How to Put a Halter on a Horse
A halter is a leather, webbing or rope headstall. It is used with a lead rope to lead a horse from the ground. Some halters can also be used to tie the horse for grooming or tacking up.If you are new to horses and don’t know how to put a halter on a horse or pony, then this article is for you.
Have the horse in a safely enclosed area such as a paddock, corral or pasture where he won’t get hurt if he gets away from you. Reduce Odors Coming From Your Barn! Lower Manure And Bedding Moisture.
Take a look at your halter and find the parts of it so the following steps make sense. Identify the following: crownpiece, buckle, cheekpieces, throatlatch and noseband.
Parts of a horse halter
- Unbuckle the buckle on the crown piece so the halter is ready to put on.
- Approach the horse and slip the lead rope around the horses neck so you have something to hold onto if he decides to move away.
- Stand on the left side of the horses head, facing the same direction he is.
- Hold the crown piece in your right hand and the buckle or the noseband in your left hand.
- Reach under the horses neck with your right hand, holding the crown piece.
- Guide the noseband onto the horses nose so that the nose band is on top and the chinstrap is underneath his nose.
- Gently (so you don’t surprise or scare the horse) pass the crown piece over the horses neck, just behind his ears.
- Fasten the buckle.
- Take the lead rope from around the horses neck and you are ready to go!
- Here is how it should look when you are done.
- See How to adjust a horse halter to make sure it fits properly
- If you are using a rope halter the steps are the same and then go to How to tie a rope halter to see how to tie the knot!
- The following method works only if you have a halter with a detachable throat latch.
- Unfasten the throat latch of the halter, leaving the crown piece fastened.
- Take the halter and hold it by the crown with your right hand.
- Use your left hand to guide the noseband and chin strap around his nose as above.
- Gently slide the crown piece over the top of his ears being careful not to bend the ears painfully. If you’d like, bend the horse’s ears forward through the halter, but never bend them backwards or it’ll hurt the horse.
- Secure the halter, whether you have a clip that snaps it shut or a buckle.
- Be careful not to drag the halter over the nose, eyes or ears. Rough handling can cause horses to become head-shy, making haltering and bridling more difficult.
- Some horses have been trained to lower their head. This is known as Drop at the Poll. If the horse is holding his head high or if he is tall, gently push down on his nose or the top of his head and say ‘down’.
- The lead ropes that halters come with usually have a clip, but some have a fastening that requires you to pull a section down to release it. These aren’t particularly secure, one slip of your hand and off comes the rope.
- Some horses do not like being touched about the face or nose, in this case it is sometimes helpful to halter him from behind the ears first until he gets used to you touching his face (gentle stroking around his face and ears will help).
- Watch that the horse doesn’t throw his head up and hit you.
- Be careful to adjust the halter so it doesn’t touch the horse’s eyes.
- Rope and ‘controller’ halters should be used by experience horse people only, and never be used to tie a horse.
- Never remove a halter where the horse can escape into a road.
- Halter that fits your horse