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While I am a big fan of rope halters (and that's all I use), when I haul my horses in the trailer I always use breakaway halters, just in case we'd get into an accident. I have a slant load so I always tie them with a quick-release trailer tie, but in case we would get into an accident, I don't want them to hang there if something were to happen.

I'm pretty sure these are the ones I have, since they are the Weaver brand.

Weaver Original Breakaway Adj Halter w/Snap - Horse.com

(For the record, these halters are HUGE! I had to drill a bunch more holes in the leather piece, and in the nylon that adjusts for the nose.)

A couple weekends ago, we made a pit stop at my parent's farm to unload my mom's horse. I unloaded my two guys in the meantime to give them a little break. I did the stupid thing of tying Red super long so that he could eat some grass. It had been a long weekend and I was trying to be thoughtful. Of course, he got the leadrope underneath the back hinge of the trailer door and then tried to put his head up. (serves me right for tying him long) I was standing right there, but even before I could get his panic snap opened (all my lead ropes have panic snaps), it gave away and freed him. He broke the snap but that is fine in my mind.

(***for the record, he does not pull when tied. He ties great. I think it was the fact that his head was "trapped" so very low to the ground that worried him.)

But for however many seconds he was pulling ..... obviously the snap broke .... but NOT his breakaway halter.

And he was pulling hard.

Now I'm wondering if I should drill extra holes in the leather of the breakaway halter to "weaken" it so it would be more prone to break?

Because really, it probably should have broken in this instance.


Any experience with breakaway halters NOT breaking???
 
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I never used breakaway halters, but I do know that snaps are usually weak and I'm not surprised at all that it was the first thing to break.
 

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I've never had experience with breakaways not breaking as mine have always broken in an emergency.

Though I have learned when teaching a horse to tie not to tie metal to metal (clip to ring) because the clip always broke. For some reason it makes a weak connection.

One way, if you'd want to weaken the leather piece, would be to soak it in water then leave it out in the sun to dry for a day or two. You're essentially drying out the leather and "weakening" it.

I'm so sorry that happened to you. Don't feel bad we've all, whether we choose to admit it or not, done "nice" things for our horses that have backfired =P
 

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A breakaway will not break if the angle is wrong, and the pulling is not straight against it.
 

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I second what Palomine said. If the lead was caught low to the ground he would have been pulling more up, evening out a lot of the pressure along the entire strap, whereas a normal untangled set back has more of an angle on the leather.

Also, sometimes things we expect to work actually fail, tis life. Glad everyones okay.
 
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I've never had experience with breakaways not breaking as mine have always broken in an emergency.

Though I have learned when teaching a horse to tie not to tie metal to metal (clip to ring) because the clip always broke. For some reason it makes a weak connection.

One way, if you'd want to weaken the leather piece, would be to soak it in water then leave it out in the sun to dry for a day or two. You're essentially drying out the leather and "weakening" it.

I'm so sorry that happened to you. Don't feel bad we've all, whether we choose to admit it or not, done "nice" things for our horses that have backfired =P


I, too, admit to doing dumb things with the horse in my wish to be "nice" to them. silly human!
 

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Rather than put the buckle tongue thro the hole, I run the strap thro the bottom half of the buckle so it lies flat then run a piece of string thro a hole and the top of the buckle. The string will break and the halter will fall off.
 

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I never did really understand the point of the "breakaway" halters that were all nylon except for the crown. As Palomine said, if the angle is wrong, the crown won't break.

If a breakaway halter is a necessity, I prefer a simple, cheap, single ply entirely leather halter. Unfortunately, a single ply halter is virtually impossible to find these days.
 

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Had the same exact halter not break...I complained to the company via email and never got a reply. My horse was injured as a result.
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Not all products are created equal. Some breakaway halters break better than others, however a leather halter will always break, especially as Smrobs said, the el cheapo ones.
 

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You were using two safety items designed to break/release in an emergency situation: the halter and the panic snap. When you have multiple points of potential breakage, one is usually going to give before the other. Perhaps the angle on the halter wasn't right to create the required force to break the leather as others said, or perhaps the snap just has a lower breaking point.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
If a breakaway halter is a necessity, I prefer a simple, cheap, single ply entirely leather halter. Unfortunately, a single ply halter is virtually impossible to find these days.
It's not an absolute necessity, but I do like the safety feature if I'd ever get into an accident while towing the horses.


Any recommendations on a BETTER breakaway halter then?
 

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Being me and not being able to find anything I think looks breakable enough online, I'd probably just take some old leather and make my own.

Probably those little $15 leather halters that you can find on horse.com and chicks are cheap enough quality that they would break easily enough.
 

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That's pretty concerning to me! I hope you find a good breakable halter (this sounds counter-productive hehe), I use breakaways when trailering too and I remember my trainer got into an accident when towing horses (car skidded into her lane) and the trailer fell onto the safety rail (highway)....the horses were all over the place in the trailer and one of the halters didn't break, so the poor mare was on her side struggling and screaming D:
Hopefully you can find a good (or bad?) quality halter that'll do it's job. I'd hate to hear from someone here about their horse getting injured due to bad headgear :(
 

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I don't trust breakaways at all, partly because they don't seem to work so well, and partly because they need a lot of pressure to break - and I want it to break way before that.

What I do though is have cheap carabiner type clips that i have between my leads and halters. I know they break pretty easily, they seem to take maybe 50kg or so worth of pull, then literally bend open.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I wonder what the weight rating is on the panic snaps?

As in your example, where a trailer got tipped on its side and a horse is struggling against it. Would the panic snap give?
 
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