Sport Horse Spotlight

Carinjo Jumping 1

Real Estate Spotlight

  • Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You�re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the Forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it�details of personal disputes may be better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts, though are not legally obligated to do so, regardless of content.

Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting. Moderators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts unless they have been alerted and have determined that a post, thread or user has violated the Forums� policies. Moderators do not regularly independently monitor the Forums for such violations.

Profanity, outright vulgarity, blatant personal insults or otherwise inappropriate statements will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

Users may provide their positive or negative experiences with or opinions of companies, products, individuals, etc.; however, accounts involving allegations of criminal behavior against named individuals or companies MUST be first-hand accounts and may NOT be made anonymously.

If a situation has been reported upon by a reputable news source or addressed by law enforcement or the legal system it is open for discussion, but if an individual wants to make their own claims of criminal behavior against a named party in the course of that discussion, they too must identify themselves by first and last name and the account must be first-person.

Criminal allegations that do not satisfy these requirements, when brought to our attention, may be removed pending satisfaction of these criteria, and we reserve the right to err on the side of caution when making these determinations.

Credible threats of suicide will be reported to the police along with identifying user information at our disposal, in addition to referring the user to suicide helpline resources such as 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it�s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users� profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses � Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it�s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who�s selling it, it doesn�t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions � Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services � Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products � While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements � Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be �bumped� excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues � Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators� discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the �alert� button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your �Ignore� list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you�d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user�s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 5/9/18)
See more
See less

"Dressage" Horse and the Rope Halter Crowd

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #61
    Originally posted by taharah View Post
    i do not believe in rope halters. they are used to give you more "leverage" over the horse. this means that you are attempting to "push" them around.

    no matter how much leverage you have on a horse, they are still bigger than you and will do whatever they want.

    you have to teach them to /want/ to listen to you, and there is no reason why a normal halter cant do that. the halter&lead are used to communicate with the horse, not to drag it around.

    (also, i have heard the argument from rope-halter-people(parelli followers) that chains are abusive and "can break a horse's nose bones." which is BS because if you're using them properly, that is obvious never going to happen.)

    i personally avoid anyone who uses rope halters. their horse philosophy is entirely backwards. (and definitely contradictory to dressage teachings.)
    WOW...if you avoid anyone who uses a rope halter you are avoiding most of the horsemen in the Western world and many in the English world. That is ALOT of horsemen!!

    Perhaps you've run into a bunch of people who really don't know what they are doing (that happens in ANY horse discipline) or perhaps you really don't know much about the use of rope halters (incidentally plenty of folks were using rope halters before Parelli came along).

    I breed & raise dressage horses. I'm not a big breeder, but I've have wonderful luck so far in the animals I've produced, including selling young stock to FEI pros.

    I use a rope halter, which is NOTHING like a chain over the nose. A chain can tighten and if a horse REALLY pulls back, it can tighten to the point where it won't release. Also it puts pressure across the bridge of the nose, whereas if a horse pulls back in a rope halter, the primary pressure is on the poll.

    I really think you should learn more about both "dressage teachings" AND the "philosophy" & use of a rope halter. There is nothing contradictory at all in using a rope halter on a dressage horse....honestly, that statement barely makes sense....


    • #62
      Originally posted by skydy View Post

      Of course I may be wrong in assuming that dressage trainers still use a longeing caveson and/or a surcingle and side reins. It's quite possible that I am hopelessly outdated and that new "chain" and/or "rope" techniques have replaced the old school method of teaching a young horse to carry the bit.
      You are not wrong or outdated. You just know what you are doing. I use a lunging cavason, and (as I've mentioned) I routinely use rope halters for leading, tying, and pretty much all uses except showing. I have ONE nice leather halter.

      But if you are actually lunging a horse in the proper way, any sort of halter is pointless for actual teaching & control. As you mentioned, if you are trying to simply get the bucks out that's different.

      Again, when one of my horses "lunge" it's to be schooled; it's not party time. Party time is in the pasture, or if they are really amped, I will put them in the round pen and work them at liberty. It's still "work" and they still need to listen to me, not buck & fart around. If you know what you are doing, you can gain alot of control in a round pen, but I will be the first one to admit it is not the same as lunging a horse in a cavasson and side-reins.

