The Right Fit

Julie Goodnight


Is your horse's halter too snug or too loose? Does it hang down around his nose or squeeze his face, rubbing the hair away? Do you fit a rope halter the same as a webbed halter? How do you know if you horse's halter fits or what size halter he should wear? These are all legitimate questions and it is important to have a halter that fits your horse just right-for his comfort and his safety.

Whether you use a rope halter, nylon or leather halter, the fit should be the same. The cheek rings of the webbed halter and the cheek knots of the rope halter should sit about one finger's width below the bottom of the cheek bone. If the noseband gets much lower, it could cause damage to the sensitive cartilage of the nose. The noseband should not fit snugly, but should not be so loose that he could get a hoof stuck in there when he scratches his face with his foot. You should have at least two finger's width between the noseband and your horse's jaw. More information on equipment and training can be found in articles and on instructional videos available at www.JulieGoodnight.com . END OF SHORT VERSION, PROCEED AS SPACE ALLOWS. Usually halters come in basic sizes: yearling, small horse (cob size), regular horse (most horses fit into this category), large horse (Warmblood or draft crosses), draft and mule. The average horse typically wears a regular horse size; if your horse's head is very small and dished, he may need a small horse size, but keep in mind that you do not want the halter to be tight and uncomfortable for your horse. Rope halters can be a little trickier to fit correctly on the horse. When you put the rope halter on, be sure to pull the throat knot all the way up to the horse's throat, then tie it off. This should place the cheek knots just below the cheek bones and keep the upper piece above his jowl-not going across it. If there is too much room in the noseband because your horse has a very refined head, you can loosen the fiador knot under the chin and work it up to tighten the noseband. Or you can use electrical tape to tape around the fiador knot to make the noseband smaller. Turning out horse in halters is not recommended because of the chance of your horse getting hung up on something. Horses should never be turned loose with a rope halter on because it is easier for them to get hung up and they will not break. If a horse must be turned out with a halter on, make sure that is has a leather breakaway strap at the top so your horse can break safely away if he gets snagged. Finally, when you trailer your horse, make sure he is in a breakaway halter and never trailer a horse in a rope halter. If your horse falls and or you are in a wreck, you want him to break free. Most halters made for trailering are made of leather because they are more breakable. Most rope halters are made with climbing rope which is not breakable for the horse. Also, you want your horse to be as comfortable as possible in the trailer and not pulling against the rope halter when he gets off balance. For more information on this and many other important topics, please check out the archived articles on my website. --Julie Goodnight, juliegoodnight.com

You know Julie Goodnight as The Horse Master on her new RFD-TV television show. Through her varied background-riding and training horses in dressage, jumping, racing, reining, colt-starting, and versatility ranch work, and wilderness riding-Julie has discovered the underlying principles important to any type of riding. She communicates clearly with horses and riders in any discipline and at any level. Julie travels coast-to-coast-and beyond-throughout much of the year to help horses and riders at horse expos, conferences, clinics, and while filming for her television "makeover" show. Julie has been featured in the top equestrian publications, including Western Horseman, Horse & Rider, Equus, Perfect Horse and America's Horse. Her syndicated columns appear in over 15 regional publications throughout North America. Her interactive websites, juliegoodnight.com and horsemaster.tv reach an even wider audience. Julie is also the International Spokesperson for the Certified Horsemanship Association-known as CHA. She resides near Salida, Colorado, at her private horse ranch with her husband, Rich Moorhead, the CEO of Monarch Ski and Snowboard Area.
2004-2012 Horse Tack Review



 Horse Tack Review Home


 Shop For Tack
 Back in the Saddle
 Boot Barn
 Dover Saddlery
 Equestrian Collections
 Horse.com
 HorseLoverZ.com
 State Line Tack

 Help Us Support
 Bright Futures Farm


 Horse Tack Reviews
 Submit Your Own Review!
 Search Review Database
 All Reader Reviews
 Staff Reviews
 Submit a Product for Review

 English Tack Reviews
 Dressage Saddles
 Jumping Saddles
 Close Contact Saddles
 All Purpose Saddles
 English Saddle Fittings/Pads
 English Bridles
 English Bridle Accessories
 English Show Apparel
 English Casual Apparel
 English Chaps/Boots/Helmets
 English Miscellaneous

 Western Tack Reviews
 Barrel Saddles
 Reining Saddles
 Roping Saddles
 Show Saddles
 Trail Saddles
 Western Saddle Fittings/Pads
 Western Bridles
 Western Bridle Accessories
 Western Show Apparel
 Western Casual Apparel
 Western Chaps/Boots/Hats
 Western Miscellaneous

 Horse Gear Reviews
 Horse Boots and Wraps
 Halters/Ropes/Leads
 Horse Health and Well Being
 Horse Apparel
 Horse Treats
 Horse Miscellaneous

 Barn & Stable Reviews
 Fly Control
 Gifts/Books/Videos
 Grooming Equipment
 Stable Accessories
 Tack Room
 Training Equipment
 Barn and Stable Misc

 Articles
 Barn and Stable Articles
 English Articles
 Feature and Misc Articles
 Grooming Articles
 Horse Care & Health Articles
 Horse Related Gift Articles
 News and Events
 Training Articles
 Western Articles

 Other Features
 About Us / Contact Information
 Articles & Subjects By Date
 Article Archives
 Join Our Mailing List
 Privacy Policy