Would your horse be safe if there was a fire?
If there was a fire, would you have the tack necessary to safely get your horses out of harms way? Think about it.... Unless your halters are made of leather, wool, or another natural fiber, then they will melt in heat. All of your nylon and polyester halters (yes, that most likely includes your rope halters) and lead ropes would be incredibly dangerous in a fire. And even your leather halters will have metal hardware that quickly heats up and burns. Are you prepared?
I'd never considered this before, but it seems obvious that every horse and other livestock owner needs a fire-safe halter, or many! I've seen cotton leads commonly sold, but never a fire-safe halter that won't injure your horse's face. So, I'm going to offer fire-safe emergency rope halters made of 100% natural mohair that are hardware-free. I do have a variety of colors available. I can even add low-cost leather identification tags for you to write your contact information on in permanent ink.
Why mohair? Mohair rope is stronger than a piece of steel of the same diameter. And it's soft and safe for your horse's face. Wool and cotton have nothing on the strength and versatility of mohair, which is why it's so popular for cinches. Since it's so strong but still soft, it's the only type of rope that I found to be suitable for an emergency halter.
PM me if you're interested :)
This sound good but for me a fire system is better and I would just let the horses out of the barn
Do you have any studies showing that Mohair is more fire resistant than other materials? I'd think that MoHAIR would be quite flammable...
The barn isn't the issue in our area - it's wildfires. Many people have had to evacuate (last year was one of the worst years), and there aren't a lot of resources for people who need to evacuate with their horses. When there's a wildfire, letting horses out simply isn't going to save them, and turning horses loose is a last-resort option that likely won't end well. (If you do have to, by the way, then remove all their tack so they won't get caught on anything and write your phone number on their hoof in permanent ink)
As for fire resistance, mohair is extremely fire resistant as it is a natural animal product and protein fiber. Just do a quick google search on "mohair" and "flame resistance". Or, here is what immediately came up when I did it, among countless other links:
..:: Mohair USA ::..
Its a halter not a full body suit. If the flame is close enough to melt the nylon, gonna be doing the same thing to the skin. I doubt the horse is just gonna stand there while his nylon halter melts. If it is a forest fire coming, you either have a trailer to load and evacuate or you dont, halter and lead rope material isnt really gonna change much.
I beg to differ, having seen the effects of the forest fires here in Idaho over the last summers. Either way, this advice came from someone whose job is to help with these types situations, and I simply saw a void that horse owners should have filled.
While a barn fire may (or may not!) be somewhat contained, a forest fire can travel hundreds of yards in a few minutes. It may be very near before you can adequately get your horses to safety. In these situations, it is very hot - and the nylon and other synthetic fibers can melt. I'm not making this up and there are cases of this happening because of synthetic materials. Speaking of which, many people think they should put a blanket or fly net on to protect the horse from embers or smoke - and it ends up melting onto them.
A fire safe halter? How long do you think you are going to have to get a horse out? Halter melting from heat is the least of your concerns in a fire.
By the time halter would melt? You and horse would be dead from smoke inhalation.
ANY thing that delays you getting a horse outside, means you and the horse will likely die in the barn. Blanket, having to go get halters if not outside stall door, or getting lost in smoke. You will die. If you are lucky? You will be dead from smoke inhalation long before the flames devour your body.
Halter of any type will do trick, get horses outside, secured behind fence or tied to fence and go get another one.
Shooing horses out of burning barn will not work, they will go right back into a burning barn to die in the "safety" of their stalls.
The way my place is set up I could put them in one or several pastures that don't have barn access so in my case I don't think I would bother putting halters on, lead rope around the neck would be fast & enough to move them quickly. I have thought about having simple leather neck collars made for the same purpose, with ID tags with my info on them.
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Reading this thread makes me so glad that mine live out 24/7.
This is a great subject, if it can stay peaceful:D
Everyone has to evaluate their own barn situations and pray they can get done what needs to be done in the few minutes they may have.
For my horses it would be a barn fire. Mr. WTW will be opening the paddock gate into the pasture, while I hopefully with a wet towel wrapped around my hand (there's heat even if the flames aren't close), will be unlatching stalls and pushing everyone out of the barn.
I don't halter my horses and, in my situation, I would not be wasting that precious time. That's what buggy whips are for --- get OUT that door NOW!:-P
I am the Alpha when I'm in the barn and I would be hoping my Alpha horse wouldn't try to trump me during a barn evacuation.
Anyone that boards and everyone that needs to worry about forest fires, needs to make sure their horse can load quickly.
When I lived in SoCal, fast moving fires were always a threat. I saw fires started just from a spark from lawnmower blades.
Fires can change direction literally in the blink of an eye and be right on top of you.
I did loading drills, periodically, with my horses. When I said "hurry hurry, get up in there", they better hurry. My truck was never un-hooked from the trailer and it was always aimed at the back gate that I kept locked. I could easily have crashed the gate if I needed to.
There was one occasion of a forest/land fire down near San Diego, where the horses that refused to load got cut loose to fend for themselves; there was no time to play games with the fire bearing down on the boarding barn.
I don't know the outcome for all those loose horses but, some were recovered with little harm to them, others suffered a lot of injury.
Living out there, I never fretted over earthquakes (went thru two good shakers in five years) but the thought of fires and not having an escape route to get my animals to safety was very unsettling.
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