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  1. #1
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    Question Can you trailer a horse in a head collar?

    My guess is no, but I would like the opinions of others. Over the last couple of weeks, I have switched Sweets to wearing a head collar instead of a halter. She has exceptionally sensitive/thin skin and with a halter (leather, biothane, or nylon, rope halter is better but I dont like them), she is constantly rubbing and itching on something. Even in the crossties, she twists her head and tries to get it around the cross tie so she can rub the rope behind her ears.

    For kicks I bought her a 2" wide, soft leather cow collar that fits right behind her throatlatch and ALL the rubbing/itching has stopped. She is so much happier wearing that then a halter.

    But for trailering, I just don't know if its safe?

    I may just buy her the SmartPak shipping halter with the big fluffy fleece. Do particularly sensitive horses like those? Thanks for the opinions.



  2. #2
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    Dec. 19, 2008
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    Why would she have to wear anything in the trailer? We never tie ours in the trailer and take the halter off after they're loaded.



  3. #3
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    I have a 2-horse slant load and she's skinny enough to turn around inside her stall. Most of the time I haul 2 horses at once. So then she'd have her head down by the other horse's heels. Also the gate on that end is only 1/2, and if she should decide to try to climb over, it could be a disaster. Chances are, she'd just stand there and not move if she were free, but I don't like the idea of it.

    My mother was hauling a horse free in a trailer once, and the horse did something - dont know what exactly - but he made some big spook/jump inside the trailer, and made it swing to the side enough to hit the guard rail on an overpass. There were construction barrels up, and one lane was closed so they were squeezed into a skinny lane. Granted this was a huge horse, about 17 hands and 1500 pounds, but still. Since that incident, I have no faith in hauling horses loose in a smaller trailer. I think you can get away with it on the big open stock trailers because there's just so much mass to the trailer. But my trailer is a 14' 2-horse.



  4. #4
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    Dec. 19, 2008
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    Got ya. In that case, I think I would feel better with a halter.
    Have you ever tried the fleece halter covers?



  5. #5
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    Oct. 1, 2005
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    Okay, you had me confused there, because for our British friends a head collar IS a halter.

    Personally, I always use a halter- and tie the horse- when hauling. And I try to remember to have spare halters and leads in the towing vehicle. If, heaven forbid, a crash occurs, I want to know where the horse's head is, and I want to know I'll have good control of the horse, once off the trailer, if for example I'm standing on or beside a busy road/highway. It also occurs to me that while 'I' can probably control a tense horse with a collar, or belt, or baling twine around the neck- a helpful bystander that might be pressed into service to hold a horse may not have that necessary experience or skill. But they can hold a lead rope attached to a halter. And if, heaven forbid, the crash is such that one ends up with a loose horse, well, it's easier for 'anybody' to recapture that horse if it has a halter on. I agree the fleece would be worth a try (I'm thinking the chances of less irritation are greater if it is real fleece as opposed to synthetic?).



  6. #6
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    Jul. 24, 2004
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    I'd ship her in a regular leather halter and buy the real sheepskin fleece pieces - much cheaper than buying a shipping halter. I have a regular halter that I just put the sheepskin pieces on when I ship my mare - works great and they are super soft . My gelding wears a neck collar when turned out (my mare wears nothing) but I can't imagine shipping him in just that. I'd feel better w/ him wearing a leather halter in the trailer.
    "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England



  7. #7
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    Ok, I agree with what you guys are saying. I have bought the fleece halter tubes before but not real nice ones. I'll do a search for real fleece and I can put them on a leather halter and set that aside for hauling. Thanks for the input!



  8. #8
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    Nov. 13, 2007
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    OK, this is what I do for hauling long distances.

    Buy two sets of the fleece halter tubes, because they are usually too short to do much good. Then cover EVERY.LAST.STRAP in the fleece tubes. Crown, nose, chin, throatlatch, sides. By the time you are finished, you should have a bit of trouble clipping the throat snap.