      BTW, I am constantly amazed at how many people of BOTH disciplines think they are actually accomplishing something by lunging in ANY type of halter. There simply isn't enough control to produce the finesse that a cavasson will.


      • #63
        Add Ingrid Klimke to the list of professionals who use rope halters.

        A cute shot of her grazing her current young event horse in one just came across my newsfeed on Facebook.

        And, here is a link to a seminar that the FN put on: two PROFESSIONAL European presenters using the dreaded rope halters.

        Last edited by arlosmine; Nov. 7, 2014, 11:13 AM.


        • #64
          The "blaming" of horse is unconscious, people do it without even realizing it, because that is how (most) human brains work. If anyone here takes offense, not meant that way at all.

          Thus most posts are worded ; "My mare has terrible ground manners and she needs to learn , " , rather than worded "I am a terrible handler and I need to learn ."


          • #65
            Originally posted by alto View Post
            Did you read the article
            - the person whose horse died was the author, she never implied any different ... she shared her tragedy because it is not uncommon to see people using the chain incorrectly.

            Her article is not intended as any sort of "argument"
            Yes, I read the article. If you didn't intend it as an argument against chains, why did you even bring it up?

            If you wanted to caution the world against using chains incorrectly then, a) when you see someone doing it wrong, TELL THEM and point them to the article, b) post a USING LEAD SHANK CHAIN INCORRECTLY post on horse care because you'll reach a whole lot more people that way.
            Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.


            • #66
              Originally posted by arlosmine View Post
              Add Ingrid Klimke to the list of professionals who use rope halters.

              A cute shot of her grazing her current young event horse in one just came across my newsfeed on Facebook.

              And, here is a link to a seminar that the FN put on: two PROFESSIONAL European presenters using the dreaded rope halters.

              Thanks for posting this! I recognize that Parelli halter & lead rope easily (btw, I am not the biggest fan of PP, but I sure do like his halters & lead ropes....they are my favorite).

              And through out the narrative, the things that are stressed (timing, feel) are exactly the same things folks like Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance & BB promote. It really isn't the tool, it's the person using it.

              BTW, the "lower the head to promote calmness" is actually a big thing in the teachings of John Lyons. That is one of the first thing he teaches a young horse. Because let's face it...who has EVER seen an excited horse with his head below his withers? A horse simply can't be excited when their head is low.

              The only thing I would disagree with is the statement about a horse "getting it" after only 3 times. Maybe they understand the concept, but Lyons use to say it takes AT LEAST 1000 reps of something before you can expect a horse to be reliable in it's response.


              • #67
                Originally posted by sascha View Post
                Yes, I read the article. If you didn't intend it as an argument against chains, why did you even bring it up?

                If you wanted to caution the world against using chains incorrectly then, a) when you see someone doing it wrong, TELL THEM and point them to the article, b) post a USING LEAD SHANK CHAIN INCORRECTLY post on horse care because you'll reach a whole lot more people that way.
                Actually, the chain and how it was attached really wasn't the problem in this case. It was the handler (again). If she was really paying attention, the horse would never have put his foot in that loop. Period.

                Instead of saying "never use a chain!!" I would advise folks "hey, if you are handling a 1000lb+ prey animal pay attention ALL THE TIME. Pay attention to where the horse is putting his feet, etc. Don't be gabbing w/your friends, talking on your cell or gazing at the sunset."

                No matter how calm & sweet & "dependable" a horse is, he's still a horse. I was lucky (?) enough to learn most of handling skills handling TBs in race training...probably THE hottest, most reactive horses out there. And not only were they reactive, they were expensive as well!!

                We always used chains -- over the nose, under the chin,across the gum -- in 10 yrs I never saw a race horse even come o/o his stall unless they had a chain on. We grazed these horses frequently in the afternoon at Belmont. As a newbit hot walker I had one horse step on his lead shank and freak himself out for a minute.

                After the royal chewing out I got from the barn manager for letting it happen, I learned to simply keep the lead rope out of the way of the horse's feet...duh....

                Never happened again....


                • #68
                  Originally posted by arlosmine View Post
                  Add Ingrid Klimke to the list of professionals who use rope halters.

                  A cute shot of her grazing her current young event horse in one just came across my newsfeed on Facebook.

