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Making my own break away halter

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  • Making my own break away halter

    So I wanted to replace the leather crown on my mare's halter by using an old stirrup leather. The only concern I have is that the leather is a bit thicker. Has anyone done this?

  • #2
    You can also use light twine for the crown piece. I have a bunch I did up like that. I wouldn't want the leather to be too thick, the point is for it to break and if you use sturdier leather- it may not break as easily.


    • #3
      I prefer to replace the 2 inch section between the buckle and the ring with a leather "fuse" held on with a Chicago screw. It's my experience that the screw usually gives first. I convert all my halters this way.


      • #4
        From what I remember about leatherworking and cowhides, not only does it depend on the thickness it depends on where on the cow the particular piece of leather originated. The leather with the greatest tensile strength comes from the midline of the back down the spine. The weakest, from the belly. I expect fuse leather (your crown) is belly leather, naturally weaker in addition to being thinner. The stirrups are most likely from as close to the spine as possible.
        I know the fuses on my nylon halter are very thin and tanned to be very cardboard like. They also break every time my horses play halter tag, so . . .

        There is a tool you can get called a skiving knife I think, that is designed to shave off layers of the hide from the rough side, that's how reins and whatnot are cut down to be folded over and sewn, so you could thin down your stirrup leather some that way.
        And if you really want to test this and have plenty of leather you could buckle your stirrup leather around a phone pole and drop one end over the ball on the back of your truck and see how many RPMS you get to before the leather busts. Or the buckle. Got any redneck friends?
        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
        Incredible Invisible


        • #5
          Originally posted by MaybeMorgan View Post
          I prefer to replace the 2 inch section between the buckle and the ring with a leather "fuse" held on with a Chicago screw. It's my experience that the screw usually gives first. I convert all my halters this way.
          Got any pictures?!
          "No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle" - Winston Churchill

          Check out Central Virginia Horse Rescue


          • #6
            Originally posted by OTTBcooper View Post
            Got any pictures?!
            That's the stock fuse for my nylon halter. Four inches or so long, doubled over and lapped in the middle with a screw and screw in base (chicago screw) that goes through the two ends and the other side and a slit cut for the buckle.http://images.equestriancollections....s/ER09664R-set
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible


            • Original Poster

              Looks like I will be looking for some thinner leather. As for the stirrup leather, it will go back to laying around, being moved from one place to the other


              • #8
                this is cool ReSomething.
                How well does it handle halter tag? My guy plays rough!!


                • #9
                  Just add a zip tie to it somewhere. I added one right where you snap it (just behind the eye) so that I snap to the looped zip tie instead of the hardware. (Sorry I don't have a picture.)

                  Another option is to add a zip tie to the loop where you snap the leadrope then connect the leadrope to the zip tie instead of the hardware.

                  Zip tie comes in a variety of strengths, so you can choose the sturdiness you need.
                  I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                  • #10
                    pick up some leather belts at a thrift store, they usually cost about a buck, and a kids belt or thin women's leather belt are great replacements.
                    Teaching Horseback Riding Lessons: A Practical Training Manual for Instructors

                    Stop Wasting Hay and Extend Consumption Time With Round Bale Hay Nets!!


                    • Original Poster

                      Reviving this. Does anyone know where I can get that thinner leather? I want to make my own breakaway tabs.


                      • #12
                        Why not something like this? It's fairly cheap-


                        • #13
                          I have usually bought the replacement fuse leather - support your local tack store!. I've also used a belt, and one piece of leather I found I had to make thinner. Like I said, in my experience the screw popped before the leather, even worn-out fuse leather-my horse likes to stick his head through the fence and get the halter stuck. I got the Chicago screws at Tractor Supply. The first time I took an exacto and cut a brand-new halter was a little scary but the "safety" has done exactly what it is supposed to do.


                          • #14
                            Can I ask when y'all are using breakaway halters? I've never been able to find a use for them--if I have a horse in a halter I do *not* want it coming off under any circumstances. I would so much rather have a breakaway tie, and my horses literally never wear halters unless I'm tying them to something. When do yours wear these?
                            Click here before you buy.


                            • #15
                              A lot of people turn out in halters. And fearing a fence or foot hang-up, use breakaway halters. These posters are being penny wise and pound foolish.

                              At one time I too turned out in halters, but I used leather halters, so breakaway wasn't an issue. Then I got tired of replacing chewed halters, and started tuning out without. Best idea I ever had.
                              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                Can I ask when y'all are using breakaway halters? I've never been able to find a use for them--if I have a horse in a halter I do *not* want it coming off under any circumstances. I would so much rather have a breakaway tie, and my horses literally never wear halters unless I'm tying them to something. When do yours wear these?

                                My last crazy horse was the type who would rip the leadrope out of my hand and take off running with the line whipping behind him. Scared the crap out of me.

                                He was on my own fenced in property, so no danger of him getting loose, but big danger of him breaking a leg or his neck. So I got in the habit of using a zip tie between the leadrope and the halter. It held just fine unless he had one of his freight-train fits.
                                I have a Fjord! Life With Oden


                                • #17
                                  I did have one crazy broodmare who was a PITA to catch--she got turned out in the funkiest, nastiest old single-ply leather halter I had, which was ready to fall to pieces, and she had about a foot of old lead shank attached to the halter. It was enough to nab her, and she had no idea she could've shredded the thing with a flick of her head. I always replaced it with a "real" one to actually lead her back to the barn. Darn thing lasted the whole summer!

                                  Other than that crazy mama, all of mine go out without headgear.
                                  Click here before you buy.


                                  • #18
                                    I've always wondered why the Fieldsafe halters by Horsewear haven't caught on more? The release points are velcro. You can put the halter together so that it releases under a load of either 88lbs or all the way up to 176lbs.


                                    • #19
                                      Well, you can get leather at Tandy stores, not that I have any clue if there are any around anymore, then you need a razor knife to cut the sizes you need and a hole punch. They sell some strap leather at TSC too.

                                      If they play rough they break. It's a pain.

                                      I prefer not to keep a halter on all the time, mostly it's just for my convenience getting them out of the pasture. The cheapest leather halter I can buy new is I think $20 at Southern states, the fuses are $2 or so, I've had both the leather halter and the fuses either break or get pulled off in play and leather halters are hard to find in the mud, the last one is buried somewhere and I think we'll have to backhoe the muck spot to find it. Bright blue nylon is easier to see. Back in the day we used those polypropylene rope halters and never had a broken neck but we did a lot of stupid stuff, like no helmets, I'd rather be a little safer.

                                      I've put the fuses on with the screw and just skipped the screw and used baling twine wrapped and knotted. The last one I ran out of fuses and it's just hanging on with baling twine - but the whole point is that the break strength has to be pretty low so I don't know about using a zip tie, or too many wraps of twine.

                                      I support my local tackstores and haven't ever seen a Fieldsafe. The velcro idea sounds interesting.
                                      Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                      Incredible Invisible


                                      • #20
                                        Don't discount the uses of stirrup leathers around the home BTW. I had to get a big fat upholstered chair into an apartment and I used two leathers buckled together to give me a strap around the back of the chair, and they worked great to hold the door with one of those grab handles tied open for the rest of the stuff.

                                        And cheap belts from the thrift store sound like a wonderful idea for fuse material.
                                        Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                                        Incredible Invisible