Our world is filled with trends, fads, and memes that influence our everyday decisions and ideas. Now while I try to steer clear of the general bustle and hype, I do pay close attention to the horse world’s trends… because well… horses. Duh.
If you haven’t yet noticed, a large number of equestrians have started to ditch their traditional nylon web halters (also known as flat halters) for the hardware-less rope halter. Constructed from a single cord of rope, rope halters usually come in either 2-knot or 4-knot configurations. They feature no buckles or hardware, and are fastened by tying the crown piece through a loop on the cheek piece of the halter.
So why are so many horse owners making the switch? Here are some key features that have compelled equestrians to add these awesome tools to their tack rooms.
The smaller diameter of the rope halter’s cord in comparison to the wide diameter of the flat halter makes the rope halter much more effective in communicating cues to the horse. It makes it much harder for the horse to lean on the halter and ignore pressure, making the training process faster and much more efficient.
The natural horsemanship style of training relies on this effective communication, and was popularized in America by clinicians like Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and Buck Brannaman. Australian clinicians such as Clinton Anderson and Warwick Schiller also utilize rope style halters in their popular training methods.
Flat halters have metal buckles and hardware, while rope halters are only made of 1 continuous piece of tied rope. Because there is no hardware to rust or break on a rope halter, they last much longer than their nylon counterparts.
3. Cost efficiency.
While the upfront cost for a good quality rope halter may be slightly more than a web one, it will last for a lifetime. Nylon halters traditionally need to be replaced every few years due to breakage, stiffness, or rust.
Many are starting to prefer the low-profile look of the rope halter. Depending on the brand, rope halters can be offered in a wider array of colors than flat halters and tend to look sharper when equipped. (If you’re looking for a great quality rope halter that comes in a ton of epic colors, check out these natural horsemanship rope halters).
There you have it, folks! Rope halters feature numerous advantages over their traditional counterparts, and I hope this helps you make an informed decision when searching for your next halter. Many brands make a good rope halter, but my personal favorite are the Andrea Equine 4 knot rope halters. They’re affordable, the best quality, handmade, and come in almost every color imaginable.
But no matter what you use, horsemanship boils down to the partnership between horse and rider. While the right halter will enhance that, remember that it’s not an automatic solution.