For starters, our horses only wear halters when tied in stalls or when someone is doing something with them, trailering, practicing ground work, being groomed.
We use leather ONLY in the show ring for the nicer look. Leather is expensive, takes upkeep on a regular basis. I do not have the time to clean and condition leather halters all the time. Leather is less strong, so not trustworthy for use in tying up. Had one horse LEARN to be a halter puller when she flew back wearing a leather halter and it broke with very little pressure. Same horse was always trying their halter and rope tie for the rest of her life, just to see if it would break again. Was a real pain, she lived another 35 years!
We use Valhoma Nylon halters on all the horses, when we need a halter. Hardware is solid, dependable, nylon is soft, doubled for strength, they go thru the WASHING MACHINE easily, no extra upkeep needed.
I believe that a horse I tie up, needs to stay tied until I return to get him. I tie them using neckropes or belly ropes on the young horses, which will prevent any neck injuries if pulled on by the horse. All our horses go thru extensive training to know how to release pressure by moving forward, if rope is pulled. Halter is not anchored on the tie ropes, so no pull on head with it. Halter just aids in keeping ropes correctly placed on the horse.
I have seen the break-away stuff over the years and the horses it allows to get loose all the time. In my opinion, break-away stuff TEACHES halter pulling, a very bad habit.
None of our horses are turned out with halters, nothing to get snagged or caught on their body, that would need them to fight to get loose.
I had mine in nylon, but switched to leather when he started getting rubs, despite the halter fuzzies. I'm not too concerned about them getting hurt with nylon in our current set up, but if I were shipping or in a place that didn't have the crossties attached to the wall with just a thin piece of bailing twine, I'd use at least a leather crownpiece.
I don't anticipate going back to nylon. Not only does the leather look nice on him, but... see above for all added safety benefits.
Leather. I have two new ones coming from Quillan's thanks to DGRH recommendation. Even Dumplin has a teeny tiny leather halter. They only wear them for "work". Katie gets halter rubs very easily and the leather is the only thing I can use on her.
I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques
Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.
I only use nylon on young horses that break leather halters repeatedly. If you have ever owned a horse that got its leg caught in the throat piece of a nylon halter you will never ever use them. And why would anyone use a nylon halther without a leather piece that goes behind the ears? They are just not safe at all.
Once my horses are mature enough they go in a leather halter for life.
Wow, I'm a halter freak. My horses are boarded and turned out without halters typically, so their halters are all for specific uses:
1. Leather for shows/trailering
2. Nylon, in pretty colors, with matching lead ropes for every day use
3. Breakaway: when my horse was being treated for an eye issue and had to have a halter on during turnout he was turned out in a breakaway at the barn owner's request - I had to borrow one since I didn't own one
4. Rope - for training purposes - like my mustang who hates poll pressure, I'm riding him in a rope halter right now to introduce poll pressure without a curb; or for a horse that is pulling being pushy, they get the rope halter
Nylon at home, leather at shows. Way too many horses already know that if they sit back quick enough that something breaks. This is why I always have my cross ties and trailer ties connected to the wall/trailer with a double loop of baling twine. It's strong enough that the usual sitting back doesn't break, but if they are genuinely startled the twine will snap. Now I'm not out a halter and I don't have a loose horse.
Since my horses are never in a halter unless they are with me, nylon. Color coded to each horse since they all have different sized heads. Makes it easier and if someones in trouble I can grab without thinking and run.
Nylon. Actually, I think most of them are cheaper polypropelyne or something. My horses only wear halters when I'm doing something with them or I have them tied (for which they are trained to tie hard and fast. I never cross-tie, partly because I don't see the point on a horse who knows "whoa!" and partly because I don't have any place suitable for it.
I have one very old leather halter I use as a sidepull-type-thingie on young horses.
For one horse who thought he was going to be hard to catch, I let him wear a poly- halter with a leather crown until he decided to be civilized. When it broke, it wasn't the leather crown that gave way, it was the poly- at one of the side rings. I found the halter in the paddock dirt one day, with no hint as to how he'd broken it or if it finally just wore out (it was old before he ever saw it).
Mostly nylon, these days- do have one old leather halter knocking around, and I do think about buying some nice new leather ones 'cause I just prefer leather. But with the current two horses, doesn't really matter, they are well trained on the tying thing and if they spook, they don't panic/pull back. Halters are only on if I'm grooming/tacking/leading/trailering.
I leave halters on several of my pasture rats because they're almost impossible to catch without one. Some wear leather, some nylon- it all depends on what I happened to have handy the day the last one broke.
I use cheap leather and cheap nylon. Cheap leather, and the hardware on cheap nylon will break easily if need be. The stallions and show horses have higher quality leather, and I always ship in leather.
I have a couple of good heavy unbreakable nylon halters, but I use them only for teaching a horse to tie --when I want to make damn sure nothing breaks.
If anybody's looking for cheap leather, Horseloverz has Gatsby's for $10.70, free shipping over $99, and I found a coupon code for $10 off. I've used this brand/style for years, and usually get about two years of constant use before they wear out or break.
I don't know why people here say nylon doesn't break.
My horse has used a new fancy schmancy nylon halter for 14 months, every day for turnout. She had a panic episode on the cross ties, sat back and broke the poll piece of this halter!
I brought it home figuring I'd sew a reinforcement patch where the break is and noticed almost ALL of the connections to the metal rings have worn thin just from regular use.
Nylon for home, leather for going out in public. I too have had nylon halters break--in fact the one time I had a horse in a situation where I wished the halter would break and it didn't he was wearing a high quality leather halter! He got snagged on part of the trailer while unloading and pulled and pulled until finally he managed to slip the halter off over his head! Both horse and halter were fine, trailer was a little banged up though. I've had multiple nylon halters break over the years, either the stitching/worn parts or the hardware give out. I prefer halters with a clip throatlatch so usually what happens is that bends out and then the halter pops off over their heads.
My horses only wear halters when I'm doing something with them, never in the stall or pasture.