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Halter for 24/7 wearing? Other ideas?

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  • Halter for 24/7 wearing? Other ideas?

    I have an older retired horse who is losing sight in one eye. The horse has always tended toward the much more anxious, worried, fearful side anyway, and those traits are coming out a little stronger these days in certain situations.

    One of those is haltering him in the stall in the morning. If he's already wearing the halter, there is zero issue whatsoever. You grab the halter, he stands there until you walk him out of the stall. But if he's NOT already wearing it, he gets a little anxious about his head, and so ends up walking around the stall and my dad has issues catching him (without creating extra stress).

    My dad would like for the horse to wear his halter in the stall as well as outside. I'm hesitant to do this for the obvious reasons, but I see no alternative. He already wears a leather halter; if he's going to have to wear something 24/7, I'd like for it to be as minimally invasive as possible

    Is there a halter that would be suitable and safe for 24/7 wear? Any better ideas?
    Last edited by Kadenz; Apr. 2, 2013, 05:27 PM. Reason: shoulda proofread ;)

  • #2
    If you have to leave a halter on use a break away.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by Remington410 View Post
      If you have to leave a halter on use a break away.
      He's already wearing one.

      He's been wearing his halter during 12-hour turnout for a while now with no problems. Increasing that to 24/7, I'm worried about rubs more than anything.

      Comment


      • #4
        There is always the risk that it will get caught on something and scare him further, but you can reduce that risk by checking the paddock and stall very carefully.

        I'd try a single-ply all leather halter. The cheap brands tend to break easier. If he starts to get rubs, you may have to add fleece tubes.

        If that isn't breakable enough, you can always tie the buckle with a single piece of baling twine (not the nylon one) instead of buckling it. Another option is to find one of those velcro crown pieces and replace the crown on a leather halter with that. However, I'd still go with leather so the halter can break at other places if it needs to.

        Comment


        • #5
          Could you maybe use a leather neck collar instead? Quillin makes one that is meant to be used on broodmares in turnout to identify them. There's much less to be caught than a halter and it doesn't require getting near the horse's face really.

          https://quillin.com/jshop/product.php?xProd=1184
          Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
          you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.

          Comment


          • #6
            To deal with rubs, maybe he has two halters - one for day and one for night, that fit differently.

            One thing I'd watch is that when he opens his mouth to eat, that the halter does not restrict his jaw.

            Maybe a simple, thin grooming halter?
            If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post
              Could you maybe use a leather neck collar instead? Quillin makes one that is meant to be used on broodmares in turnout to identify them. There's much less to be caught than a halter and it doesn't require getting near the horse's face really.

              https://quillin.com/jshop/product.php?xProd=1184
              Oooh, this seems like a PERFECT idea! Just enough to grab hold of him. Even if it turns out that he isn't easy to lead with a neck collar, it'd be easy enough to halter him once he's captured.

              I think either this or a very thin leather halter will do the trick. Thank you COTH!!!

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by poltroon View Post
                To deal with rubs, maybe he has two halters - one for day and one for night, that fit differently.

                One thing I'd watch is that when he opens his mouth to eat, that the halter does not restrict his jaw.

                Maybe a simple, thin grooming halter?
                All very good points. Hadn't thought about just using 2 different halters and alternating them to avoid rubs.

                Definitely want to make sure he can eat while wearing it - he needs the calories!

                I don't think fleece halter tubes will help - we have burrs in our pastures and the horses ALWAYS manage to find them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Just a plain leather halter properly adjusted in good repair should be fine. Many large operations keep horses haltered for staff convenience, as do breeding farms. Leather shouldn't rub and will break if he gets caught on something.

                  Also liking the neck collar idea so he gets a break from the halter at night, but is still catchable in the morning. I would still leave a halter on in the pasture. If he's losing his sight and gets loose, you want a non-horse person to be able to hold onto him until you get there.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you are worried about rubs, make sure you oil the leather well, inside and out, until it feels like you'd want a show bridle to feel. Its much less likely to rub if it is pliable and without rough spots. You'll also need to re-oil it if he wears it outside in the rain.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by harnessphoto View Post
                      I would still leave a halter on in the pasture. If he's losing his sight and gets loose, you want a non-horse person to be able to hold onto him until you get there.
                      Ugh. Good point. I hate to think about that stuff, but as this progresses...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by soloudinhere View Post
                        Could you maybe use a leather neck collar instead? Quillin makes one that is meant to be used on broodmares in turnout to identify them. There's much less to be caught than a halter and it doesn't require getting near the horse's face really.

