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ilovemyhorsezack

Rope Halters Vs. Nylon/leather Halters

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What do you guys prefer using and why?

I myself use rope halters on my horses. I just find that I can communicate better in that than a web halter. But I'm interested to hear different opinions. I've never seen this topic discussed before, so discuss away!

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I have nylon halters & rope halters.

I like the rope halters because some are stiff and make the horse easier to control, but the one I have right now has a thicker noseband, so it's just a quick one to use.

I also use nylon ones. Guess it depends what I feel like using, I normally use his nylon halter for trailering etc because my rope halter has a lead attached.

I want to get a leather halter because they are really nice looking :] lol

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I occasionally use a rope halter for training sessions, mostly for hard headed horses!! But otherwise i use leather halters. Partly because they are classy looking but mostly because they are safer. And i use the thinner ones that will break should the horse get stuck. IMO nylon and rope halters are not safe. Nylons have no place at my barn and rope halters only if I'm training the horse. But i never use them to tie or leave them on when I'm not handling the horse.

I have seen the effects of a nylon halter when a horse got caught on something while in his stall. He broke his neck and was put down. If it had been leather, it would have broken and he would have been okay.

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I use rope halters for training/working... and nylon halters for everyday use. I use to be an all rope halter person, but i've been wanting something different. So, I found a gorgeous nylon halter with leather bronc noseband, accents, and crown piece for a steal...

I want to get all leather halters, and plan on getting three made with personalized bronc nosebands by my closest amish dealer... just cant afford them yet.

I'm picky when it comes to my rope halters though. They have to be made out of the material that they use to make the clinician's halters, and have the extra nose knots. Same with my leadropes... and the Amish store makes some nice leads for half the price of the clinician name brand ropes.

I love being in Amish country. :happy0203:

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It depends on the horse. We had one that we could only use the rope halter on. He knew when he had a nylon one on and would pull back every time. Not with the rope halter.

Charlie, I can use either type on him. Rose is the same way. I just most always grab a rope halter.

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I used to have rope halters but they just weren't working out in the barn we were in. The only place to tack up and groom were crossties. I used hylon halters for a while because they come in so many fun colors and then the pony started pulling back all the time. After the third time falling down I switched to leather. Since then she has broken four leather halters. I would rather replace a halter than the pony. I bought a Quillins halter with name plate for my daughter for christmas and the pony hasn't pulled back since. Apparently she just required something fancy to wear. :rolleye0014:

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I ONLY use rope halters with a tied on lead (no clasp) for the fact that they WON'T break....

I had a mare almost die when we had her tied with a nylon halter. She pulled back, the clasp broke, she fell back and sideways and hit her head. Fractured her skull, went into seizures... the vet wasn't sure if she would make it (her brain was swelling). Luckily, with a lot of work (a huge vet bill) and many months off she appears to have recovered.

I'd rather use a rope halter because when they pull back it applies pressure points and "hurts" more which quickly discourages them from pulling back, plus they don't break (therefore you need to tie with a release knot), which would have prevented accidents such as I described above.

Horses with nylon halters can just pull their life away and never feel any "discouragement" to stop pulling back, or dragging you around. Rope halters have a little more "incentive" to stop pulling on the halter.

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I have one of each! I personally always go for the rope halter. Whether for grooming, groundwork or just going for a walk or quality time I just like it better. Also, my horse is a 'test puller'. He'll set back and pull and pull until something gives, especially if he's tied in a grassy area. One he's free he just starts to graze. So he gets tied in his rope halter, he's figured out that it won't break so he stays pretty quiet. I'm always nearby whenever he's tied for any reason, and if I have to leave him at all, I tie to a loop of twine.

I leave his leather halter on his stall for the BO to use to bring him in/out. And I have a purple "dressy' halter as more of a spare.

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I ONLY use rope halters with a tied on lead (no clasp) for the fact that they WON'T break....

I had a mare almost die when we had her tied with a nylon halter. She pulled back, the clasp broke, she fell back and sideways and hit her head. Fractured her skull, went into seizures... the vet wasn't sure if she would make it (her brain was swelling). Luckily, with a lot of work (a huge vet bill) and many months off she appears to have recovered.

I'd rather use a rope halter because when they pull back it applies pressure points and "hurts" more which quickly discourages them from pulling back, plus they don't break (therefore you need to tie with a release knot), which would have prevented accidents such as I described above.

Horses with nylon halters can just pull their life away and never feel any "discouragement" to stop pulling back, or dragging you around. Rope halters have a little more "incentive" to stop pulling on the halter.

But what if they pull back while tied with a rope halter and don't quit and die that way? Both can be dangerous. I'd rather have something that would break than to have a horse panic and not be able to get it loose.

