like it does go on a small paddock to start with in a leather halter or a breakaway halter with a short length of bailer twine hanging from it. I would never turn a horse out in a rope halter and any horse turned out in a halter - even a breakaway one should have supervision 'just in case'
jaydee is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
72" Schneider Flysheet, Arabian Show Halter, Pink Cob Halter USA Curly_Horse_CMT Tack and Equipment Classifieds 1 11-05-2013 02:03 PM
Rope halter vs. Flat halter for training. dixieray53 Horse Training 30 10-08-2012 09:10 AM
How do you get a halter horse back into halter shape?? shermanismybaby3006 Horse Training 9 03-06-2012 12:08 AM
Dressage Bridle, 74" Scrim, Leather Cob Halter, Sleazy, Tail Bag, Rope Halter FS Curly_Horse_CMT Tack and Equipment Classifieds 11 02-08-2012 09:49 AM
Synthetic halter? Showing in a nylon halter? rocky pony Horse Tack and Equipment 14 01-15-2012 01:16 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome