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Nose chain alternatives

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  • Nose chain alternatives

    This isn’t a racing issue per se, but y’all are used to dealing with big, fit, young horses. I would love it if anyone wanted to weigh in.

    I have a young, big, horse that can be quite strong in hand. I’ve been using a chain wrapped around his halter to keep his attention while we worked on manners. He’s gotten much better, so I’d like to move to something less harsh but still more substantial than a regular halter.

    Recommendations? Rope/alternative halters are not something I have a through knowledge of. Thanks!

  • #2
    You could move to a proper rope halter but if he’s improving, you could just run your lead rope over his nose, that does put enough pressure on the nose to remind them to behave. And you already have it. But beware, it’s better to have the chain and not have to use it then need it and not have it. That will undo all your training and reinforce bad behavior.

    No idea where you and your horse are but don’t be in a rush to lose the chain. Again, he can wear it and not need it just fine.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

    Comment


    • #3
      I also will recommend a very stiff rope halter. What I love about them is that they have a lot of the corrective aspects of a chain, and yet they release easier and I think are less likely to injure anyone. I like the ones with a stiff nose like a bosal the best for a naughty horse. This was the perfect solution for my young daughter with her pony, where she did not have the expertise to use a chain, but needed him to lead across tempting delicious grassy pasture.

      If you can't deal with the standard rope halter, they also now make web halters with a rope nose.

      This source has a lot of combo halters:

      https://www.ridingwarehouse.com/Rope...PEHALTERS.html
      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


      • #4
        Originally posted by jonem004 View Post
        This isn’t a racing issue per se, but y’all are used to dealing with big, fit, young horses. I would love it if anyone wanted to weigh in.

        I have a young, big, horse that can be quite strong in hand. I’ve been using a chain wrapped around his halter to keep his attention while we worked on manners. He’s gotten much better, so I’d like to move to something less harsh but still more substantial than a regular halter.

        Recommendations? Rope/alternative halters are not something I have a through knowledge of. Thanks!
        It's training, not equipment.
        "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

          It's training, not equipment.
          I guess you’re leading your horse around with words then.

          Comment


          • #6
            I bought a Hybrid Halter for my OTTB. It's a mix between a rope halter and a regular halter. I prefer it to my regular rope halter because it is much easier to put on, but just as effective! Previously she was lead with a chain, at the track. http://hybridhalter.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jonem004 View Post

              I guess you’re leading your horse around with words then.
              It’s wonderful how calm and happy they become with a bit of good training, but I guess you would not understand.
              "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

              Comment


              • #8
                I view a chain over the nose as sort of the equivalent of a seatbelt. You can put it on and never use it but it's there if the time comes that you do. Like a seatbelt, it's too late to put it on afterwards. If he is doing well with it I don't understand why you would change anything.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home

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                • #9
                  I would keep the chain and find someone that will teach ground work with a rope halter. Either way, the end goal is so the chain or rope halter is there without you actually using it. Laurierace’s seat belt analogy is perfect.

                  My mare came off the track and some days she needs her chain. It just needs to be there. I don’t actually put pressure on it. Same with her rope halter. I don’t always apply pressure. So yes palm beach has a point about more training and yes you can get to a point where you are “leading with words.”

                  My mare can be a hot mess after minimal turnout. However with her chain or rope halter she stays next to me and never jumps into me, or tries to drag me around. She will be a hot mess right next to me at my pace.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A chain wrapped in the correct manner around the noseband of the halter is not "harsh" unless the handler makes it harsh. It is a tool that is used lightly and softly, or not at all if it is not needed. But if your horse has a history of needing it every now and again to keep his attention and keep him and you safe, it is best to have it on him when you handle him. You don't get any "kudos" for taking it off him, it won't make him love you more if you take it off. IMO, using a chain shank is a much more precise tool than a rope halter is. And I have used both.
                    www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I admit, I'm confused as to why you want to get rid of the chain. It's only harsh if you use it harshly. Sounds to me like what you are doing is working fine, so why would you change things up? Are you embarrassed by how it looks to others that you lead your horse with a chain? Maybe people like Palm Beach who may insinuate that your training and handling are poor if you need to use a chain? I must be the worst because I don't hesitate to use a chain shank if a horse needs it. Sure, I'd love it if every horse arrived to me calm and leading like an experienced show horse. But IRL safety, security, and maintaining proper control take precedence to me over appearances. Again, it sounds to me like you are doing a fine job. Continue to use the chain, continue to work on manners.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Ya just keep using the chain wrapped around the nose band of the halter, wrap the chain in vet wrap if you want. Yep it is the equine handling equivalent of a seat belt OR the "warning angry mother" tone mom's can use. When applied properly it causes NO discomfort to the horse when not in use or even when a quick a shank is given.

