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I just came across this article and wanted your thoughts on it. Horses for sale, horse health news, trail riding and horse chat.#

I think any halter could cause pain with enough force applied to it. When using a rope halter you use much less pressure then you would on a nylon halter, so could that really be hurting your horse??
I just got a new gelding last night and still intend to work him in a rope halter (he has horrible ground manners). I'd much rather work him in that than put a chain on him or just get dragged off by him and risk us both getting hurt.

What do you all think about rope halters, or really any type of training halter?
 

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I'm a faithful leather halter user, when I need to I will use a chain but that is rare. Sometimes if I need to give a lot of pressure I will put my hand on the under strap and give a quick pull down rather than use the indirect pressure of the lead rope. I think the problem people have with rope halters is that they can cause a lot of friction, like a rope burn. The same way that people can get their fingers hurt if they lunge with no gloves and the horse spooks, a horse could get hurt if they spook wearing the rope halter and come to the end of the lead rope. This isn't so much as pressure straight down but if the rope rubs them to the side and down there is a risk of rope burn. Also the knots would provide more pressure because they can dig into the face. My first horse and I had a session in a ground work clinic and the clinician put a rope halter on him, which my horse had never worn before. Needless to say he scared himself by attempting to pull back on the rope halter, felt the uncomfortable friction, and stopped with a nervous look. Maybe it made him listen better to the clinician, but I don't think a professional should rely on causing a horse a little pain to make them listen unless they have to. A rope halter is definitely not an object of torture, but in the wrong hands it can cause unnecessary pain.
 

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The only time I don't use a rope halter is when I trailer, in which case I'll use a leather halter. Regular halters are like big pillows on the horse's head and can actually teach the horse to lean on you. Sure you could put a chain on them, but that's getting stronger and harder, not smarter, plus it just hurts. It's forceful.

With rope halters (good quality ones) the horse can feel the slightest thing so the person ends up doing less. It's much more clear in regards to communication. So no, I don't think rope halters (except for the ones that are stiff and have 4 knots on the noseband) in and of themselves are harsh. ANY tool can be cruel in the wrong hands of course, but I won't use anything other than a rope halter :)
 

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I love rope halters...Iv NEVER seen a horse get "rope burns" wth?. Iv used nylon halters and rope halters..The horses respond better on the lunge line,ground work,being tied ect with the rope haulter... Of course you should NEVER turn a horse out in any halter unless its a break away.The picture of the horse on that page was probably left tied or caught up in a fence.How the heck could he have got those burns just from a rope halter? That could happen with any halter. And no I didn't read the article cause for one I think its a load of crap.
 

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I use rope halters and nylon halters. My stud is only in a rope halter my bf is the one for that. He had a nylon halter on and he just didn't respond with it on so mt bf put a rope halter on and the stud listens. He doesn't put a stud chain on him at all unless absolutely needed. The stud listens really well. My foals are in rope halters as well. I think that training a horse I prefer to use rope halters easier for them I think. They seem to me not to set back as much. This is JMO. I like them a lot. I have never had a horse get rope burn from a rope halter.
 

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i use rope halters, i love them. if the horses truly misbehaves, yes, they could hurt. but i love them because theres no big metal clip that blocks you from feeling what the horse is doing, even when your not looking at them :)
 

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i love rope halters & have never seen a horse get rope burn from them. i dont think they are excessively harsh or anything like that
 

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Love rope halters. Didn't read the article because I personally don't care. If you're stupid enough to leave your horse unattended and let it burn yourself, its your fault.
The whole point of a rope halter is to give you control. I use rope halters, however I rarely need to yank down hard. The pressure points are there to remind the horse if there be the need, the halter can hurt if yanked on.
I don't float my horses with a rope halter, I use a nylon one.

My horses, and especially my yearling is not very responsive to a nylon halter. Yes, he will still lead and be good but I don't think he has a feel for it. I like my horses to be used to both in case the first halter I grab in an emergency is a nylon one.
 

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lol this reminds me. I ordered 3 rope halters and the sent me 1 horse size 1 mini and 1 pony. The mini one is the cutest thing I've seen : ). I use rope halters. My mare leads better with it on. With a normal halter she'll stand there and plant her hooves (which she is becoming famous for). Rope halter, one tug and she walks.

and I agree with themacpak.
 

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always told never to use a rope halter if it didnt have a wide band of soft woven cotton on the front to stop it being too harse, and also always to knot it , where it becomes a lead rope, so fixing it so it never tightens around the horses nose. so, i'm afraid that i do think they are not kind, as they put too much pressure onto the bone and viening and nerves. but i suppose they are marginally kinder than a chain.
 

