Beginning a Journey into Horse Ownership – Installment #4


This week’s installment to my blog will continue my mini-series of posts designed for either the beginner horse owner or as gentle reminders for those more experienced owners.

Safe Halter Removal

It’s easy to become complacent when removing your horse’s halter to clip his head or exchange his halter for a bridle if all he usually does is stand. That, however, can change in an instant if your normally calm companion spooks at an usual sighting. Suddenly you’re left with a dangerously loose horse that can cause injury to you, him, and other bystanders as well as potentially causing an accident, or damaging facilities and equipment.  Here’s what you need to know to prevent this unfortunate occurrence:

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  • Removing the halter for clipping, etc. For ordinary clipping of just the bridle path simply sliding the crown piece of the halter forward and backward while you work will do. But for more precise work in addition to clipping otherwise hard to reach areas of the head covered by the halter you’ll need more space. To safely get the space you need while still having your horse secured, unbuckle or unsnap your halter at the crown piece. Drop it off the nose, leaving it attached to the cross ties or lead rope, and loosely refasten the crown piece around your horse’s neck moving it back only as far as you need to get the job done. Complete your clipping job then return the halter to its proper position.


  •  Replacing the halter for a bridle. Follow the steps outlined above removing the halter completely once your horse is bridled. Alternatively you can bypass the halter almost entirely by placing the bridle reins around your horse’s neck while you fasten it into place.


By employing either method you’ll have something to grab onto in the event of an unanticipated spook and be able to quickly bring him back under control effectively preventing a potential tragedy.


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