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Strength of Beta

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  • Strength of Beta

    On impulse a while back I picked up a reflective beta halter bridle which I've never had cause to use. I may now have a use for it.

    I've been offered the opportunity to repeatedly trailer out to an interesting ride. The trouble is, the parking is along the edge of the road. Even worse, some of the loading will have to be done in the dark. Worse yet, my horse is on the green side, so I don't trust him 100% not to do something stupid like pull back or rush out of the trailer. (That's part of the reason for hooking up with this ride--to put some miles on him.)

    It's pretty obvious that for everyone's safety we need to get the horses off the trailer and out of the road as efficiently as possible. One of the other people on the ride suggested that I put the saddle on at home before loading my horse into the trailer. (I'm not thrilled with this idea, especially as my trailer is a straight load. But we shall see.) She also secures her horse in the trailer with a rope halter, which she removes after putting the bridle on at her destination. I don't consider a rope halter appropriate for trailering. Instead, I'd like to transport my horse using the beta halter bridle and just put the bit in when we get off the trailer. My friend, however, is concerned that beta isn't strong enough and will break if we have a stupid horse incident--horse pulling back, stepping on reins, etc.

    So, what's the opinion on the strength of beta as halter material? If I can't use the beta, I'll probably use a regular halter and slip the headstall over it once we get off the trailer.

  • #2
    Is it just me, or does this entire situation just has big red flags and alarms and bells and big 'stop!' signs all over it?
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Well, yes, it does. It should. I'm not thrilled with it. Going out with someone who recommends two things I consider dangerous (travelling tacked and tying with a rope halter) gives me the willies, quite frankly. I wouldn't consider it at all except that this person is normally pretty sane and cautious. I'm willing to ignore her travel recommendations as a stupid idea akin to not wearing a helmet: do it if you like on your horse, but I'll use my own gear in my own way, thank you.

      Unloading on the road also scares me, but unfortunately I have to deal with roads or ugly parking situations most places near me. Even staying home isn't safe; I've had people pull off the main road into the barn's circular driveway at 25 mph to do a U-turn while I'm leading a horse down the same driveway. So, short of moving out of the area, I'm stuck dealing with cars.

      Anyhow, back to beta biothane. What's your experience with it? Is it strong enough to use as a real halter, or am I better off using a regular halter and just slipping my usual headstall over it?

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't have a LOT of experience with biothane, but I guess it also depends on what kind of halter your regular halter is; nylon or leather? If you're concerned mostly about strength, I would think nylon would be top choice. I have a pair of biothane reins, and one ride where maresie was EXTREMELY strong, I felt the reins actually stretching in my hands. It got a bit scary.

        I do like biothane though. Easy to clean, soft, pretty-looking (IMO). Maybe someone with more experience can help you more.
        Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

        Comment


        • #5
          Beta biothane is, well, words escape me.

          After a trail ride my friend draped my biothane side-pull over the (bumper pull) trailer hitch while she was un-tacking the horse. Then she forgot she left it there. I drove 40 miles at an average speed of 50 MPH with that side pull dragging on the paved highway between the truck and the trailer. By the time I got home the hardware had been ground down to almost nothing but the beta biothane was undamaged. Unmarked. Unbelievable.

          I would be more worried about finding something that COULD break the darn thing if you had to cut it off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Trailering tacked up is not a big deal for short hauls. We did in when we lived in MD a lot because the farm was about 8 miles from the trail head. We slant tied 8 tacked up horses into a six horse straight load and off we went. Never had a problem, but were always careful about our loading order.

            The biggest risk I see in trailering a tacked up horse is damage to the saddle.

            As far as halters are concerned, I'd stick with the tried and true good quality nylon for trailering. Rope halters are a "fad of the day" and many swear by them, but IMO good horsemen swear at them. Biothane, IME, has a lot of "give" to it. That might be good in some cases, but generally it isn't (at least if your objective is to keep a tied horse where it's tied).

            Maybe the best alternative is put some time into working with the horse so that it's calm at loading and unloading. Then you don't have to worry about "jurry rigged" fixes.

            G.
            Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

            Comment


            • #7
              Personally, I would never trailer my horse tacked up. But having said that..... The BETA is VERY strong; much stronger than nylon or rope. The only bad experience I have had is with BETA reins. If you hands sweat or you get caught in the rain, they get dangerously slippery!

              P.S. If you are going to unload in the road, how about putting out some traffic flares, just as a precaution?
              Owner of Johnny Rebel Acres Horse Boarding
              www.JohnnyRebelAcres.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Horse people

                All horse People each have there own way of doing things. One would Never do this and the other would never... I am sure you have found this out. I think (for what it is worth) Make yourself comfortable use what You like. Practice loading and unloading till you are both comfotable. If you are nervious the horse will pick up on this and look for stuff to get nervious about. I would work on tacking up at home while the horse is ground tied so at home they do not move also ,not to move while you get on. The better they are at home the more comforteble you can be off the farm.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have trailered in mine and I tie up at lunch time with it all the time. It's really strong but also cuts very easily if need be (like with scissors even)
                  "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                  So you might as well have a good time"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    beta doesn't break. My experience: had just taken halter off horse, reins over neck, about to put on beta bridle, when someone walking by slapped my horse on the butt in an absentminded way, and yes, my horse jumped forward, I dropped bridle, horse got feet tangled in bridle, horse went leaping and dancing in panic all over the place trying to free feet. Bridle was completely unharmed- I still ride in it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by carp View Post
                      Well, yes, it does. It should. I'm not thrilled with it. Going out with someone who recommends two things I consider dangerous (travelling tacked and tying with a rope halter) gives me the willies, quite frankly. I wouldn't consider it at all except that this person is normally pretty sane and cautious. I'm willing to ignore her travel recommendations as a stupid idea akin to not wearing a helmet: do it if you like on your horse, but I'll use my own gear in my own way, thank you.
                      You are talking about just about the ONLY way we ride! LOL We don't have a single halter that is NOT a rope halter, we tie them up in the trailer, the trailheads usually involve traffic, and occasionally we trailer them tacked when the situation warrants it. Honestly if you're going to fuss and go in with this attitude that the person is making stupid and unsafe decisions maybe you should make it easier on everyone and find another way to put some miles on your horse.
                      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I purchased my first bridle made of Beta Biothane at Equine Affair from a vendor who had a ruined halter bridle combination hanging as an exhibit.