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I have all three kinds. Each of my horses has an everyday halter, some are rope some are nylon, it just sort of worked out that way. When I am working with my newer horse I usually put my QH's rope halter on her.

I use the leather halter whenever I can't find the rope one! Haha!

My horses have never had a problem with pulling back, so I don't worry about it.

Personally I think rope halters look the nicest.

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All responsible horse owners should keep a knife on them at all times in case a horse gets a halter hung or in a situation in which needs to be cut free.

Any horse that is willing to pull back until it kills itself... well... I have no more to say about that.

I've seen some of the worst pulling back horses, ones that "never" quit until the halter breaks, be put in a rope halter and they are "cured" almost instantly. It works on the pressure points and pulls them back into the real world.. they quit pretty quickly. It's very uncomfortable to pull back on a rope halter, and most horses, even in a panic, stop pulling back.

With all halters and lead ropes there is a risk of a horse twisting or jerking wrong while pulling back and injuring itself. As with my horse's example, even if the halter breaks it can cause just as much (or more) damage than if the horse had been stuck there. I'd rather a horse be stuck there, and if they get in a situation which I feel they need to be released I'll either pull the quick release knot, or cut the rope with the knife that I should have in my pocket at all times :)

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Rope halters.

-horses can't lean on a rope halter as much as they can a "flat" one like a nylon web or leather

-fits better under bridles if I need to do that

-fits in saddle bags better for long trail rides

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Rope ones for training, nylon (breakaway) one for tying. I have a once in a blue moon puller, so if he's tied in his stall, and he pulls, I want it to break.

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I use any of them. Nylon for leading them to trailer, or while grooming them. Rope for my filly that is in training. Rope ones for trail bag. Leather if I am going to a arena and want to look more dressy.

My horses don't pull or fight, so I sometimes use a string, lead rope or what ever to lead them to different pastures.

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I prefer rope myself. My horse is rather "dull" meaning it takes him 3 or 4 seconds to respond... to any command. Must be a long loop back to the brain. That loop is just a little faster with the rope halter. My trainer doesn't like em though so when he's working with me, I put the nylon one on. I have one that has the loose ring on the bottom which is nice for lunging cuz the ring slides lateral rather than pulling the halter around the face of the horse; gives better lateral correction against "pullers". I want a leather one, but can't bring myself to do it. I believe that if a horse lays back and "breaks away" even once... they know they can. It becomes dangerous in itself as they always have that possibility in the back of their mind. I prefer to carry a pocket knife in the event of a situation, but having a horse bust loose is never optimal.

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I use rope halters but have no real particular reason for doing so. I keep a couple of nylon web halter around because hubby says a handful of knotted up rope is not a halter so if he needs to catch someone when I'm not home he prefers a "real" halter.

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Both. When hauling or tied, a flat halter (nylon or leather.) When working a young horse, a rope halter can give more bite and get their attention, but once a horse is light and working, it's all flat (unless I'm lazy and the only thing at hand is the rope!)

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Quality rope halter 99.999% of the time.

I never want a peice of equipment I am using to break while it is being used and teach my horse that pulling hard enough will set him free. If he freaks out I need him to figure out how to deal with it and stay tied. We camp alot and tie to highlines or trailers at night and need them to stay put. I want to know my horse is going to be where I left him every time. I also believ ein hobbling a horse and teaching him to give every part of his body to pressure. I need a smart thinking horse, not a reactive one that freaks out.

Tying fast for long periods of time is a basic skill IMO. Even my youngsters can stand tied to a highline and go camping. Any horse that comes to me must learn to tie fast and stay calm. Patience trees come in really handy. Horses with tying issues have been allowed to break things and taught that can do this. Round here, this is usually a case of owner ignorance and cheap horse sale tack on a green horse. *sigh*

Accidents happen no matter what or where you are. Its a fact of horse ownership. I have seen the worst accidents however when the hardware breaks on a horse setting back and the horse flips itself. I want my equipment to stay untill I cut it or release it.

The exception would be a turn out halter.

Edited by Trinity

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I totally agree with Trinity above. I wouldn't want my horse learning to break halters to be free. When I had a horse I used nylon and rope but I prefer rope for everyday use and I used nylon w/ a leather breakaway for trailering.

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Nylon for hauling, and daily workouts, leather for showy stuff.

I never liked the rope type as they are just too cheezy and cheap looking, as well as way too harsh for my horses who mind well.

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I need a smart thinking horse, not a reactive one that freaks out.

That pretty much explains my entire horse handling philosophy. It seems like my expectation that my horses won't freak out and act stupid has led to calm horses who can step on a lead or a rein and figure themselves out, or get tangled and stand quietly and wait for help. I like that - smart horses make life easier for me!

I ride in rope riding halters, so that's what I use for everything - mostly because I'm lazy, and it's easy. They have rolled nose bands, so no knots.

