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  1. #1
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    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Default Fire Halters

    I don't know how many of you read SSTack's blog, but they posted on Facebook today with an entry about "fire halters" and I think it's worth taking a read, particularly if you're at a bigger barn.

    http://blog.sstack.com/fire-halters-...for-your-barn/

    Rope halters are the bane of my existence as someone who has worked at many barns doing turn out/in. On a dancey horse they can be borderline impossible to put on. TRULY IMPOSSIBLE to put on if you're a non-horse person. The article raises a good point that even if you use a rope halter for daily use, you should have an "easier" halter for emergency workers to put on.


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  2. #2
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    Feb. 7, 2005
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    Eventing Heaven, VA
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    Default

    Great idea, but I agreed with some of the responders. Nylon melts pretty easily, so I would go with leather halters with cotton ropes, but this is a really good idea!
    Failure is always an option*
    -Mythbusters

    *As long as you figure out what you f'ed up and fix it! -Me



  3. #3
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    I am a volunteer EMT at a fire station. Our fire fighters do not have a clue how to put on a halter or a fire halter, whatever that is. My horses wear a leather halter 24/7 so I don't have to worry about a non horse person trying to figure out how to get a hold of my horse.


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  4. #4
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    I am a volunteer EMT at a fire station. Our fire fighters do not have a clue how to put on a halter or a fire halter, whatever that is. My horses wear a leather halter 24/7 so I don't have to worry about a non horse person trying to figure out how to get a hold of my horse.
    I wonder if just a plan collar, that anyone can figure how to put on, like a dog collar, would work best in emergencies?
    I think some would not figure how to work that rope lose enough to fit around a horse's nose, as they are trying to halter it?

    With regular halters, even if a rescuer doesn't put the halter on right, it is still ok if the horse can be led:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5
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    Oct. 26, 2010
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    Default

    As someone who has lost a horse in a fire, yes, the nylon will melt right off.

    The only thing which bothers me, as a friend pointed out on FB, the halters are buckled around the bar, which would take time to unbuckle. All my everyday halters are hung by the nosepiece, unbuckled. That would save time.
    GR24's Musing #19 - Save the tatas!!


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  6. #6
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    Dec. 12, 2004
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    Massachusetts
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    or a fire halter, whatever that is. .
    If you click on the link, it'll explain.



  7. #7
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    Nov. 13, 2010
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    Default

    I can't imagine those "fire halters" working well. Handlers would have to open up the nose which would take time.



  8. #8
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    If you click on the link, it'll explain.
    I did click on the link. The fire fighters aren't going to have any idea how to put those on either. The horse must wear a halter at all times and have a lead in front of every stall for the best chance of being rescued.


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  9. #9
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    May. 10, 2009
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    NC piedmont
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    Default

    Honestly, if it's hanging by the stall, it probably doesn't matter much what kind of halter it is. When i was working at a small (20 horses) facility, the local fire department came out to do an evaluation. They were very happy with the setup (hay/shavings stored in a separate building, manure piles well away and on a concrete bay, good sprinkler systems, access, etc.) but warned us that realistically, in a "normal" fire situation, if they were called almost immediately when it started, they might get 4-5 horses out, if they were already wearing halters. He said that basically, the firemen will make one attempt to catch a horse and if they can't, they move on or get out. He said that in most cases, if the horse isn't wearing a halter, they won't even try. He said that if all the horses were unhaltered, we'd be lucky to get two of them out. After hearing that, all but a couple of the owners got leather or breakaway halters, and they were kept haltered when inside. Owners that wanted halters off has to sign an addendum to the contract stating that they understood that firemen might not attempt to halter their horses in case of a fire.

    Obviously all barns and owners are different, but that talk, coming directly from the FD, had a big impression on me. Human safety is the number one concern of the FD, and they will not risk that to save horses (nor should they, really). That visit was super educational for everyone at that barn.


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  10. #10
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    Nov. 16, 2004
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    NE Indiana
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    Default

    I like the idea of leaving a leather halter on when they are inside too. Mine are only in when the weathe ris bad but I tend to leave halter on, just in case. My husband, after 12 years, still cannot put a halter on. In fact, if I leave the hallter on and hand him a lead rope to get a horse, he will attach it to the side of the halter - every time. And a rope halter may as well be a bra....he just can't figure it out. He laughed when I showed him that picture ^, because it's so true.


