Types of Rope Halters
When I first got my mare Willa I went out and bought her a pretty black halter covered in flowers from my local Tractor Supply with a matching red cotton lead rope. At the time it had been a while since I had worked with a new horse. And an even longer time since I had worked with a young mostly untrained horse. Willa, being track trained, completely ignored my pretty halter, barreling through it and me, and doing whatever she pleased. The barn owner recommended a rope halter, telling me it would give me a little more control over my horse. I had never used a rope halter, but I went to ridingwarehouse.com and found a pretty one that matched her color scheme. Even better it had rings knotted into it so I would be able to hook her to cross ties. I had to be taught how to put it on correctly, but soon the benefits of using this style of halter became obvious.
The rope halter has a little more bite to it, causing the horse to feel its presence better than the other style (what I think of as the traditional style). Suddenly when I asked my horse to stop, she paid attention to me instead of trying to run me over. Willa’s training has come a long way and she now has beautiful ground manners. Yet, I continue to use a rope halter, just for that little bit of extra emphasis it gives my corrections.
Over my year of using rope halters I’ve discovered a few different types:
- The first is just the simple rope halter. Many rope halters come with lead lines/ropes attached to the halter. I prefer cotton to nylon lead ropes, so I prefer the ones that are just the halter. (Check out this one.)
- Next is the one that has rings built in to the halter. This is nice when you’re at a barn that has cross ties. On normal rope halters there’s no place to safely clip cross ties. This style has rings that are knotted in at the same region they are on a traditional halter. It’s also convenient if you want to lunge your horse in their halter. Additionally, the rings can be used to attach reins. (Find it here)
- My newest discovery is a rope halter that ties on the right side, and where the knot would go on the left side, there is a hook latch. This allows you to quickly put on the halter and remove it without having to take the time to tie and retie the knot. As I’m currently at a place without cross ties, this is my favorite version. This is the one that I recently bought Willa, though I got it at a local tack store.
If you have a horse with poor ground manners or a horse that is young and your working on training I highly recommend the rope halter. The options above make it versatile and it’s benefits as a training tool make it invaluable.