    If they still manage to rub themselves in that, then I am at a loss.



  9. #9
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    Mar. 26, 2007
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    yes, definitely spend the extra money and buy REAL fleece. It makes a huge difference over the synthetic.
    RIP Victor... I'll miss you, you big galumph.



  10. #10
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    Feb. 16, 2003
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    My objection to using a collar only, is it gives you no control of her head. You can not keep her head up or rope down, if she drops her head. Rope could end up between her ears or other odd place that could hurt her, or come right off, if she pulled just then.

    I do like the idea of her wearing a collar, with the lead run thru the halter chin ring, so any pull would be on her neck area. Neck back there has muscle to manage the pull, better than any pull when using halter only. Halter only, moves the pull area to the spine/skull area, a much more fragile location for a strong pull if horse spooks.

    The fuzzy additions to halter are a great idea. I have gotten very thick ones that are synthetics, good cushion. Also very easy to wash often. Fuzzy stuff ALWAYS gets seeds and stuff stuck in them, haybags in trailer, horse laying down in shavings. A dog slicker brush is good for combing out trash in your fuzzy stuff, real wool or synthetic, so they stay clean, smooth and don't rub her to cause another sore. Really extends the life of your fuzzy stuff.



  11. #11
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    Feb. 1, 2008
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    I actually prefer to wrap the halter with pieces of flannel (torn up old flannel bandages work great) just because I find that the fleece gets hay caught in it, and can be really hot in summer. But I'd definitely use a halter, both because you want it to break if necessary and because you want something to grab in an emergency.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodhors View Post
    My objection to using a collar only, is it gives you no control of her head. You can not keep her head up or rope down, if she drops her head. Rope could end up between her ears or other odd place that could hurt her, or come right off, if she pulled just then.

    I do like the idea of her wearing a collar, with the lead run thru the halter chin ring, so any pull would be on her neck area. Neck back there has muscle to manage the pull, better than any pull when using halter only. Halter only, moves the pull area to the spine/skull area, a much more fragile location for a strong pull if horse spooks.

    The fuzzy additions to halter are a great idea. I have gotten very thick ones that are synthetics, good cushion. Also very easy to wash often. Fuzzy stuff ALWAYS gets seeds and stuff stuck in them, haybags in trailer, horse laying down in shavings. A dog slicker brush is good for combing out trash in your fuzzy stuff, real wool or synthetic, so they stay clean, smooth and don't rub her to cause another sore. Really extends the life of your fuzzy stuff.
    There would be no need to use a collar with a rope run through the halter to minimize pressure from her pulling back. The horse does not pull back. You could tie her up to a tooth pick with dental floss and she'd never challenge it. The only reason for using a collar instead of a halter is because her skin is so sensitive and thin/itchy that a halter really bugs her.

    I'll just use the collar for everything but trailering, and use the real sheepskin tubes over the leather halter for trailering.



  13. #13
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    head collars are fine to use for trialers
    do you have a haynet in there when travelling as you should keeps the horse bissy
    make sure you tie you lead rope to a bit of baling twine thread through the ring fixture in the trialer - then place the haynet insde and the horses wil be fine noshing away



  14. #14
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    Sep. 17, 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvmywalkers View Post
    Why would she have to wear anything in the trailer? We never tie ours in the trailer and take the halter off after they're loaded.

    Thank you...I never tie mine either.
    "My treasures do not sparkle or glitter, they shine in the sunlight and nicker to me in the night"



  15. #15
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    Jul. 30, 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by goeslikestink View Post
    head collars are fine to use for trialers
    do you have a haynet in there when travelling as you should keeps the horse bissy
    make sure you tie you lead rope to a bit of baling twine thread through the ring fixture in the trialer - then place the haynet insde and the horses wil be fine noshing away
    GLS, I think the OP means a neck collar like this

    http://www.statelinetack.com/item/ne...ack/SLT771024/

    rather than a head collar than we think of it in the UK.
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