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Palm Beach View Post

                          It’s wonderful how calm and happy they become with a bit of good training, but I guess you would not understand.
                          🙄

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thank (almost) all of you for the thoughtful and helpful responses! Upon reflection I believe I’ll leave the chain on just in case. Definitely better to have it and not need it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by jonem004 View Post
                              Thank (almost) all of you for the thoughtful and helpful responses! Upon reflection I believe I’ll leave the chain on just in case. Definitely better to have it and not need it.
                              Palm Beach isn’t wrong. Keep training with the ground manners. A chain is a tool. What is it about it that you’d want to change it out if you are making good progress?

                              You roll your eyes at a poster yet she isn’t the one starting two threads on how to teach a horse to lead.
                              Last edited by Denali6298; May. 21, 2019, 07:16 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Comments like Palm Beach's are often made by people who handle already trained, unspoiled horses all the time. I don't know Palm Beach personally and I don't know how his/her comment was intended, but I could think of probably 20 friends who would say something similar as they lead around their perfectly trained show horse that was selected for it's docile temper and has years of training (by someone else) under it's belt. Comments like that are NOT typically made by people in the trenches who are bravely dealing with imperfect, less finished equine specimens.

                                Training is a long process. Horses are complex creatures and remaking their behavior patterns and attitudes can require a long period of time. Some horses have deeper levels of anxiety, energy or distraction, or have gotten away with pushing humans around in the past. Some were gelded late. Some have been affected by the high adrenaline experience of racing. Some are simply used to being handled/led in a snugly controlled fashion.

                                And, at the end of the day, some very excellent horses will occasionally retain quirks for a lifetime despite an otherwise very high level of training.

                                My respect goes to horse owners like the OP who are facing the challenge of a more difficult horse with humility and patience. I admit, I am annoyed by people who look down their noses at owners who have horses still in these "rougher" stages. This attitude creates a very discouraging environment for people who are committed to developing young or difficult horses. How on earth are these horses supposed to be developed into useful animals if we act like it is some kind of poor reflection on the owner if they aren't "trained" with a snap of the fingers?

                                Personally, I am only annoyed by owners of difficult horses when they fail to maintain control of their animal and allow it to disturb or endanger other horses/riders.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  When using a chain: What is your preferred method for attaching/wrapping. I have seen many variations and wondered about the effectiveness and safety of each.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by MsM View Post
                                    When using a chain: What is your preferred method for attaching/wrapping. I have seen many variations and wondered about the effectiveness and safety of each.
                                    Several different methods, depending on what you need with a particular horse. When you work at the track, you will see these different methods. The most common is to completely encircle the nose, and snap back onto the triangle of the shank end of the chain. In the left side, and down, then wrap up on the outside of the noseband and in the top side of the right side, then out the bottom hole of the halter, to snap back onto the shank end of the chain. This configuration keeps the pressure off the bridge of the nose, and releases immediately when you release pressure, so it is considered the most popular configuration. There are others, favoured by some people... zig zagging under the jaw, or around the top of the nose and up to the eye on the right side (this allows a lip chain to be secured, should it be needed, simply by pulling the chain down, and under the upper lip).

                                    www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      NancyM gave a good description. Circling the nose, starting and ending through the chin ring is the mildest method and useful when handling on either side or ponying.

                                      I normally go through the near side nose ring, wrap the noseband, out the offside nose ring, under the jaw (sometimes through chin ring, sometimes not) and snap to the side ring under the left eye. This configuration gives a suitable "snap" to the noseband when needed, and tightens a bit which helps in some situations (bully grazing horse who won't pick his head up). It uses up most of the chain so you can hold onto the leather shank, and "cradles" the head instead of twisting the halter. I find it very quick and easy to put on or remove.
                                      A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
                                      ? Albert Einstein

                                      ~AJ~

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        You can buy a chain wrap if you are looking for something that isn't quite as harsh when being used. They use a lot of them on the track instead of using the metal chain on the lip and hide.

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