There are six main categories of halters manufactured for horses. It is important to utilize the proper halter for the protection of the horse. Traditionally, halters are designed with ¾” to one inch wide straps. Tack supply stores provide a variety of halter options. Safety features are designed in to halters by the manufacturer to assure the safest possible environment for the horse, whether it is for grooming, turnout or transporting.
- Breakaway safety halters are designed to release the horse should the halter snag on something or the horse become tangled and panic. This type of halter has a safety latch generally made of leather, although the remainder of the halter may be fabricated from nylon. The halter is designed to prevent injury to the horse such as a broken neck and is ideal for turnout.
- Convertible halters are generally leather and contain detachable pieces that allow for grooming. There are also sheepskin fleece kits available to transform a breakaway halter into a shipping halter. Convertible halters can prove to be money and space savers.
- Grooming halters should be utilized only under human supervision. The halter is not safe for turnout due to lack of a jaw piece and throatlatch. The halter could slip off the horse and endanger the horse. The absence of the jaw piece and throatlatch is to allow easy access for grooming purposes.
- Leather halters are often utilized for turnout. The leather halter should break if caught by a tree limb; however, the harness may sometimes be repaired. A well made leather halter is a good investment that will last for years under normal conditions.
- Nylon halters are easily cleaned with mild soapy water and a scrub brush. This type halter is available in a wide array of color choices. Bright colors are easily found when kicked to the bottom of a stall or pasture. Nylon halters are long lasting, but should be utilized under supervision. A nylon halter is not safe for turnout as it will not breakaway if the horse becomes entangled.
- Shipping halters are designed for transporting horses in a horse trailer. A shipping halter is fabricated of nylon or leather lined with sheepskin fleece to protect the horse’s face during shipping. A breakaway latch protects the horse should the halter snag on something inside the trailer.