                        https://quillin.com/jshop/product.php?xProd=1184
                        Another vote for a neck collar. My old guy wore a leather one 24/7 for years and never had an issue. He had to have something on as he tended to wander if you were brushing him, changing blankets, etc. I could easily snap a leadrope on it and he was fine. When he wore a leather halter 24/7 he would get rubs - the neck collar was the best thing - no rubs at all!
                        "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Try the Leather Neck Halter from Equine Organix.
                          www.equineorganix.com

                          It is a sturdy harness leather strap (with brass loops for cross ties or a lead rope) that goes around the horse's neck. Leaves his face free. Comes in black or havana.
                          RIDE. WASH. REPEAT.
                          http://www.equineorganix.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kadenz View Post
                            I don't think fleece halter tubes will help - we have burrs in our pastures and the horses ALWAYS manage to find them.
                            just use the fleece wrapped halter in the stall, non-fleece halter for turnout
                            I like the neck collar as well.
                            I did get a breakaway halter last year that was deerskin lined ...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              RE: halters and neck collars

                              My gelding always is using his back foot to scratch behind his ears (like a dog would do).

                              Is my horse the only one who does this, because I'd be extremely concerned with him getting a foot caught in a neck collar or halter and freaking out. I don't turn out with any headwear for this reason.

                              Thoughts?
                              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                                RE: halters and neck collars

                                My gelding always is using his back foot to scratch behind his ears (like a dog would do).

                                Is my horse the only one who does this, because I'd be extremely concerned with him getting a foot caught in a neck collar or halter and freaking out. I don't turn out with any headwear for this reason.

                                Thoughts?
                                I've seen a lot of horses who do this. That is why any halter/neck collar has to be tight enough so there isn't enough room but not too tight that they cause discomfort. It is amazing how many horses i see with halters adjusted so they are literally hanging off the head - huge gaps that are screaming for something to get trapped in them!! Adjust the halter/neck collar properly and it shouldn't be an issue. :-)
                                "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
                                  RE: halters and neck collars

                                  My gelding always is using his back foot to scratch behind his ears (like a dog would do).

                                  Is my horse the only one who does this, because I'd be extremely concerned with him getting a foot caught in a neck collar or halter and freaking out. I don't turn out with any headwear for this reason.

                                  Thoughts?
                                  My guy is too old, very large, and not nearly bendy enough to do this any longer. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen him do it.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm going to chime in with a partially blind horse story. My pony has lost sight in one eye- and gets maintenance medication in both eyes. (glaucoma) She also happens to have tiny ears and will roll and shake her halter off with ease.

                                    I am sensitive about putting a halter on her with consideration that her eye orbits might be painful or achey. I am also sensitive to the thought that she may be reluctant to be caught and haltered because it means she is about to be medicated.

                                    I buy mini carrots and treat her through the whole process- she gets a reward for standing still for her eye drops- and this very flighty (and slightly witchy) little mare is AMAZINGLY stoic and patient to get those drops since she can always count on a carrot. She has also not developed any beggar habits as the carrots are only associated with the medication.

                                    The first carrot is the reward for allowing me to halter her. Ordinarily my inner horseman would not condone bribing a horse to do what SHOULD be a given- but under these circumstances I feel that her willingness to be haltered is really special and deserves positive reinforcement.

                                    Is it possible that you/dad could get in a routine where your horse is rewarded for haltering? It's possible that, even if his eye isn't painful- that being touched on an eye that doesn't see is very unnerving to him, that he's just being protective of his blind side?

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Plainandtall View Post
                                      Is it possible that you/dad could get in a routine where your horse is rewarded for haltering? It's possible that, even if his eye isn't painful- that being touched on an eye that doesn't see is very unnerving to him, that he's just being protective of his blind side?
                                      Yes, I see where you're going with this. I don't *think* it has anything to do with the physical haltering - it's more a dancing-prancing-around-not-sure-if-I-want-to-be-caught thing. Once you get your hand around his neck and his feet stopped, for instance, he practically shoves his face into the halter.

                                      I wish I could explain just how weird and quirky and, well, "special" this horse is. My dad and I are both pretty gentle with him, because of his aforementioned anxieties and quirks - I don't drag the halter roughly over his ears, for instance.

                                      So, I don't *think* it's a physical pain or discomfort issue. However, I do want to be careful to avoid that because this horse will react quite strongly, always negatively, and usually over-reacts, to those kinds of stimuli.

                                      I think that leaving his leather halter on or buying a neck collar and using both is the best answer. That way we completely sidestep the prancing-dancing routine and everything stays nice and calm, hopefully making that the new normal routine.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I would still try treating him for allowing himself to be haltered. When I was with the opthamologist and was trying to absorb the news that she expected me to day after day put eyedrops in this pony's eye- I thought she was CRAZY... what horse on Earth is going to tolerate that? She's going to get totally crazy, mean, etc... I could just imagine it escalating into a totally horribible fight- that ended with a horse who can't be caught and rears if you try to go near her face and that vet talked me down and told me to approach it like clicker training- and she was confident that my mare would be fine. Her approach worked.

                                        I would do clicker training (with or without the clicker) in the stall... maybe double haltering- or with a rope around the neck (I know very well the horse who is all flight until you can get a rope around their neck and then they submit) And just work on it when you have the horse under control- put the halter on- click-treat. take it off and do it again.

                                        I think you could combine that training with the initial 24/7 halter/collar... and maybe it won't take too long for him to begin to eagerly anticipate the approach and haltering.

                                        Comment

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