With the huge movement of "natural" horsemanship, rope halters have become quite popular as a training aid. They are said to work on certain pressure points on the horse's face, improving communication and giving clarity to your directions. Though I don't agree that rope halters are a magical piece of gear, I do favor them over flat halters. Flat halters include those made of nylon, webbing, leather and any other flat material. They are still very popular and some find them far more visually appealing than rope. Some horse owners claim that rope halters are far too harsh for an equine's sensitive face and therefore prefer a kinder option.
I agree that the flat material can be softer on the horse's face but this "advantage" can be quite the disadvantage in my eyes. One of the most common things I see with spoiled horses and their owners is the horse leaning into the halter. A horse than leans into the halter quickly learns that they can easily overpower a human. That gentle halter is so nice on the horse's face that the easily dispersed pressure doesn't cause any discomfort when the horse misbehaves.
Horses that are well-trained and understand how to give to pressure can do wonderfully in a flat halter. I know quite a few people who use rope halters for training periods and flat halters for everyday use which seems to be the best of both worlds. Personally, I'll likely pick up a rope halter over a flat halter any day, save for when I'm trailering. I enjoy how is simplifies communication and helps give clear instruction. Which halter do you prefer and why? Leave your response in the comment section below!
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