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I use flat nylon, I tie around the barn on Blockers so don't have to worry about breaking halters. All the kritters at my barn tie great. I have two rope halters but they don't seem to stay where I tie them...I'm sure it is operator error....but "knot" tee hee sure what the proper way to tie them is.

I have a couple of nice leather halters also, I use for show or if I want to do pictures or whatever....

JakesMom

Edited by JakesMom

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I use both depending on what I'm doing. But 99% of the time I use rope halter with attached lead under his S-hack, especially since I mostly trail ride or ride into the village.

And a HUGE DITTO to what Trinity said. When I bought my horse 8 years ago his previous owners insisted he had to be kept in a break-away halter with the leather crown piece because he had a tying problem. While I understand the theory behind having a horse rather free himself then injure himself, it got REALLY annoying REALLY fast and I do believe it reinforces bad behavior. Rope halter has done wonders for that. The bite lets up as soon as he stops pulling, strong enough to ride out his panic so he can get his head back on straight, and no more reinforcing the concept of breaking tack = get-out-of-jail-free card.

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I use every kind... i tend to use the rope halters more than others, but my two mares have really fancy bronc style nylon halters that they wear everywhere now.... but i did have to switch my barrel mare back to a rope halter as she was just getting a bit pushy on me and the rope halter reapplied our leading rules ( she is on stall rest and a bit hot!)

but i do strongly believe in training in a rope halter, they teach the horses to respect the halter, and to tie properly! ( i agree with what is said above, i absoultly donot want my horse learning that he can break loose by pulling back!..)

if i am in a hurry i will grab a nylon one just cause they seem to go on faster.. or if i am taking pictures of my horse with a halter on i will put a clean fancy nylon/leather halter on as i think they make the horses face look nicer.......

i love both, but doo tend to use rope more. but they must be the soft type use by clincians!

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I'm not on board with those who don't use leather because it breaks more easily. The key is training a horse to tie properly so that breakage only happens when it's an emergency and it needs to. I've had horses break their leather halters in bad situations before (loose horse flying through an aisle where horses were tied and causing chaos, other horse going batpoo in a trailer, etc.) and it never became a habit- those horses didn't break the halters because they wanted to be free per se, it was because they needed to be. In situations like that, where the horse is reacting to a big outward force, they don't have space in their heads to think 'hey, I just figured out how to get loose' they're in self prervation mode.

Flat nylon halters- alright, that's what my fella has now. Not my first pick but acceptable for our needs.

Rope- nope. Not I. I think they're ugly and unless you're working through a rough spot, unnecessarily harsh. Hate to see folks who don't understand them using 'em and that seems like a majority ever since it really took off as a trend. Don't mind folks using them for training, do mind folks using them instead of training.

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Any of the above halters as long as they fit and are worn by a horse that knows how to mind its manners. I don't leave halters on in the stall or pasture, wouldn't have a horse very long that can't tie politely, and try to always tie to things that will break in an absolute emergency (i.e. tie rings). For me training and safe use are more important than halter type.

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I'm not on board with those who don't use leather because it breaks more easily. The key is training a horse to tie properly so that breakage only happens when it's an emergency and it needs to. I've had horses break their leather halters in bad situations before (loose horse flying through an aisle where horses were tied and causing chaos, other horse going batpoo in a trailer, etc.) and it never became a habit- those horses didn't break the halters because they wanted to be free per se, it was because they needed to be. In situations like that, where the horse is reacting to a big outward force, they don't have space in their heads to think 'hey, I just figured out how to get loose' they're in self prervation mode.

Flat nylon halters- alright, that's what my fella has now. Not my first pick but acceptable for our needs.

Rope- nope. Not I. I think they're ugly and unless you're working through a rough spot, unnecessarily harsh. Hate to see folks who don't understand them using 'em and that seems like a majority ever since it really took off as a trend. Don't mind folks using them for training, do mind folks using them instead of training.

Rope halters aren't bad if used properly. Granted, alot of people do use them inproperly but thats life. Theres always SOMETHING intended for use that is used inproperly.

I usually use a rope halter. The one I was using had a double braided noseband so it was stiffer and thicker, not as harsh. I would only use a rope halter with knots on the nose band for training something that needs the extra bite.

Any and all halters can be used wrong and cause damage to a sensative nose. It's all in user learning knowledge. Even a nylon halter for training can do damage.

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As a veterinarian, if you use rope halters, can you PLEASE have a flat nylon or leather halter available when I come to see your horse? I HATE trying to work on a horse's head while in a rope halter...

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As a veterinarian, if you use rope halters, can you PLEASE have a flat nylon or leather halter available when I come to see your horse? I HATE trying to work on a horse's head while in a rope halter...

Just curious, DVM, but why is that?

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