The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
It is currently Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:11 pm

All times are UTC+01:00




Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Rope halters
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 8:34 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:43 pm
Posts: 598
Location: UK
Would love people opinions on rope halters, whilst I was at the Klaus weekend, he said rope halters are extremely cruel, and that the thin rope on the nose is way too uncomfortable for any horse.

Of course this made me feel terrible, I only have rope halters :blush:

I hardly ever put any pressure on them though as my gang are pretty mellow, but lately I have noticed how much happier Storm is walking out in just a neck rope. He's so much more lighter, more responsive, and just alot more with me, so I started thinking....Oh my god, I've been hurting him all this time with the rope halter. Or is he just enjoying the freedom!

Would love others thoughts.

_________________
We never stop learning


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:04 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
I think it solely depends on what you are doing with the rope halter.
If your horse is halter trained then the kindest halter is a nylon flat halter as it has nothing that digs and is light and adjusted correctly he can open his mouth as he wants to eat etc.
The knotted ropes are placed in positions that are more vunerable, hence a quick reaction to pain if applied severely, and therefore less force required from the handler.
My thoughts on this are varied. If a horse at the beginning of it's training runs into the rope halter himself once or twice, he learns from a quick sharp pain that's it's not a good idea and generally doesn't do it again. Alternatively the nylon halter is going to have you being pulled after him and your choice is either to let him go there or to apply force to the line. For me I would prefer to let him run into the knots.
I don't agree with pulling/jerking on the knotted rope halter and they can be extremely dangerous if the horse gets loose and entangles himself as they are not going to break.
The thinner the rope the more severe the pain, so a chunkier rope distributes the pressure over a larger area.
If you are using a halter to do any kind of ground work then the slack should always be in the line in which case it is causing no pain at all. It is purely there should the horse go drastically off track and in most cases I would go with the horse anyway, while gently asking the horse to put the slack back in the line.
I don't like to see the way some NH people use the rope halter in terms of backing etc by bumping the horse's face by wiggling ropes back and forth.
So basically it is only painful if the handler is using it incorrectly, if there is no pressure on the line it is simply the weight of the halter hanging on the horses head.

I have seen some terrible injuries to horses faces from being tied with a rope halter and struggling....

My horse has a nylon halter on his head in the pasture. I don't like this but he has to be hitched to a post at feeding time and so this decision is out of my hands. I often remove the halter on free walks and he doesn't want it back on again. I think all horses would prefer to be bare!

_________________
Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:37 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 7:26 pm
Posts: 247
Location: Finland
Rope halters should never be used to tie a horse or left on when the horse is unattended. Anette did explain already that they can cause pain. They can cause also injury more easily then a flat halter.

People do tend to use them for reasons Anette did explain well. The rope halter has some bite, depending on the thickness of the rope, more or less.

I would rather not use rope halters and have not so far. Of course there is always that argument about having control in case of dangerous situations. I see that point as the same when discussing the use of bits versus bitless.

Morgan wrote:
If a horse at the beginning of it's training runs into the rope halter himself once or twice, he learns from a quick sharp pain that's it's not a good idea and generally doesn't do it again. Alternatively the nylon halter is going to have you being pulled after him and your choice is either to let him go there or to apply force to the line.

Hm, I would rather choose a slow method, that avoids the sharp pain as well as the being pulled after a horse. At the moment I am applying myself the techniques from Bill Dorrance's book "True horsemanship through feel". Even when the horses in the book have mostly rope halters, it all works nicely so far with the flat halter.

_________________
Andrea
http://www.youtube.com/user/FinhorsesAndPinscher
http://basichorsemanship.blogspot.com/


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2008 11:04 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:43 pm
Posts: 598
Location: UK
Thanks for your replies, I must say, I never tie my horses to anything, they've never been tied ever, this may be good or bad, I don't realy know, but they all stand perfectly well for everything without ever being tied 23

Also, my rope halter with the realy thin rope, well, I've put some realy comfy thick sheepskin over the nose band, the other halter is thicker rope, the one I use for riding does have athick nose band but does have two knots on it :blush: :blush: I have been looking at Josephas bridles on her site, I might get one of her bridles for riding, do you post to England Josepha if you read this?

_________________
We never stop learning


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:10 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
I have a different take on the rope halter vs the flat halter, and why I prefer the rope halter.

First, I don't pull on it, and my horses don't hit the end of it. By training in small steps in the same way you would train for a cordeo, you avoid most of the possibilities of having a struggle with a rope halter.

That said...I prefer the lightness of it. If you are not pulling and jerking on a rope halter, it cannot cause any pain. I don't use the kind with the knots over the nose...just the normal ones with the knots at the sides.

If I am working in hand with a halter on the horse, because I want to make all gestures from me as light as possible, I used a light rope halter, and a line attached with a knot (I don't like the weight of a snap).

