Horse halter is a complicated piece of equine equipment! So many questions: Should I use it? How do I know what size to get? What about brands, features, and styles? In this article, I answer all your horse halter questions. I’ll give you my favorite brands with in-depth reviews and show you how to measure for the right size.
Stylish functional halter for your horse
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What Is a Horse Halter?
A horse halter is a piece of equipment that is put on the head of a horse to control its movements. It can be made out of different materials and have either various designs for securing it in place. In general, the idea behind using one is to give an animal something else to think about besides whatever might scare them – this distracts them from their fears and makes it easier for you as a handler to help lead your pet. Horses are led by leading with pressure from just below their nose on top of their muzzle (underneath their eyes) while at the same time applying gentle pressure under the jaw so that they don’t back into anything or bolt away when startled. Moreover, halters are used to attach the horse’s lead rope to, as well as their bridle.
A variety of materials can be utilized for making a halter – leather is most common and easiest to care for but nylon or rope can also work just fine in many cases. They often have buckles or d-rings (the latter being more popular) that allow them to easily secure around your pet’s neck.
The elasticity of a halter is also important to consider. Many people prefer a more flexible design over one that’s stiff, although it really depends on your preference and what you need it for.
How to figure out what size your horse needs?
Horse halters come in different sizes to fit all kinds of horses. Generally, the head circumference is typically about six inches less than the chest measurement so that it can be worn over a horse’s nose and ears. Simply measure around your horse’s neck at its widest point – from one side to another without going too tight or loose – then compare with Horse Halter Size Chart. If you want to make sure you get the right size, double-check with a measuring tape.
Horse Halter Sizes
Your horse’s breed is another important factor when determining which halter to buy. Some breeds have narrower heads and necks than others do, so it’s always good to know what type of animal your friend belongs to before making a purchase decision. The most common sizes are: Small (15″-18″), Medium(19½” – 22½”), Large (23″ – 26″) and Extra Large (27 ½”-30″). Size charts for other types of halters can also be found below or on guides online!
Horse Halter Size Chart
|Crown Piece||Nose Piece||Cheek Piece||Throat Piece||Chin Piece||Width|
|Average Miniature||8-1/2" - 13"||6-7/8"||4-3/8"||6-1/2"||4-1/2" - 8-7/8"||5/8"|
|Large Miniature||12-1/8" - 16-5/8"||9-1/8"||4-3/8"||7-1/2"||5" - 9-1/2"||5/8"|
|Suckling||11-3/4" - 15-3/4"||7"||3-1/2"||7"||6-1/4" - 9-3/4"||3/4"|
|Weanling/Pony||13-3/4" - 17-3/4"||9-1/2"||6"||9-1/4"||8-5/8" - 12-1/2"||3/4"|
|Yearling||14-1/4" - 18-1/4"||9-3/8"||6-1/2"||12-1/2"||8-3/4" - 12-3/4"||1"|
|Arabian/Cob||16-3/8" - 20-3/8"||11-5/8"||7-5/8"||13-1/2"||9-1/4" - 13-1/8"||3/4"|
|Small Horse||17-1/2" - 21-1/4"||10"||7"||16"||9-3/8" - 13-1/2"||1"|
|Average Horse||18-1/2" - 22-3/4"||10-1/2"||7-1/2"||16-3/4"||10" - 13-7/8"||1"|
|Large Horse||20" - 24"||11-1/2"||8"||18-1/4"||10-1/2" - 14-1/2"||1"|
|Average Draft Horse||24" - 28"||14"||8-1/2"||15"||11" - 15"||1"|
If your horse has especially long hair around its neck or ears that would obstruct vision you must try to find a halter that has a longer noseband. A good one will cover the ears and upper neck, but not too much of the face as this can obstruct vision for your horse.
You must take in to account how often you plan on using it, as well as what type of work your horse will be doing with it. If you need a multipurpose halter that’s great for riding or leading then consider one that is made from either leather or nylon webbing material. Leather is stronger than nylon webbing. This means that it might not be a good idea to use leather if weight is important.
Horse Halter Colors
Horse halters come in a variety of colors. The most common are black, brown, and white. However, there are many other options available to choose from including blue, rainbow, turquoise, green, purple, maroon, orange, red, yellow, pink, teal, etc.
When should you use a halter instead of just tying the horse up?
The halter is a great alternative for tying your horse up. It can be used as a regular means of restraint, or when you need to move the horse without bridling and/or saddling them (e.g., moving during winter). But you have to remember that your horse is not going to be happy about being restrained, so you should only use the halter as a last resort.
Horse halter types
The different types of materials that are available for making a horse halter are often determined by the specific needs of the owner.
There are three types of materials that you can choose from when making your horse halter: leather, nylon, and cotton. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages which I will discuss below.
Nylon Horse Halters
Nylon is a strong and lightweight material that can be washed with your other laundry.
Advantages: Lightweight, breathable, washable (makes it easy to keep clean), soft on the horse’s skin.
Disadvantages: Nylon halters are not as durable as leather or cotton which may have an impact over time if you use them regularly for training purposes. The nylon also tends to stretch out more than other types of materials which means they will need replacing at least once every few years depending on how often they’re used.
Tips For Using A Nylon Halter Properly – Always make sure that whatever type of nylon halter you purchase has a sturdy metal clip buckle
Cotton Horse Halters
Cotton Horse Halters have a few advantages over nylon, mainly being that they are stronger. The cotton is also more breathable and soft on the skin of your horse which makes it perfect for hot summer days with lots of sweat to be produced by both you and your animal. Cotton halters can come in many different colors as well so if you’re looking for something specific or just want an overall change then there’s plenty to choose from.
