Of Horse

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The Dually Halter
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The Dually Halter

I have mentioned and recommended the Dually halter in my previous horse training blogs as it is a wonderful training tool designed by the world-famous trainer Monty Roberts. He named it after his champion reining cow horse who he trained himself. Also it serves a dual purpose. It acts as a normal halter when you use the standard side rings or bottom ring, and as a training halter when you use the rings attached to a second noseband that slides through.

The halter should be snug, but not tight, and the schooling noseband should rest on the bony bridge of the nose, so as not to compress the airways. It is best to use a long lead rope of at least twenty feet when training with this halter to give him room as he could respond unfavorably the first time. He should never be left unattended while wearing it and should never be tied up with the training rings.

The object of training the horse with this halter is to get him to want to give to pressure rather than resist it, as is their normal instinct. When he resists the halter, it becomes smaller and less comfortable, and when he cooperates, he gets an immediate reward as it expands and becomes quite comfortable. Create an environment in which he can learn, and he will actually teach himself that it is far better to respond willingly to it than to act out against it.

Training a horse with this halter teaches him respect and will make him a lot easier to handle in difficult situations. Using a rope with a chain over/under his nose, through his mouth or over his lip or using a twitch are “quick fixes” that do not address the underlying problem that the horse simply does not trust or respect his human handlers. When you use pain to try to force the horse to comply with your requests, you will end up with a dangerous horse that will respond violently to pain.

As Monty always said, the most important part of any tack or equipment used on a horse are the hands that hold them. You can have the best halter, bridle, or bit, but with the worst hands, it will not achieve the desired results. 

I wish to further his desire to make this world a better place for horses. Good luck and happy riding!

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  1. Chestnut Mare
    Chestnut Mare
    Voted. Very nice blog. I keep hearing about the great Monty Roberts, I must find out more about him! Like you and him, I want to make this world a better place for horses too. You might be interested in my latest blog, A Famous Horse's Tale - please check it out and vote if you like it.:-)
    1. Nancy Richards
      Thank you! I first heard about him by reading his first book The Man Who Listens To Horses in 1997. I was intrigued by his concepts and how he worked with horses. He's written more books since then and made some videos/DVDs. :)
  2. PonyGirl
    I enjoyed your post very much, and although I have not used the dually halter myself, it sounds like a great product. The only thing that I disagree with is the characterization of the chain shank, lip chain and twitch as an easy fix. The twitch and sometime the lip shank are means of restraint which sometimes need to be used with an agitated or frightened horse- such as when emergency medical treatment is needed. They are necessary tools for the handler's AND the horse's safety, but certainly not be used as an everyday tool. The lip chain is also used on the race track with horses who are extremely high spirited and fractious to keep them focused and to prevent them rearing up, or kicking up and injuring someone or themselves. When used properly, the lip chain works on the same principal as the dually halter. It is, however, much easier to cause unnecessary pain with the lip chain, and should only be used by an experienced handler. So while I think the dually halter should be the first choice to teach a horse manners, twitches and chain leads do have useful functions and are needed at times in certain circumstances.

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