Halters on horses in the pasture? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-10-2017, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Halters on horses in the pasture?

What are the down falls and positives of turning on your horse with halters on? I would NEVER do that! I would be a wreck, trying to watch my horses to make sure they didn't get stuck.. I'm just wondering why someone would? My neighbors have one horse, and it has a halter on 24/7.. I've never seen him without it.
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-10-2017, 10:59 PM
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I'd guess your neighbor needs the halter left on because they think it gives them a better chance of catching the horse. About the time the horse jerks back and takes one of their rotator cups with it, they will learn to catch the horse the right way------without a halter:)


The ONLY time I used to halter my horses was those times when we were seriously under the gun with a tornado warning. I had their ID information in a sandwich bag tightly taped to the halter. I also spray painted my cell phone number across their barrels in case the halter so came off.

I am down to two horses in their early 20's. If we start getting hail, they head for the barn and don't come out.

Otherwise I have never altered a horse for turnout. Mine are on my property ----- if I can't catch them, I have left a gaping hole in their training:(
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-10-2017, 11:20 PM
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I never left a halter on my horse ever, even breakaway halters. I always took them off before I turned my horses out.

We don't get things like hurricanes or tornadoes here (well, mini tornadoes but not really anything that causes damage) but we do get insane wildfires. I would probably only put a breakaway halter on my horse if I was expecting an evacuation order and I wanted to have the horse ready to go but at the point I would probably already have the horse loaded into a trailer, too.

I have seen the new ICE mane attachments that seem pretty cool and are supposed to stay on well and are a good alternative to attaching things to a halter that may get pulled off.

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post #4 of 29 Old 07-10-2017, 11:41 PM
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Halters left on during turnout is a matter of preference....
Sometimes it is also because no one ever spoke to or with owners or barn help, explaining the risks to the horse left with a halter during turnout regardless of how "safe" you think your property or barn is.
That said...
If your neighbor is using a break-away style halter or a leather halter it gives the horse a chance to break free if they get caught in something.
Under no circumstance should nylon ever be used on a horse and the horse left unattended for any length of time, never.

I personally have seen a horse near hang and die when he caught his halter on the gate, fought, fell, twisting the halter tighter and tighter and was suffocating...
That horse was 10' from the barn with 4 people inside grooming horses on the aisle.
No one heard any commotion or struggle.
I cut the horse free requiring vet care and stitches but saved the horse.
The horses owner put the horse out and left his halter on... horse was not out there for more than 5 minutes when this occurred.
That left a memory never forgotten.
I will never use nylon and leave my horse for one second knowing how unbreakable nylon is.

I do not turnout my horses with halters on.
My horses come in when called so they are not needed.
I can also walk out and halter any of my horses as needed when needed...
....

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 29 Old 07-10-2017, 11:50 PM Thread Starter
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I feel like break away halters a bit safer. But the halter my neighbor uses is a thick, washable nylon halter that probably wouldn't break with a 3,000 pound weight on it.. I was thinking about asking my neighbor about what the purpose of the halter is, when the horse is sitting in the pasture, but I don't want to be rude. Though I want him to be aware of the danger it may cause.
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-10-2017, 11:55 PM Thread Starter
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I am seriously concerned about the horse. But my neighbor is very nice, and I would not want to tell him off. He has been doing this for 50 years without any issues. Though his horse could easily get stuck tomorrow, even if it hasn't happened yet.
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post #7 of 29 Old 07-11-2017, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k9kenai View Post
I never left a halter on my horse ever, even breakaway halters. I always took them off before I turned my horses out.

We don't get things like hurricanes or tornadoes here (well, mini tornadoes but not really anything that causes damage) but we do get insane wildfires. I would probably only put a breakaway halter on my horse if I was expecting an evacuation order and I wanted to have the horse ready to go but at the point I would probably already have the horse loaded into a trailer, too.

I have seen the new ICE mane attachments that seem pretty cool and are supposed to stay on well and are a good alternative to attaching things to a halter that may get pulled off.
Since you brought it up... if you ever have to turn your horse loose during a fire, avoid nylon halters. If they are close enough to the heat it can melt to their face.
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-11-2017, 01:36 AM
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My barn leaves halters on. It was a conscious decision on the BO's part.

Before I carry on, let me just say that I live in a very non-horsey country and this is the absolute best I can do with accommodation. I looked around very hard and this is the only barn with turnout within 50 km. Most of them keep horses on ties, never mind giving them stalls and turnout. So it's a take it or leave it situation.

Anyhow, the barn is in an urban setting surrounded with busy roads. Litteraly surrounded on three sides. The BO's logic is that, should the horses somehow get out, we have to be able to catch them quickly. The BO's logic is that he is willing to risk a horse killing itself in the field in order to minimize the chance of a person dying because they didn't expect a horse jumping out in front of their car on a fast, urban road. And I have to say it does make sense.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-11-2017, 07:21 AM
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...............................^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^...........................

So in regards to the above.....

If your barn is mandatory in halters being left on...
Do they allow breakaway or leather halter to reduce the chance of injury when turned out if the animal gets caught or into something they should not of...
Sounds more to me that you already have what is safest and just try to keep the peace with the B/O.

For a non-horsey community I don't see many even attempting to grab and stop a loose horse, just watch as it goes by.
"I didn't know there were horse in the area" scenario...
I get the B/O idea of easy catch if a loose horse, I do...
The car part thinking rationale is a no-go for me. Horses don't usually fare to well if hit by a car...hopefully the fences are very strong and very high to safeguard our 4-legged friends.
....

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #10 of 29 Old 07-11-2017, 09:34 AM
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I know of two situations where a horse has died because of halters being left on. One was in pasture: One horse got its leg caught in the halter of another horse and broke the other horse's neck. This was the stable where I boarded my first horse and we were never allowed to turn out with halters.
Second was in a stall. A friend and I were at a local fair and she was looking for someone she knew who was supposed to have horses at that fair. He never showed. Turned out that one of his fillies caught her halter on a nail outside the stall and broke her neck struggling to get free.
I have NEVER turned out a horse with a halter except with a grazing muzzle and then I made sure it was breakaway.
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