Disadvantages: The downside to these halters is their weight (which doesn’t really matter because most humans will not wear them). They are heavier than other types of material but this gives them added strength that would otherwise go unused.
Tips For Using A Cotton Properly – Don’t use these in the rain or snow. They are not waterproof and will get heavy quickly which can lead to chafing of your horse’s neck-line area -Don’t tie a cotton halter too tight around your animal’s throat because it could cut off their airflow
The most common use for this type of material is during hot summer days, since they absorb sweat so well they’re perfect for those times when you have lots of perspiration coming from both humans and animals alike. Cotton also has some advantages over other materials like nylon but what sets them apart is how soft they are on the skin (especially if you prefer natural fibers).
Leather Horse Halter
Leather Horse Halters have a slightly different feel to them and are often used as a training aid. Similar in design to those around the head, this type is more like an advanced variation on these because it’s made out of leather instead of cotton or nylon materials.
The one thing that makes this different from others is how comfortable they are for your animal since there’s no choking effect at all with its use. It also ensures that you’re not dealing with any problems related to humidity if you live in a hot climate (or have animals living outside). The only care issue with Horse Halters made of leather comes when sweat mixes together with dirt but fortunately cleaning isn’t too difficult here either!
If you’re planning to use it in the rain or snow, you should pick up a waterproof cover (if possible) so that your animal doesn’t get wet with sweat and water from outside. You’ll want to ensure they have an appropriate blanket underneath if this is needed too. When using halters on horses who are hardheaded then leather can be more comfortable than nylon since there’s no choking effect at all!
Additionally, leather has natural properties of not absorbing dirt as much which means less need for cleaning – just make sure that when the material becomes dirty or sweaty it’s cleaned right away before bacteria takes over and damages its integrity.
Horse Halter vs Bridle, harness, lead rope
-Horse halters offer more control than bridles.
-Halter allows for hands-free use and is preferred by riders who want to maintain voice contact with their horses when riding, such as Western Riders.
-Bridles are designed for the English style of horsemanship in which you hold both reins in your hand, freeing one hand up for other tasks like grooming or leading a second horse. Bridle also offers greater precision over the mouth of the animal during competition – it’s no coincidence that many top dressage competitors prefer using them! However, they do not provide quite as much safety since there is less slack and more risk of injury if anything unexpected happens. Halters need to be undone before unclipping from the head of the horse.
-A halter needs to be undone before unclipping from the head of the horse, and it’s unacceptable in competition unless a bridle is used as well.
-A halter gives you more control over the mouth of a horse but is not as safe. Bridles are safer because they give slack and automatically release from the head of the animal if something unexpected happens like spooking or jerking back too hard.
Best halters for horses
There are a wide variety of different types and styles of horse halters on the market today. These range from basic nylon or leather to more upscale, customized designs. Let’s take a look at some things you need to know about selecting the best halter for your needs!
Horse Halter Hardware (snaps, rings, buckles, squares, tie clips).
Snaps are the most common type of fastener for horse halters. They’re easy to find, cheap and usually available in a range of colors. The downside is they can be hard to undo when you want them off. Rings or buckles might be more practical if this happens often with your horses as it’s easier to slide a clip over one than wrestle with an uncooperative snap buckle that may have gotten twisted up or frozen on something like hay bales after being left out overnight
Rings vs Buckles
It all depends on what kind of fit your horse needs – some prefer rings because they provide fewer pressure points around their neck but others don’t mind the snugness from a band under because it’s more comfortable. Rings are usually cheaper too but you have to get a ring that fits the size of your horse – there will be a range from small, medium, large, etc.
I’ve noticed most people prefer metal hardware over plastic because you won’t need to worry about breaking anything over time!
Halter tie clips
The tie clip is often the first piece of a horse halter to be used. It fastens around the head, neck, and noseband of a horse’s bridle in order to attach other pieces onto it later on down its lengths such as reins or ear number plates. The elastic tie clips are convenient because they can stretch out so that different sized noses fit into them more easily than those with solid metal clasps which require being bent manually until they’re wide enough for insertion. Tie clips also do not have any sharp edges where bits might rub against an animal’s skin causing discomfort (this problem does exist if using a one-piece clasp). They also come in many shapes and colors making them ideal for use.
Complications with Halter Placement: The back strap should come up high behind their ears where it can support them if they’re struggling or breathing heavily during hard work while still leaving enough room for when they relax and dropdown. It’s also important to make sure the noseband is fitted correctly as this controls how much freedom of movement they’ve got in front by keeping their head pulled forward gently but firmly. If it’s not tight enough then they might slip out sideways which could cause injury either because one side was being held up higher than
Custom Horse Halter
Custom horse halters are the perfect solution for horses with special needs. They can be hard to find, but they do exist and come in a range of styles from common cotton style to more specialized leather or fleece-lined options. Customizing your order is easy! Horse owners only need to provide four measurements: neck circumference, nose length (from the end of the nostril), cheek length (from chin) and head width at crown level. Everything else–ear height, buckle size, strap lengths–is specified by you when ordering so it’s likely that any custom request will get fulfilled without issue. Moreover, this is a perfect gift. Who wouldn’t want to spoil their favorite equine with a new and improved halter?
Horse Halter Name Plates
Here are some different types of name plates you might find on a halter:
Name Plates that Attach Directly to the Halter with Velcro Straps or Buckles (most common) – These make it easy for owners and handlers to change out owner information without removing the entire buckle from the horse’s head. It can also be handy if your horse has an odd-shaped head, which makes finding one size difficult. You don’t want to have too much pressure against any specific area either, so this is always advised when possible.
Larger horses need more space between their noses because they have larger nostrils than smaller breeds. That is especially true in hot weather.