How to Put a Halter on Your Horse

Horse in halter

A horse halter is headgear used to guide your horse. It fits over the back of the neck, just behind the ears and across or around the muzzle. When a handler pulls on the muzzle end of the halter, the horse's head turns toward the handler. Unlike a bridle, a halter does not have a bit that goes into your horse's mouth. Halters are used to help retrieve, lead, or hold your horse. Once the halter is fastened around your horse's head, you can then lead him by pulling on the muzzle part of the halter.

Horse halters are made of varying material and workmanship (and of course, a wide range of prices). Leather halters tend to be the most expensive, but are the most durable if you take the time to keep them in good condition. Rope halters are made from braded material such as cotton or sometimes nylon and are generally very inexpensive. You can buy premade rope halters or make your own (they are fun and easy to make). Rope halters tend to stretch or shrink requiring frequent readjustment. Nylon halters constructed in a flat web design are cheaper than leather halters and last a great deal longer than cotton rope halters. Nylon horse halters cleaned easily and are not usually subjected to rotting or mildew.

The type of horse halter you use is simply a matter of preference. And regardless of the kind of halter you use with your horse, you put it on the same.

Putting a Halter on a Horse

1. Before beginning, make sure the horse halter is already unbuckled and the lead rope is attached. Check both halter and rope for wear.

2. When approaching your horse, approach from the front so he can see you and walk toward the shoulder of the horse while speaking to him. Don't walk straight toward him in case he should happen to bolt-you want to be able to get out of the way easily. Never approach your horse from behind. A startled horse can jump or kick.

Loop lead rope around horse's neck

3. While standing on the left side, pass the lead rope under your horse's neck with your left hand and grab it with your right hand over the top of his neck. Gather both ends of the lead rope together in your right hand to keep your horse from wandering.

Position halter in front of horse's noseSlide halter noseband around your horse's nose

4. Transition the lead rope to your left hand, and grab both sides of the of the horse halter down near the nose band. Then slide the noseband around your horse's nose.

Fasten horse halter

5. Bring the halter strap over the horse's head just behind his ears and then fasten the buckle while keeping hold of the lead rope just in case your horse decides to bolt before you have a chance to finish. Note: The horse halter should not fit too loose or too tight. A rule of thumb is you should be able to fit two fingers underneath your horse's cheekbone and the noseband.

Leading horse by halter

6. Remove the lead rope from around your horse's neck, and you are now ready to lead.