                  And, here is a link to a seminar that the FN put on: two PROFESSIONAL European presenters using the dreaded rope halters.

                  Wow, Morten Thomsen. Not just two professionals, two olympians!
                  P.S. Thanks for the link, good article.
                  Proud member of the Colbert Dressage Nation


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                    Actually, the chain and how it was attached really wasn't the problem in this case. It was the handler (again). If she was really paying attention, the horse would never have put his foot in that loop. Period.
                    Yes, agree to a point. However, horses can react very quickly and in very strange ways. A looped chain is probably going to be ok 99% of the time.

                    For those of us who've had friends make that mistake for us, and had their horses pay the price, a looped chain will never happen no matter how vigilant we are. FWIW, one of the looped chain accidents I am aware of did not involve grazing, or a lack of attention paid by the handler. It was a young stallion who had a moment of silliness during a perfectly ordinary walk from paddock to barn.
                    Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.


                    • #70
                      I grew up and live in the western US. So...we "do" rope halters and nylon halters. You see very few leather halters in my neck of the woods. I prefer the rope halter and a nice 12 foot lead as my "tools". If you use a chain, you have to have a regular lead around somewhere if you want or need to tie. Actually, my mare is very sensitive so most of the time I use a flat nylon halter although I keep my rope halter handy.

                      I honestly don't get the concept of "I want the halter to break"?
                      I can certainly understand for turnout when the horse is unsupervised and might get hooked on something but for every day work when the human is in the vicinity? I really don't see how the chance of equipment breaking reduces injury. I had one mare that pulled back and the lead snap broke....she flipped over backwards. She was monitored for head injury for a few days and was OK but damn. Now I use Blocker tie rings and to me, that is a better tool than something that will break.

                      Anyway...I like rope halters and will continue to use them on my "dressage" horse. She and I get along just fine.



                      • #71
                        Well, I've never seen anyone lunge a horse in a lunging cavesson either but I'm not going to write anyone off when I do see it happen.

                        I agree that I wouldn't have a problem lunging a "rough customer" in either a regular halter and chain or a rope halter. It's amazing the kinds of horses that people send to trainers. They want Dobbin to half pass but the trainer wants to stop water skiing across the arena when someone opens a bag of cookies.

                        You're paying for proper training and if the trainer has to use a chain or a rope halter for a few weeks until Dobbin grows a set of manners that's what you're paying for.


                        • #72
                          Originally posted by AllWeatherGal View Post
                          ...My dear friend....I think my horse would be amenable to the "ground training" she wants to do with my horse ... and I don't know where, or if, I should draw a line.

                          What are your thoughts, please?
                          My thoughts are having a dear friend do something with your horse you are not sure of is potentially a BIG mistake. Especially if you wish to stay friends.

                          Would it not be better for friend to work with you AND the horse? So everybody handling horse is handling her exactly the same way? These arrangements tend to backfire pretty badly if/when friend starts to...ah...sort of take over horse and continually correct owners handling and choices for horse. And that happens. Or friend proves not as competent as you think and she believes, that happens too.

                          There is no reason friend cannot teach you both instead of just working with the horse. Nothing overly difficult about the theory or technique, no need for solo sessions with just her and the horse. But there is need that everybody working with the horse do so completely consistent with anybody else so much as touching the horse. Or all you get is a confused horse.

                          Have friend teach you both. At the same time. That way you can both learn but you can keep an eye on things and participate in your own horses education. And you can draw that line should it become necessary.

                          If you get a good set of ground manners on her, you can lead with anything, including bridle reins. And some of those manners will carry over to under saddle work and help with her inconsistent responses as she learns respect and that she has to without a whole lot of drama. On that front I think it's a very good idea....just be there with her.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                          • #73
                            Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                            Well, I've never seen anyone lunge a horse in a lunging cavesson either but I'm not going to write anyone off when I do see it happen.
                            If you are using a properly fitted cavesson with a metal inlay you don't need a chain OR rope halter. A cavesson of this type gives you just as much (if not more) control. You can put one hell of a bite on a horse with this.


                            • #74
                              Never seen anyone use a longe caveson? Really, never?
                              I must be terribly out of date ...


