For Sale

Forums

Photos

Politics
 
The Great Debate: Rope Halters vs Flat Halters
 By ImaCoolCowgirl   •   8th Apr 2012   •   4,129 views   •   21 comments
Rope Halters vs Flat HaltersI love writing articles on controversial methods in the horse world, not to start arguments, but to make people think about what they are doing and why they are doing it. To start my series I wrote an article on Slant Load vs. Straight Load trailers quite a few months ago; the second installment is a two part article on Rope Halters.

In this article I will compare and contrast rope halters with flat halters. When I say flat I refer to flat 1in to 2in thick made of either leather or nylon. To start us off take the poll strap of a flat halter an pull it across the back of your neck, then take the poll strap of a rope halter and do the same. Can you feel the difference? Keep in mind that the poll is a sensitive part of the horse and that they feel everything much differently than we do.

Pressure


Flat Halter
Pressure applied to a horse’s head with a nylon or leather halter is rather dull and annoying to the horse but not really effective, but also safe and less likely to do physical damage to a horse.

Rope Halter
Pressure applied to a horse’s head with a rope halter can be severe in the wrong hands or effective in the right hands. The rope halter can localize pressure in different places on a horse’s face giving a clearer more distinct signal to the horse or a harsh painful signal causing fear and discomfort.

Looks & Style


Flat Halter
Nylon can be made in so many different colors and styles, and leather can be blinged out and spiffed up.

Rope Halter
Although rope comes in many different colors there are few ways to add bling or decoration without compromising the usefulness and effectiveness of a rope halter. Perhaps that is why people do like the look of them so much, because of their simplicity.

Ease of Use


Flat Halter
Often times flat halters are secured with a simple buckle or snap, making them easy to get on a fussy horse. However, you have to be conscious of the size of your horses head to get one that isn’t uncomfortable for your horse.

Rope Halter
With rope halters you have to learn how to tie a correct knot and learn how to do it quickly if you have a fussy horse. You can add snaps to make it easier but it then compromises both the look and the effectiveness of the halter.

Tying


Flat Halter
Tying a horse in a flat halter is comfortable for the horse. There is relatively no pressure placed on horse’s head unless the horse pulls relatively hard and puts pressure on it. Even then it’s still dull and relatively un harmful.

Rope Halter
Tying a horse in a rope halter is not ideal, because even with just a slight amount of pressure on the rope the horse feels a great deal of pressure on its head. Also any constant pressure on a horse can cause the horse to become desensitized, making the rope halter a very ineffective tool for the very reason people say it works so well. Short sessions tied in a rope halter can improve and retrain what people call “pullers”, horses that pull on their halter or tie until something snaps. Tying a “puller” long term in a rope halter simply masks the symptoms instead of fixing the problems. Never leave a horse unattended and tied in a rope halter. Should a predator or something spook the horse it could freak out past the point of any pressure on the halter calming it down, more than likely the pressure will cause the horse to freak out more until either the halter breaks or the horse does.

Trailering


Flat Halter
You can leave a horse tied long term in a flat halter with little to no side effects. It is also quite easy to add padding and head protection for trailering. Also they come in quick release form in case of an accident.

Rope Halter
Any time the horse moves its head pressure is applied, and the constant vibration of the knots on the horse’s face can desensitize the horse to the pressure. They rarely, if ever, break; your horse or trailer is likely to break first.

Lunging


Flat Halter
Depending on how you lunge you may need to stop and re attach your lunge line as you switch directions. Often times horses will pull, brace, or balance themselves off you as you hold the other end of the lunge.

Rope Halter
As long as you clip to the single loop under the chin you never have to stop as you switch directions. Horse will be less likely to pull, brace or balance themselves off you in a rope halter because the more they pull the more uncomfortable it is for them. I lunged my one gelding in a rope halter twice then switched back to flat and he hasn’t pulled since.