There is no pain for the horse, and just like using the light cavesson, I prefer to ask lightly and reward the smallest response and train the responses.

If you have trained a horse to accept control with only a cordeo, and if they do not mind having something on the head, then there is no pain and no chance of pain with a light rope halter if you train in the exact same way. If you train mindful of the horse's well being, then I can see no harm in a rope halter. I have not caused any pain in my horses by using one. Could I? Of course I could. But I don't.

I use a flat halter for tying in a trailer, but I use a rope halter for some in-hand work.

_________________
"Ride reverently, as if each step is the axis on which the earth revolves"


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:47 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
I come at the rope halter very much the way that Karen does.

Stardust has one (also with knots on the side, not on the top of the nose) with doubled up rope.

I tie it really loosely around his head, and don't ever pull on it -- it is simply a gentle reminder that we're connected and or we're going to do something focused. He likes this much better than a flat nylon halter.

I don't yank on it, and often at this point don't even have the lead rope in my hands. I haven't tied he or Circe off to anything in several months (they both don't like it, and I can't blame them!). When I bathe him or clean his hooves, I toss the lead rope over his neck. Sometimes I'll toss the lead over my shoulder when we walk, and increasingly I'll toss it over his. But in any event, it's always slack.

Circe currently has a flat nylon halter and it irritates her -- I think it feels too tight and itches.

I actually am planning to get a rope halter for her as well eventually, but I want to make sure that we're at a point where she isn't likely to get pingy and take off with the halter on -- she's still figuring this out -- because I don't want it to hurt if she does.

My feeling about this is that I'd rather she learn that I'm the one she can trust and stay with when she's spooked at something, rather than add pain/punishment (even if self-inflicted) if she follows her natural instinct to get the heck out of Dodge if something scares her.

We're making great strides with this -- even the other night, when she was really freaked by the horde of draft horses galloping towards us and away from us, she stayed with me, moving in circles. The only time she ran out to the end of the lead was when she got bitten on her cute little derriere by one of these bad boys! :ieks: ;) But I was glad I didn't have a halter on her that could have added a sharp pain to the equation -- she was trying so hard to listen to me, even in her hyped up state, and I think that would have shut down our connection completely.

So, as she gets more confident in my ability to protect her if she's scared, and as we get better about our "heads up" cue when she's eating and sticking her hooves in her ears and pretending I don't exist when I ask her to come along (which is the only other time I apply pressure (unhappily!) to the halter/lead rope), we'll switch to a rope one for her as well.

(Oh -- one other thought, as a cautionary tale -- I was at a ranch where horse was kept in pasture in a regular flat nylon halter who broke his neck after getting it caught on a fence post and falling while trying to get untangled -- you can get a breakaway nylon halter, but I personally prefer to keep my guys nekkid ;) unless we're specifically working in a way that something on their heads is appropriate. My ultimate goal is to be head gear free, but we've all got a ways to go before we get there!)

Best,
Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:46 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
Hi all,

I have been using a rope halter on Lucy for our walks, just cuz i'm a chicken, in case something dangerous happens and I HAVE to get her to move with me?? Of course nothing has happened and I hardly ever put any pressure on the line, she just likes to walk and follow on the trail, mostly use a hand target when/if she gets stuck. Since this is a new endeavor, I am still pretty generous with treats! I will soon switch to her old flat leather halter as she is so calm out there!

BUT, I ALWAYS have the lead clipped to a small breakaway loop of rawhide, so if she steps on it, or heaven forbid spooks and/or runs off, the loop simply stretches and then breaks! And I am glad I did this cuz she has stepped on it several times now during our walks!! My fault of course...duh!

I have a 20 foot lead, and since I am just letting her sort of wander on our walks, if I space out (helloooooo!) and forget to take up the slack, and/or she puts her head down quickly to snatch some grass, snap it goes!! So I always have 3 or 4 loops tied to the ring of her halter. What's funny is now she knows as soon as that happens, she gets treats!!!

Normally I don't use rope halters, just flat breakaway nylon or old leather ones, if at all. And I agree that for tying, unless you have a breakaway loop like I described above, not a good idea, can REALLY damage their polls!!

Brenda

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574
http://www.youtube.com/user/Jack04574


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:32 am 
User avatar

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:25 pm
Posts: 1348
Location: Minnesota, USA
Brenda wrote:
So I always have 3 or 4 loops tied to the ring of her halter. What's funny is now she knows as soon as that happens, she gets treats!!!


Haha, Brenda, I just got the funniest image... Most people are scared of their horses running away when the lead rope comes off, but here I have this image of you never being able to get rid of Lucy!! The rope comes off and she jumps in your lap... hahaa, I don't know why this strikes me as so funny... :D :D Perhaps too much schoolwork today...

