Your horse’s halter is an important management tool and something you handle frequently, sometimes without even thinking about what it is or what it does. Every day you put it on and take it off, sometimes multiple times. You trust it to hold your horse for you. It must be strong, yet have the ability to be removed easily and quickly if the horse gets in trouble.
Your horse’s halter may be like your favorite slippers—well-worn and comfy. Unlike your slippers, however, a horse halter in bad repair can lead to a significant injury. If you see any of these signs of wear in your horse’s halter, it’s time for repair or replacement.
- Holes that have torn through These can cause the halter to become loose, increasing the risk of a hang-up on a fence or other structure. Also dangerous are holes stretched into slits or so shrunken and dirt-filled that the buckle tongue can’t slip in or out easily.
- Bent hardware, particularly the clasp that rests against the jaw Clasps and buckles that press into the skin can cause nasty wounds.
- Frayed straps Not only is fraying a sign of weakened materials, but it can create a rough surface that rubs skin raw.
- Filth that can’t be removed with a single cleaning Very dirty halters can irritate skin and introduce skin disorders and infections.