Remember, what is best for your horse is not always what is “cool” in the horse world. Don’t get caught up in the new trends or temporary fads. Do research and make your own decisions about things. Just because your trainer tells you so, doesn’t mean it is. In my next article we will get more in depth on what a rope halter is, how it works, how to use it, and my own opinion on rope halters. If you know of any other controversial horse topics that you’d like to see written about drop me a line and I’ll see what kind of research I can find and if it’s enough to put together an article.

If your interested in more info message me and I can share the sites where I got a lot of my information.

Happy Trails!
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Halter,
Horse News More In This Category:  General      Horse News More From This Author:  ImaCoolCowgirl
Southern Devil  
Love it girlie!!! I must say, I love a good rope halter, but I've heard that you can also hang a horse if you don't tie them right.... My horse Sully sometimes pulls back on the trailer, everyone tells me to tie him with a rope halter. And I'm like "Lemme think about that.. Yeaa- no!" Lol, they're GREAT for working with weanlings! But I ALWAYS tie my horses with a flat nylon halter. If I tie with a rope halter, then I loop it through, I NEVER tie with one. I'd rather not go with the flow than lose my best horse! Very informative article! You're gifted at writing!!!!
  Apr 8, 2012  •  2,273 views
 
Makaela Marie  
Great article!
Personally, I tend to use flat halters, but I have used rope halters before.
  Apr 8, 2012  •  1,881 views
 
Madeirey  
Great article! :D I have a rope halter that I use for grooming sometimes. It's just 10x easier to move it a little to trim the bridle path and brush the face. :)
  Apr 8, 2012  •  2,169 views
 
Starlight Farm  
Personally I say flat halter - they're easier to use, you don't have to worry about pulling on them so much, if you need a clearer signal you can attack a chain shank, and they're easy to lunge in (your horse shouldn't pull anyway). But I understand that some people prefer rope halters.
  Apr 8, 2012  •  2,294 views
 
Emmurr  
Quite a good article, however it was very biased towards flat halter which kind of ruined it for me. Although very well written, and you managed to cover a variety of area in very few words. I look forward to reading the rest of the articles to come :)
  Apr 8, 2012  •  2,302 views
 
IggyPogo  
I personally find two reasons to prefer rope halters: They don't break as easily (which can be a con in certain situations) and they are great to use when riding, whether the halter is under a bridle or actually being used and attached to a lead line when riding. We always always use a flat halter when trailering, though, and tying up the horses for long periods of time. The flat halter's pros definitely outweigh the rope halter's, but I've always preferred the rope's looks (I'm odd LOL) and I like using it when I'm working with Pogo on the ground, but not tying him up of course.
  Apr 8, 2012  •  2,270 views
 
Valkyrie  MOD online
I think leather halters are a lot safer to handle a horse with. They're stronger and, when taken care of correctly, the leather is supple enough not to hurt the horse. However you have to be careful what kind of oils you use, as some horses have sensitive skin. And if you oil on the inside of the halter the sun can heat the oil and burn the horse's skin.

In saying that, I've used all three kinds - leather, nylon and rope. The rope ones are handy when I need to just throw a halter on for grooming. But at the moment I use nylon and they're much safer to leave on a horse in the paddock if you need to. I wouldn't dare leave a rope halter on a horse in the paddock.
  Apr 8, 2012  •  2,273 views
 
Topthorn Equestri  
Very well written! I see that you are quite partial to flat halters. Which is fine! We are all different. I am no writer that's for sure, but may I suggest that when writing a debate, you may want to try and leave your own opinion out? Which I know is very hard, we all are entitled to our opinions. :)

I use rope halters for most things I do. I think some horses can feel claustrophobic, and lean against the halters more.
I don't use rope halters for trailering. I don't want to take any chances with the knot slipping over a period of time.
  Apr 8, 2012  •  2,582 views
 
Polish Arabs  
Great article! I prefer my flat halters. Haven't used a rope halted in about 7 or 8 yrs. Which was when I was taking lessons. And that's just what they had.

