The Rope Halter Hippie Club :P
A thread for all those who ride regularly (or maybe exclusively) in rope halters. Unite! :lol:
This thread was prompted by several comments I have recieved in the past few months. "Why?"; "Aren't you worried she's going to run off with you?"; "How do you control that horse with just a halter?"; "You compete like that?"; and the best of all -- "Are you one of those natural horsemanship nutjobs?" XDD
It's practically a conversation piece! :lol:
Anyway, I like my rope halter. For no other reason than that my horse likes it. And whatever works works.
I do sometimes ride my horse in a halter. I must say, he does as good as if he was in a bridle!
I don't know where people get off thinking rope halters are mild. They probably give better control than many bitless bridles.
I only ride in a rope halter with lead rope tied into reins. 99% of my riding is tricky remote backcountry areas and I trust my horses completely to keep us safe. I don't even own a bridle or other type of hackamore. Sure, I've gotten the same comments on the rare occasions I have done group type events, but it is usually in surprise at how calm and well mannered my horses are while being ridden.
I don't know why people think rope halters are always nice either. :shock: Just because it isn't a bit doesn't mean it can't cause damage. They also can hurt and confuse if you try to ride them just like you would a bit. And obviously, if you have bad hands.
I do endurance in my rope halter, though all sorts of tricky places! I trust my horse to keep us safe; she doesn't need much guidance or "control".
I think the ones with extra knots are severe, too. I like my parelli halter as it is made with the softest rope and only has the knots on each side.
I find that enduro riders are the most understanding of the groups I have ridden with. I did a large multi-day event in Moab, Utah (150 or so riders) and didn't get one single negative comment. Half of the riders there had bitless, hackamores, halters, or some sort of combo bridle. It was a rare thing to worry riding near any of those horses. However, when I briefly lived in Florida, I had to get permission to go foxhunting (informal) with my halter. I got so many bad looks and comments, but I spent the entire time trying to stay out of the way of other people's out of control horses that were all sorts of tied down/bitted up, etc. Go figure.
I've got a rather soft "Parelli" type rope halter (with two knots), but I am aware that it can be as harsh as any bit in the wrong hands. I used to ride in it all the time, but now I leave it for trail rides and groundwork, and do our schooling in a S hackamore for more refined cues. However, a rope halter certainly has its' advantages and I like keeping it as a tool.
With most endurance riders, if it works for you, or works for them. They don't have a problem with what you ride in or how you ride as long as you stay safe and don't endanger anyone else. I love that. :D
Most people who give me trouble about my halter are my hunter friends and various weekend trail riders I meet when I go to group rides at our saddle clubs. Most of their horses are bitted up like crazy. But it's rude to challenge that. :lol:
I ride in a moderately stiff rope halter, but it only has two knots. I don't trust myself with four knots.
Ditto, Brighteyes. I don't even own a nylon halter with a buckle and haven't in years. Rope halters are just so much more simple - I like that I can see my horse's head and that it isn't weighed down with a bunch of straps. I like the endurance bridles that are built along the same lines (narrow straps, no browband) when I do use a bridle (biothane (((whispers quietly)))) LOL! I think endurance is the only place where you can mention biothane and rope halters in the same sentence without getting immediately tagged as a crazy horse person...
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