The age old question, should I leave a halter on my horse during turnout? Everyone has their own opinion (as with everything horse 😂), but here are our thoughts and reasoning behind the options.
Horses are gigantic, amazing, strong, beautiful, graceful beings. That also happen to be uber clumsy and really breakable at the worst of times. So why add to the potential catastrophe horses are so good at serving us at the most inopportune times!
Typically when our horses are turned out, they are not being supervised so if something were to go wrong they might be stuck without help for quite some time.
Having a halter on adds to the potential risks your horse may face:
- Getting the halter stuck on a fence, gate, latch, tree, etc. in their turnout area.
- Getting the halter stuck on their own shoe.
- Having another horse grab the halter and hurt your horse in the process by yanking or ripping it across their skin.
The halter, persay, isn’t the problem. The problem is when that halter gets stuck and your horse panics and thrashes around. This can cause lacerations, fractures, breaks, soft tissue damage, and a variety of other injuries including death. And I don’t know about you, but I try to avoid vet bills at all costs!
So our stance is to leave halters off whenever possible during turnout.
Yes, there are occasions where it is IMPOSSIBLE to turnout without a halter. Example: hard to catch horse, unbroke horse, etc. In these instances, try to use a halter designed for turnout safety. These would be halters with leather breakaway pieces above the crown, or fully leather halters (however, these tend to be a little stronger than the breakaway type). But avoid fully nylon halters and rope halters at all costs! As these are nearly indestructible.
We’d love to see photos of your horse in turnout having fun, comment below!