But I like my flat halters because of all the different colors they come in. And also if your horse starts to panic when tied you can easily unsnap the lead. Also the breakaways are amazing!

Could you message me a link to the trailer article? I'd love to read it!
  Apr 8, 2012  •  2,285 views
 
Dark Star  
I use both, Archie has a flat halter since he's so sinsitive about his head, but Dee will happily wear both. We have tied Dee up and trailered her with rope halters, and there hasn't been one problem with hers. Then again, she's trained to the point she is usually easy to handle on the ground.
  Apr 8, 2012  •  2,283 views
 
Double Spur Ranch  
Great article
  Apr 9, 2012  •  2,288 views
 
Sapphire Flames  
great article! i prefer flat halters to rope, just because i find them quicker and more effective.
  Apr 9, 2012  •  2,270 views
 
Mrs West Malik  
at my stables they tend to just use normal halters but i do like the look of rope ones tbh
  Apr 9, 2012  •  2,309 views
 
Nishant  
I love my flat halters because you can customize them to fit you and your horse's personality:) They are also easy to take on and off. The only drawback is that whenever you wast your horse the halter gets soaked.
  Apr 9, 2012  •  2,352 views
 
HarleyPeach1  
Nice article!!
  Apr 9, 2012  •  2,297 views
 
My Paper Heart  
Great article! =)
  Apr 10, 2012  •  2,269 views
 
Cruisin Past Curfew  
Nice article! I personally like flat halters better.
  Apr 11, 2012  •  2,278 views
 
abb77  
meh - i own both ) but i prefer the flat halters and i lunge in a bridle:)
  Apr 17, 2012  •  2,515 views
 
Artista  
I like them both. I'll take a classy leather or stylish nylon print halter anyday, but rope halters really cannot be challenged in usefulness and training.
  Apr 23, 2012  •  2,301 views
 
RoyalCrownEstates  MOD 
Well written and a great article, good job :)
  May 5, 2012  •  2,302 views
 
Simple As That  
I've always used flat halters myself. Good article!
  30 days ago  •  2,322 views
 More News by ImaCoolCowgirl
Our First Horse Show Together   26th Aug 2012   •   1327 views
Our First Horse Show Together I've been horse crazy for as long as my parents can remember. I used to love going to shows to watch all the pretty horses, which sadly for them, lead to a new dream of not only working with, but owning a horse and eventually showing. I had been lucky enough to participate in a show with the therapeutic stable I worked at for a time. I took Sly, the rather f . . .
 
The Great Debate: Rope Halters vs Flat Halters Part 2   30th Apr 2012   •   2308 views
The Great Debate: Rope Halters vs Flat Halters Part 2 The stimulation of pressure points is an exact science and unless the halter is tied on obscenely tight that it hits the correct pressure points any time there is pressure on the halter it doesn’t work. The knots do however create sore spots and/or bruising if the halters are left on continuously. While working on ground work, the knots do help give specific . . .
 
The Truth About Winter Woolies   2nd Mar 2012   •   2722 views
The Truth About Winter Woolies One of the most believed myths in the horse world is that blanketing a horse during the winter will actually keep your horse from growing a winter coat. Blanketing your horse earlier or keeping it in a heated barn has virtually no effect. There are quite a few reasons as to why this is believed. Blanketing a horse during the winter keeps the fluffy outer . . .
 
I Never Got To Say Goodbye To My Pony   6th May 2011   •   4097 views
I Never Got To Say Goodbye To My Pony I've had a rough week. This past Saturday the horse that taught me to ride had to be put down. My first encounter with Snowball started at a small theraputic riding stable years before I started working there. A man donated this small white shetland pony to the program. Snowball had horrible ear fungus that was previously left untreated to the point no o . . .
 