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I follow NH in a pretty generic way, and I do use a rope halter on Scout when I lunge him (CA - style Lunging for Respect). He gets heavy in his face on the circle, and sometimes gets excited and tries to make the circle bigger. With the rope halter I can give a quick, gentle bump and not be hauled aroung the perimeter of the arena. My sister accomplishes the same thing with a nylon strap halter and a stud chain. The reason for my preference of the rope? I don't have to move the chain to change directions. Eventually, I will wean him onto a "normal" halter, for sheer practicality (I use a leather strap or nylon web halter for every other aspect of horse handling, save riding).

I definitely see where the author of the article is coming from, and it definitely gives food for thought. I see the rope halter kind of like the double bridle: it offers clarity and definiteness to cues, allowing the handler to give "whisper cues." Nothing good or bad about it inherently, but like so many training tools, it is best not in the hands of a complete idiot.

ANY item, improperly used, can be a problem item. Used properly, rope halters are no more OR less dangerous than any other.
'stands up and applauds' :D
 

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I absolutely hate rope halters. They DO burn. I was stupid enough to tie my horse with one, she spooked, and started to fight. Took me less then a minute to free her, but she burned her nose and sides to blood in no time so I couldn't put any halter on for while (and that was the "milder" rope halter, without the knots on noseband). Will NEVER use again! I rather make her work to control then use the rope halter.
 

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If my horse fights so hard that it gets rope burns from the halter then it will probably learn something from it and not fight the next time. The reason that nylon or leather halters don't cause rope burns or other things on a horses face when the horse pulls back is because they break before they have a chance. I have never seen a horse break a rope halter. It is the only kind of halter that I have and I see no reason not to use them to trailer with. Just like curb bits, whips, spurs and other tools any halter can cause harm if not used properly.
 

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I absolutely hate rope halters. They DO burn. I was stupid enough to tie my horse with one, she spooked, and started to fight. Took me less then a minute to free her, but she burned her nose and sides to blood in no time so I couldn't put any halter on for while (and that was the "milder" rope halter, without the knots on noseband). Will NEVER use again! I rather make her work to control then use the rope halter.
My pony was tied in a rope halter and wrapped himself around a light pole - It cut into his head and had to be cut off him.

I still use rope halters on all my other horses.

Honestly, it is my horses fault for not giving to pressure and fixing the situation. Sure, it was horrible, but accidents happen. Horses get hung up and die in nylon.leather halters - maybe you shouldn't use a halter at all?
 

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It's all about preparation. If we can prepare the horse and teach him to give to pressure before he is ever tied, and we can teach him not to be claustrophobic, then pulling back will never be an issue.
 

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The only time I don't use a rope halter is when I trailer, in which case I'll use a leather halter. Regular halters are like big pillows on the horse's head and can actually teach the horse to lean on you. Sure you could put a chain on them, but that's getting stronger and harder, not smarter, plus it just hurts. It's forceful.

With rope halters (good quality ones) the horse can feel the slightest thing so the person ends up doing less. It's much more clear in regards to communication. So no, I don't think rope halters (except for the ones that are stiff and have 4 knots on the noseband) in and of themselves are harsh. ANY tool can be cruel in the wrong hands of course, but I won't use anything other than a rope halter :)
I agree with this statement. I use rope halters almost extensively through out initial training stages, including riding introductions. Most horses work well in them, and I have no trouble going back and forth between a flat style halter, and the rope halter. I don't tie a horse to any solid rail in a rope halter. If they are tied with one on, it's a ground tie, or a simple looped lead rope over a railing (which, obviously a horse could 'get out' of in the event of a scarey incident).

I will only use a stud chain as a last resort, as I personally believe these are way harsher than any rope halter could ever be (just think about the way a stud chain actually works; there is no real release, and the tugs can do a lot more nerve damage, especially if the horse panics, or flips his head to evade the pressure).
 

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always told never to use a rope halter if it didnt have a wide band of soft woven cotton on the front to stop it being too harse, and also always to knot it , where it becomes a lead rope, so fixing it so it never tightens around the horses nose. so, i'm afraid that i do think they are not kind, as they put too much pressure onto the bone and viening and nerves. but i suppose they are marginally kinder than a chain.
You may be thinking about some other style halter; perhaps Monty Robert's training halter? Rope halters DO NOT tighten around the nose...
 
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