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The Right Halter
 By Winniefield Park   •   29th Dec 2017   •   792 views   •   0 comments
Most of us use halters every day, but we really donít give them a lot of thought. We use them to lead our horses from the pasture to the barn and to tie them up while grooming and tacking up. But there are quite a number of specialized halters that we can use for different purposes. You probably won't need every type of halter there is. But, you might find that one or two of these halters is a handy addition to your horseís wardrobe.

Leather Halters
Leather halters are commonly used and can be comfortable for the horse. They are safer in situations where you donít want the horse to struggle against an unbreakable halter. They take some maintenance and benefit from the occasional cleaning and conditioning. Some are better quality than others. Look for soft and smooth fine grain leather, recessed stitching and good quality hardware. The cheaper ones have cardboardy leather with a pebbly grain on the underside. These wonít last as long and may not hold up in wet weather without becoming stiff.

Synthetic Halters
There are tons of synthetic halters out there. They are often brightly colored and very sturdy. These halters donít break easily, so be cautious where you use them for tying. Without a breakaway crown, they are a hazard on pastured horses. For turnout, leather breakaway crowns are safest. Synthetic halters can get frayed and sunbleached quickly, depending on the quality. But since they arenít very expensive, you wonít feel bad about keeping a new one for backup if one gets lost or broken.

Rope Halters
Rope halters are best used for training. They are lightweight and can be made easily, but if a horse is tied in one, it could suffer from severe abrasions if it pulls hard. They arenít great for turnout either, as they donít break easily if your horse puts a foot through or catches it on something.

CavessonCavesson - qcvsaddlery.com

Lunging Cavessons
These Ďhaltersí are only be used for lunging your horse. They are made so they donít shift when the horse is on a circle and make it easier for the horse to change direction on the lunge line. They are quite heavy and can be made from either leather or synthetic, usually well padded over the nose. The rings over the nose allow the handler to change the sides the lunge line is clipped on and help prevent the handler from pulling the horseís nose down or to the inside.

Halter Bridle CombinationHalter Bridle Combination - twohorsetack.com

Halter Bridle Combinations
A lot of trail riders use these. You might find them made of leather, but most commonly they are made of a synthetic material. They are easy to clean, colorful and make tacking up on trail easy. If you feed your horse while you are out, you simply unsnap the bit, and itís out of the way.

Show Halters
Usually, there are two types of show halters, those you see on horses shown in western conformation and showmanship classes, and those that Arabians are shown in. English riders that show their horses in hand often use bridles. Arabian halters tend to be fine straps or rolled leather and some have silver or other embellishments. Western show halters are similar to regular leather halters, but with engraved embellishments and hardware. There are also ornate show halters for heavy horses, and these are sometimes similar to old-fashioned head collars.

Shipping HaltersShipping Halters - kentucky-horsewear.com

Shipping Halters
Shipping halters are usually made of leather with extra padding. They are often covered with thick fleece so they donít rub the horseís head while being transported in a trailer. They are made of leather because in an emergency, itís often better if the horse breaks free, rather than struggles against a sturdy webbing halter.

Head Collars and Grooming Halters
In some parts of the world, a halter is called a head collar. Some head collars or halters are a single strap over the poll of the horseís head, connected to one around the horseís nose. Some might also call this type of headgear a cavesson. Sometimes you see them on heavy horses, usually made of wide sewn textiles. The downside of these types of halters is that they arenít quite as secure on the horseís head, and the horse could slip out of them. These are also similar to what some people call a grooming halter. Grooming halters allow you to trim your horseís chin and face without straps in the way. They are only used while grooming because they arenít secure enough for regular use.

Anti-Rear Halters
These look like normal halters, but with an extra loop that goes up over the horseís poll, down through the chin straps and through the ring under the horseís chin that attaches to the lead rope. The idea is that this gives you some extra control with a horse that is inclined to rear or misbehave.

Neck Halters
Some people use neck halters, which is a simple strap that sits up high on the horseís neck, for grooming or turns out. They look similar to a dog collar. I have mixed feelings about using them for turnout. But, if youíre trimming chins and pulling manes, they might be handy while you are grooming.
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