Do you ever wonder about the best halters for horses? I sure do. I wonder which are the safest, which are the best deal and sometimes which are the best looking…although that one varies from person to person. Also, your horse accessories often need to match the rest of your horse’s wardrobe. 🙂
In my opinion the best halters for horses are often determined by what you are using the halter for. A halter has many uses.
The most common use I have for halters is everyday/turnout. As much as I love pretty halters it is very frustrating for me to get a really nice halter for everyday use, particularly because I have to “outfit” over 25 horses.
Great games of “halter tag” sometimes leave halters laying around in a muddy pasture; making it easier for whoever is bringing the halter-less horse in to go back to the barn to get a different halter than to tromp around a muddy pasture looking for a lost, most likely broken one.
The best halters for horses during turnout are those that are as inexpensive, yet as safe, as possible. In my opinion what makes a halter safe is that there is some point on the halter that will break if the horse gets caught on something. It is definitely much, much better for the horse’s halter to break than its neck!
Since most halters are made of nylon this means buying a “breakaway halter.” A breakaway halter has either a leather crown piece (the strap that goes over the horse’s head, behind their ears) or a leather fuse, usually on the side just above the throatlatch snap. The best part is that if the leather piece breaks you can purchase a replacement part rather than replacing the entire halter.
I also prefer a halter that has a throatlatch snap rather than one that just buckles over the top of the head. Besides being much more convenient, I believe it is safer for less experienced horse folks because it is simpler to use and takes less time to put on the horse.
Perri’s safety halters are rated 4.5 out of 5 stars by users! They are a great value and come in solids as well as cute prints 🙂 I love Perri’s halters, they are made in the USA, are great quality at a good price (I have had one I use for turnout/everyday wear that has already lasted 3 years…unbelievable!) and come in so many different colors prints and styles.
The best halters for horses that are shipping are ALWAYS either breakaway or leather halters. I usually use a nicer quality halter for shipping because I am usually going to a show or clinic and want my horse to look good. Safety is, however, the main consideration in shipping.
Traditionally a shipping halter is a good quality, leather halter. Many people like to buy fleece pieces or kits to prevent chafing while traveling, particularly if they are going a longer distance. Grooming halters are available to provide easier access to the head while doing detailed grooming for horse shows.
It is much easier to do trimming work when your horse is dressed in a grooming halter.
Everyone likes to have a special show or showoff halter. In this instance the “best” is more subjective.
You can accessorize by choosing a halter that complements your horse’s sheet, blanket, wraps or other “clothing.” Or you can choose one that enhances your horses coat color or personality.
I have to say, it’s a lot of fun to shop around for nice looking halters (and any other items of “clothing” or tack that your horse wears!)
I want to point out that I have run across trainers with different opinions on breakaway halters. Some trainers think that a horse’s halter should NOT break…they don’t want the horse to get the idea that they can break loose.
Personally, I do not want a panicking horse unable to get loose. Nothing makes a horse panic more than being trapped, which is why a horse will break its neck rather than stop struggling.
You can argue that they might get loose, run into the road and get hit by a car. Sure, that could happen, but I think it’s a heck of a lot more likely that they will get injured or killed struggling to get free if they are caught on something and feel trapped.
For your horse’s safety, it is up to you to figure out what you believe are the best halters for horses!
Now I know how to make an informed halter purchase instead of mindlessly grabbing the prettiest one at Tractor Supply! thanks Karla!