_________________
"Do you give the horse his strength?"
~Job 39:19a

www.cambriahorsemanship.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 1:27 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2008 12:03 am
Posts: 1351
Location: Washington, Maine USA
Makana wrote:
[ The rope comes off and she jumps in your lap...


That is a hoot, eh? Just shows how differently we are all looking at things these days!!! And also how easy it is to condition a desirable response using positive reinforcement!! Duh!

Brenda

_________________
http://www.youtube.com/user/Lucy04574

http://www.youtube.com/user/Jack04574


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:48 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
i dont use a rope halter it tickle his head :D and then he shake his head to drop it off as soon as posibble but he can't so he get a bit irritated.
and then asked me with a lot of preasure to pull it off :D :D
by push his head into me or through me :D :D
So i don't use it anymore....


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:05 pm 
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
Yet another intriguing conversation to me -- catching, again, how individual these experiences are.

How cool is that?!?

There is no one global answer for so many of these questions, I think...so much of it is about our individual horses and their likes and dislikes, and the insights that come from that.

I was realizing the other evening as I was posting something how many of my posts are based in stories about my own experiences -- I had a moment of gee, Leigh, can you get out of your own head just a little!?! :green: but then I realized that it was my way of saying "here's our experience, here's our truth -- take from it what you will, but I don't assume it's your truth."

So Inge's horse who hates a rope halter, and my Stardust, who prefers it to a flat nylon one, are both right! For they are speaking their truths.

I love this, because it allows us to share our ideas but firmly grounds the authority in the conversation back to horses and ourselves. We can share without being didactic. We are co-learners, not teachers and students. I still struggle with this sometimes, but it's so where I want to land.

:smile:
Leigh

_________________
"Ours is the portal of hope. Come as you are." -- Rumi
www.imaginalinstitute.com


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:22 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
you write it well leigh !
ofcourse we write about our own experiences, that's not bad...as long as we don't say you have to or you must do ;)
there is no must or have to, because the horse is the real judge.
He or she will tell you if it is fine or not and if you do "AND" it will be the truth for you. :applause:


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 1:08 am 
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:43 pm
Posts: 598
Location: UK
Leigh, as always you have nailed it. We all have to listen to our horses. So much of what I 'feel' with my horses is very hard to put into words, (why I'm so grateful for you Leigh)

I feel there is a place for rope halters. this is in my mind, with my horses. Right now Misty the baby shire horse has gone through realy bad illness all summer, now, she feels good, full of energy, she's a baby of 17 hands, thats a handful. Well, I think it does her good to walk out each day to experience the world, all the things to come. She right now, from having such a bad summer of illnes is high, she feels good and wants to run and jump, but she's 17 hand baby....so, I hate to say it, but the rope halter has helped, I don't pull at all, I'm just walking, she can pull, I never do. I have noticed that on the way home, she goes so fast to get back to the boys as we are in a new field,, with pigs near by, and she rushes home, so to stop her from pushing ahead of me, I am making big windmills with the 20 foot lead rope, I walk infront of her, spinning the lead rope in big windmills with the rope slapping the ground, this does stop her from rushing past me to get back to the boys without putting pressure on the halter, and it realy works!!!

Today, I wanted to take Jason out, so, I went to him so he would know it was him I was taking out, and asked him to come and put his halter on, well he left the grass and came to me and put his nose in the halter...so, I'm thinking, if it was so awful, he wouldn't willingly put his head in it, we learn...........

_________________
We never stop learning


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:00 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
if you don't give presure on the halters then there is no problem tho???
if your horse(s) is happy then there is no problem....
making windmills is a good idea you save your power for your self hihihi...
youre doinig good ;)


Top
   
 Post subject: Re: Rope halters
PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 3:51 pm 
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:47 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Grantville, PA
I love my rope halters! Of course I am in a different situation as most because I am working many different horess a day- many that have not been taught any manners whatsoever. So I need the bite of a thine halter when I need it, but I want it to be very soft when I don't.

A rope halter with a line with no buckle is not harsh at all- wiggle all day hard as you can and the worst it does it create an annoying commotion around the horse's face, but no pain. Dominant spoiled horses won't even think of backing to this slight pressure. A heavy snap adds bite when needed.

With my own horses or ones Ive had in training a long time, the less my tack becomes important- if it is mild no big deal because I don't need anything else. if it is harsh no big deal becaue I won't have to use it emough to make it hurt.

But for new horses, I want my rope halter and heavy snapp.


About horses dragging lines- I purposely let horses drag lines a lot, but I ONLY use good quality yatch ropes, or in some cases a lariat (they can burn but they drag straight) because they are heavy in weight and do not tangle. Cheap thin lines can tangle horses up, but good quality heavy ones wil pull loose and not twist, coil, snag or burn.

_________________
Learning to put the relationship first.


Top
   
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic  Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1 2 Next

All times are UTC+01:00


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Limited Color scheme created with Colorize It.