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  11. #11
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    May. 8, 2006
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    Northern Indiana
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    757

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    Our place is set up that if there was a fire all that would need to be done was open all the (inner) gates and let the horses out into the back/lower pastures that are far away from buildings.

    However, I'm kind of liking this idea for those 'quick leads' in and out of the barn/moving horses very short distances. Sometimes I get horses that don't respond well unless they have some sort of pressure around the nose....interesting. I'll have to look into its feasibility for that kind of thing.
    To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.



  12. #12
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenryisBlaisin' View Post
    Honestly, if it's hanging by the stall, it probably doesn't matter much what kind of halter it is. When i was working at a small (20 horses) facility, the local fire department came out to do an evaluation. They were very happy with the setup (hay/shavings stored in a separate building, manure piles well away and on a concrete bay, good sprinkler systems, access, etc.) but warned us that realistically, in a "normal" fire situation, if they were called almost immediately when it started, they might get 4-5 horses out, if they were already wearing halters. He said that basically, the firemen will make one attempt to catch a horse and if they can't, they move on or get out. He said that in most cases, if the horse isn't wearing a halter, they won't even try. He said that if all the horses were unhaltered, we'd be lucky to get two of them out. After hearing that, all but a couple of the owners got leather or breakaway halters, and they were kept haltered when inside. Owners that wanted halters off has to sign an addendum to the contract stating that they understood that firemen might not attempt to halter their horses in case of a fire.

    Obviously all barns and owners are different, but that talk, coming directly from the FD, had a big impression on me. Human safety is the number one concern of the FD, and they will not risk that to save horses (nor should they, really). That visit was super educational for everyone at that barn.

    That has been my experience as well and is what I was attempting to say. You want to make it as easy as possible for them to get your horse out otherwise there is a good chance they won't even try.



  13. #13
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    Apr. 6, 2006
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    Plainview, MN
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    I think halters left on in the stall (even leather or break-away ones) pose as much risk for an accident as the chance a fire will break out in any given barn. You have to weigh your risks, but I will opt for halters not left on stalled horses.

    How the halter pictured in the link have been altered basically makes them into cow halters. You can buy cow halters like that. http://www.uniquelyequine.com/store-...097359211.html You can easily find them in leather too.

    And if a fire is to the point where the heat is melting nylon halters I highly doubt a human is going to be going in to try to save horses.


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  14. #14
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    Nov. 15, 2005
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    Eastern Shore, MD
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    Default

    Wouldn't a grooming halter work just as well?
    (and you can get them in leather...)


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  15. #15
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    Jun. 28, 2003
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    Default

    Lost one in a fire, second badly injured. We've worked with several fire departments since. Their preference halter on the horse - they even suggested lead with carabiner vs clip - remember they are wearing honking big gloves and clipping the little snap doesn't go so well.

    We've worked with several groups that meet with firefighters at a barn and show them how to 'make a halter' from rope and how to lead handle a horse - just so they aren't feeling so much that this end bites and the other kicks.

    Your horse does only get one chance to get out for everybody's safety. Most barns are gone a lot more quickly than you would think in a fire.

    BEST option you can build into a new barn is doors to the aisle and doors to the outside.

    Don't count on just opening up the doors and the horses running out. Some do (in our fire 7 ran out from stalls not as near the fire, two refused to leave - ours hid in the corner and wouldn't turn or leave - one ran out and then ran back into the barn and our injured horse couldn't leave through the burning door so jumped out the window (dutch door size outside window).)

    Once they are out they need to be contained in a field not attached to the barn too. One local barn lost a few when they ran out of the barn and then down the road in the middle of the night - also caused problems for fire equipment and firefighters running around outside the barn. IF the field is attached to the barn they could decide it's still safer in their stall.


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  16. #16
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    Jun. 28, 2003
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    Default emergency halter from rope

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWMWc9boSQQ


    http://www.smcmsar.org/downloads/eme...alter-demo.pdf

    The firefighters tell us they all carry longish nylon straps that could be used for this purpose.