                        It was obvious that the horse had pulled back HARD on the bridle. The beta biothane was intact -- it was the hardware that had given way. (The brass had broken, not pulled away from the beta.)

                        I think your original idea is a good one -- haul tacked up with your horse's normal halter on, and once you are ready to unload, slip your regular bridle on OVER your halter, unload, unsnap the lead, and get on and go.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I just bought a whole complete set of beta [I was going to with the glossy biothane, but the beta is softer and has a matte look - easier to match stuff with]. I'm glad to hear it's strong.

                          I've trailered many times tacked up without a problem. I usually don't bridle until I get them out of the trailer, however. And I've always trailered in Nylon bridles as that is what I had. Now that I have a beta halter/bridle combo I'll just use the halter part.

                          If something makes you uncomfortable or hesitant, than it's best not to do it I do not believe that she is stupid or making stupid decisions by hauling with a rope halter or tack on, however. Everyone does things a bit differently.

                          Good luck
                          (¯`·._¤ Jess!·._¤ ´¯)

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                            You are talking about just about the ONLY way we ride! LOL We don't have a single halter that is NOT a rope halter, we tie them up in the trailer, the trailheads usually involve traffic, and occasionally we trailer them tacked when the situation warrants it. Honestly if you're going to fuss and go in with this attitude that the person is making stupid and unsafe decisions maybe you should make it easier on everyone and find another way to put some miles on your horse.
                            Gotta love the consistency of the horse world. First poster on the thread puts up little eye popping guys at my description of the situation; last poster tells me I'm overreacting.

                            I thought some more about the logistics of loading and tacking the horses. There's no reason I can't put the biothane halter bridle on under a regular halter. I can use the regular halter for the trailer trip and just slip it off and toss it into the truck bed once we're ready to start the ride. That way there's never a moment when my horse is unsecured, he won't have to put up with a lumpy halter under his headstall, and I'll have a spare halter available if we need it. Problem solved.

                            As for travelling tacked up, I realized that my trailer is a different design than my friend's trailer. My trailer has a half divider, while my friend's trailer has a full divider. Consequently, it's more likely for a horse to end up under a bar in my trailer than in hers. If my horse does go down and end up under a bar, do I want it wearing a saddle? Probably not. If nothing else I don't want the horn snapped off my saddle.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              LOL that is true, the horse world covers all ends of the spectrum!

                              If YOU are comfortable with the situation then your horse will do much better. Honestly anything you given these choices will probably be fine, if you are comfortable and confident then you'll have more fun and be in a better frame of mind. Choose your least stressful options and take it from there.

                              I have to say of the entire situation, the traffic is the scariest to me. We have only had a loose horse once at a trailhead and it wasn't his fault or ours (long story) and luckily it was quiet at the time. When we are close to highways I am neurotic about keeping everyone (dogs and horses) under control and though I never ride with a halter under my bridle one road was so busy that I left it on and swapped it out once we got further up the mountain just so I never had that moment of nothing solid on my horse's head. Hence the unbreakable rope halter is my friend....
                              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                After doing some quick research, it appears the strength of beta biothane is 1,000lb per inch of width, so pretty strong!

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by questisthebest View Post
                                  After doing some quick research, it appears the strength of beta biothane is 1,000lb per inch of width, so pretty strong!
                                  Hmm. The halter bridle straps are less than an inch wide, and the horse weighs more than 1000 lbs, so theoretically he could snap the halter by leaning hard against it. Of course that assumes the hardware holds well enough that the beta is the weak point.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Jess! View Post
                                    If something makes you uncomfortable or hesitant, than it's best not to do it I do not believe that she is stupid or making stupid decisions by hauling with a rope halter or tack on, however. Everyone does things a bit differently.

                                    Good luck

                                    I'm sorry, my phrasing did come across a little harshly. That is the joy of the internet, where you can't see expressions or hear intonation. I often say, "well that was pretty stupid" in a completely deadpan way when I'm razzing someone for an idea that didn't quite work out right. Today my husband got this treatment when he realized he wanted to put on his Carhartts after he'd already put on his bulky outdoor boots. I know he knows how to dress himself; he just had a brain fart. The person I'll be riding with is a close enough friend that she'll get the "that was stupid" treatment if I open the back door of the trailer and find myself looking at the face of her horse instead of the butt. She'll do the same to me.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I too was thinking that, most biothane halterbridles and stuff around around 3/4 inch. So in that case I would refrain from tying a greeny with a biothane halter, unless its one of those plastic like biothane material, that stuff is apparently stronger, not quite sure how strong.

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