                              • #75
                                I have an arsenal of various head control items

                                Everything from an SRS long caveson (love that) to nose chains, bosals, nylon, leather ... need to replace my rope one ...

                                They all are used for different things at different stages of a horse's training or retraining.

                                Once a horse gets ruined and learns that he can overpower a person, you often have to resort to gear with a bit more bite or that works on nerve points.

                                Then you can work your way back to neutral and begin going back to the more classical approach.

                                A ruined horse is an unfortunate thing for the horse as well as the trainer. They will always resort to old habits if they fall back into the hands of someone that doesn't know how to get the point across quickly and quietly.


                                • #76
                                  A quote from a trainer I worked with, "never let a horse learn how strong they are" (in relation to you) . It's like a game of bluff, we are this weak little slow moving creature, but we are supposed to seem faster, more powerful then we really are. That is why a rope halter and even a training stick/carrot stick ) or dressage whip works....the rope halter is much faster than a flat halter in transmitting a correction or command, and in fairness to the horse, the signal is muddled in a flat halter. A carrot stick or dressage whip if raised or held out sideways makes us seem much bigger than we are. Properly used training tools often just need to be carried or placed gently on a horse and barely used for correction once the relationship is established.

                                  Once a horse learns that it is stronger than a human , it's game over. Some are sweet and even if they learn that, will still be cooperative. With others, it's like they've found the weak spot , and will test you every time to see if they are still stronger (unless re directed not to).


                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by arlosmine View Post
                                    Lots of pros use them for various reasons.
                                    I've seen a long list of professionals use them (including Bettina. Drummond, Gene Lewis, and more west coast pros than I can count)
                                    Many people start their young horses in them before putting reins on the bit. Actual, real trainers who do a good job with young dressage horses.

                                    Cavesons are useful as well. Strangely, though, My most sensitive mare hated my well fitted and padded caveson and did well in a leather or rope halter for lunging. (Studious longing with bend, stretch and relaxation) They are all tools.
                                    The use of a Rope halter does not imply that the use of the halter is violent or rough, or just used to "get the bucks out". I have not seen them used that way.
                                    "Lunging" or "Longeing" (you use both terms), is done for one of two reasons. To "get the bucks out" and warm up,so to speak, or to train the young horse to carry the bit and to balance themselves. A halter (rope or leather) can be used successfully in the first instance. A halter is relatively useless in the second instance.

                                    I have never seen anyone that could be considered a well qualified "dressage trainer" longe a horse in a halter, expecting to accomplish anything other than "getting the bucks out".

                                    Leading, tying, ponying, yes. Longing, no.

                                    The links did not work for me , so I have missed out on the Olympic dressage riders longing their horses in halters.
                                    Last edited by skydy; Nov. 8, 2014, 04:18 AM.


                                    • #78
                                      The link showed the trainer working a horse on a long line in the rope halter, not longing it ( the link I clicked on at least)

                                      Dressage riders don't have to wholesale accept or reject a system. We can take parts out of training systems that work for us and not use other parts. The book I read about the Dutch Olympian training system says they borrow elements from other training and specifically mentions western. That does not mean they ride in western saddles, but they do adopt some methods from it. (caveat, Anky rides in a western saddle when she does reining)

                                      As a dressage person ( or dressage wannabe ), I do not think lunging off a rope halter is what dressage people want for lunging, beyond maybe a recreational lunge. I am no expert in the type of lunging best used with a rope halter but it is not about the stepping under, and stretching over the back/seeking contact dressage wants to accomplish in lunging. Better to use a cavesson to lunge, and then use a rope halter for certain in hand work, such as we see in the link (Ingrid Klimke photo) , where trainer uses roper halter and lead to work a horse on the ground, but he is not longing with that equipment.


                                      • #79
                                        Thanks for the explanation Countrywood.

                                        I can now understand Olympians with rope halters in context!

                                        I rather thought they wouldn't longe a horse in a halter for any purpose other than warming up or "getting the bucks out".

                                        Again; long lining, leading, tying , and/or ponying in a halter is common. Longing in a halter for training purposes, by well educated dressage people?.. not so much.


                                        • #80
                                          I doubt they use a rope halter for any longing, (but that is speculation, they don't share every detail lol), I suspect they only would use a rope halter, those that do, for specific ground work purposes.

                                          Great links and discussion!