  17. #17
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    Feb. 16, 2003
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    MI USA
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    I have fire ropes, lengths of rope coiled on hooks on the box stall doors. The tie stall horses ARE haltered to be tied, and their lead ropes W/BIG carabiner clips instead of dog leash snaps. If fireperson can hook the lead, it will grab any part of halter straps for leading horse outside.

    They can use the rope length on the box stall doors, to get hold of horse somehow, for leading outside. We have practiced this with our horses, they lead by the neck with a rope, or a rope emergency halter, go where you want.

    You NEED to practice being rushed, noisy, putting off the smells of excitment, so horses will tolerate strange methods of doing things.

    As Drive NJ said, what we heard at our Fire Training Clinic, the fire folk only have a FEW MINUTES in the barn to get livestock outside. Horse NEEDS to cooperate with "any dummy" that needs to handle him in exciting situations or horse is left for more cooperative ones. Fire folk ARE NOT horse skilled, usually scared to pieces facing horses!! They are NOT ALLOWED to remove ANY GEAR in a fire situation, even gloves, to fiddle with snaps, trick latches that lock horse in a stall, so those things need to be considered in YOUR barn situation.

    I was pretty amazed at how much things can go badly in a fire. The short time span to remove things, animals is ONLY about 10 minutes, usually much less time before fire overheats the air, burns out the lungs of person or horse without an air tank! They are then the walking dead. People ARE MORE IMPORTANT than things or beloved horses, so the barn has to be cleared out fast.

    I have done quite a few changes since that clinic, changed my thinking and how I look at stuff now. Some stuff I can't change, escape proof snaps will probably not let all horses get removed. Without those snaps horses are loose EVERY DAY. Which do you choose? The lead ropes ALL have the big, 4" carabiner snaps on them. They are only used for LEADING, not tying. Have to say they ARE easy to use with mittens and winter gloves, so Fire Folks should have no problems with them!

    Horses can all be turned out together, without killing each other. If Fire Folk need to lock them up away from fire, they can put them all in the same field fast. I do plan to work with horses on dragging lead ropes in the round pen, in case horses should get loose before lead is removed to turnout in a fire situation. Really, just good training not to get stupid with a dragging lead rope anyway.

    Much as I love the horses, it would be awful if some Fire Person got hurt trying to get them out of the barn. I have to make my choices in daily living, some things are not "perfect" by the Fire Person's viewpoint, but work better at our barn. I wouldn't leave halters on box stalled horses, consider it unsafe. Tie stall horses wear their halters to be restrained with. Peculiar, but that is the way we do it.

    Keeping things cleaned up, fuel vehicles out of barns, clean electric wiring that is not overloaded, can do a lot to remove possible dangers. Cleared exits to get out of were a big thing in our clinic, few barns haven't got stuff blocking the paths.


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  18. #18
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    Feb. 11, 2010
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    S. Calif.
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    I don't know how many of you read SSTack's blog, but they posted on Facebook today with an entry about "fire halters" and I think it's worth taking a read, particularly if you're at a bigger barn.

    http://blog.sstack.com/fire-halters-...for-your-barn/
    What is the benefit to cutting the bottom pieces of the halter off and threading the lead rope through as opposed to having the lead rope already clipped on the bottom ring of the halter?


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  19. #19
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    Feb. 16, 2003
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    MI USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macimage View Post
    What is the benefit to cutting the bottom pieces of the halter off and threading the lead rope through as opposed to having the lead rope already clipped on the bottom ring of the halter?
    They would go on faster, and with a sliding chin rope, probably give a bit more horse control. Should fit almost any size horse, like the slip-rope cattle and sheep halters. One size-fits-all, means you can use it fast on anyone in a fire crisis.



  20. #20
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Fort Collins, CO
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goneriding24 View Post
    The only thing which bothers me, as a friend pointed out on FB, the halters are buckled around the bar, which would take time to unbuckle. All my everyday halters are hung by the nosepiece, unbuckled. That would save time.
    This is baffling me, too. They've gone to such lengths to build a halter you can slip on the horse's head without doing any buckles, but they're all BUCKLED around the bar? And it looks like there is NO way to remove the halter without unbuckling it, and then no way to use it (except as a neck rope, I suppose?) without buckling it again.

    Neat idea, poor execution.


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