My Life Through Them   11th Apr 2011   •   2276 views
My Life Through Them Three years ago I started public school, if it wasn’t for them I would have never made it through. Late last fall my parents were separated and I would have never made it through that period if I didn’t have them. These horses are my life, my love and my future. We have just joined 4-H and we are looking forward to an exciting show year. Horses are the mo . . .
 
Dawn of a Champion   29th Mar 2011   •   1782 views
Dawn of a Champion A fictional story my mother wrote for me based on my work with theraputic riding and my first horse Freckles. He steps forward. The muscles tense and bulge under the tight skin. His compact powerful legs have propelled him over hurdles his whole life. His mother died during birth. Hannah assumed his care and raised him to be a champion. She runs her . . .
 
Rescue Me   4th Feb 2011   •   2416 views
Rescue Me Two weeks ago I heard a lot of crying, and a lot of whispering. But I never saw what anyone and no one ever came to feed me, or give me water. I peered through the bars into the stall next to me. Maze was looking worse. She was lying down and not moving much. I nickered softly trying to evoke a response. She gave a faint reply but it took more energy than I . . .
 
Cowboy Mounted Shooting   24th Jan 2011   •   5495 views
Cowboy Mounted Shooting Last summer I was Googleing random horse pictures and came across some neat pictures of riders shooting on horse back. Naturally I try to learn everything that I can about horses and I came across the really amazing sport called Cowboy Mounted Shooting (CMS). I found that it seams to be a rather unpopular, but a quickly growing sport. So I thought you all mi . . .
 
  View All News by ImaCoolCowgirl
Retraining A Racehorse – Moonfire – Cross Country - Part 2 On 26 February 2011, there was an open day at one of the nicest show venues in the Province, and also one of the few that is never available to rent for public use – it is used for shows only, as is the rule. Thus, it wa . . .
The Impossible - The Story of Choc - Part 4 The next few weeks of her recovery were full of ups and downs. The wound would begin to heal, and then infection would set in again, and once more I’d have to wait, scared to death, while they tested to see if it was in . . .
Retraining a Racehorse – First Dressage Show On the way to the dressage arena, he was rather excited by the unfamiliar atmosphere. He considered spooking at the dressage letters, but decided that watching them warily would work just as well – since I decided not to . . .
Retraining a Racehorse – Moonfire – The Jumping Clinic On 28 January 2011, Moony and I attended a clinic by Andreas Hollmann – An international rider and course designer, and a professional coach. We were supposed to take part in a group lesson, but there was only one oth . . .
The Eventers Dictionary - Part 1 Since the beginning of time, there has always been a certain communication barrier between horses and humans, mostly due to our unfortunate inability to learn to speak their language. This dictionary serves to break down . . .
Pelham Ponies - Yay or Neigh At every show, without fail, we will see some tiny kid chucked up on the million dollar showjumping pony that Daddy dearest smashed his piggy bank to buy, and 9 out of ten times, little Sally or Mary-Sue will be sitting . . .
The Fall On 22 August 2010 I attended a small practice jumping show. After entering my young horse, Moonfire, in the 60cm and 70cm class I took him home to fetch my brilliant little pony, Tempest, for a friend of mine to ride. Th . . .
18 - 19 September Dam 'n Dyke Horse Show Finding myself sick once again, it was with a distinct lack of energy and enthusiasm that I awoke (or should I say – I grudgingly woke up after much encouragement.) at 05:30 AM on Saturday 18 September 2010. In between c . . .
Moonfire - Fixing a Rearing Problem - Part 2 I did my best to avoid the instances that encouraged rearing – but if you look above, you’ll see that it’s quite a list, and that there are many aspects that you just CAN’T avoid when riding a competitive horse. The main . . .
Cross Country 101 - Part Three A trakehner is a type of cross country jump consisting of a pole suspended over a ditch. These jumps often prove a huge problem, especially for up and coming eventers, simply because of the intimidating nature of the fen . . .
 
©2002 - 2014  -  PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us Moderators Online Now
287 PonyBox members online