Have you ever gotten yourself out to the pasture, with only a lead rope and due to a brewing emergency (for instance a horse in the wrong area, or a horse out of the pasture altogether) and were in need of halter in a real hurry?

I have. And thanks to a little trick my grandfather showed me, I have a neat little way of catching a horse and leading it back when the halter is a mile away.

Now before I go on much more, this blog comes with a disclaimer! The halter-in-a-hurry is by no means meant to replace a conventional halter in any way. And as the halter-in-a-hurry has a \”tightening effect\” if the lead is pulled on too much, it is not recommended for colts, horses that are head shy or don\’t lead well. The halter-in-a-hurry is merely useful in situations where time is of the essence and with horses that lead well and are in need of being moved from one area to another quickly. This halter can be harsh in the wrong hands but if used properly and carefully, can be a very gentle form of control. Also important to note is that the smaller the size/diameter of the rope, the more severe the halter can become – which is why I use it only when I have a thick lead rope with me.

Okay, so enough of that. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to create a halter-in-a-hurry:

1. Start by clipping your lead rope back to itself, creating a loop large enough to slip the horse\’s entire head through.


This loop will be placed at the horse\’s throat latch…


Next, you will essentially create a secondary loop at the bottom of your first loop, intended for the horse\’s nose. The following picture is to give you the idea, however it\’s important to point out that the secondary loop needs to be done while the horse is wearing the rope:


So once you have the first loop over the horse\’s throatlatch, pull the second loop through the first one, under the horse\’s cheek bones.


Now slip the second loop over the horse\’s nose, like so:

\"\"And snug it up on the bridge of the nose, where the horse finds it comfortable and the lead is taut.


The rope makes somewhat of a figure-8 under the horse\’s cheek bones and the remaining rope can be used to lead the horse, as this is what the handler would hang on to.


Presto! The finished halter-in-a-hurry. And it took about 20 seconds to create with only a lead rope.


1 thought on “Halter-in-a-Hurry”

  1. Susan Kauffmann, WHR Health Editor

    Very cool, Jenn, but I have a question for ya: Could you do the same thing, but make the first “clipped” loop go over the horse’s nose instead of around the head? If that would work, I would think it might be safer overall, the reason being that if the horse got away from you in the configuration you describe, the second loop could come undone, leaving a trailing rope that could get caught and potentially strangle the horse, due to the clip slipping further up as more pressure is applied. If the clipped loop was over the nose, it would be likely to simply fall off if the second loop around the head came loose — plus there would be no chance of strangulation.

    If this configuration wouldn’t work, I would still use what you suggest in a pinch…there have been times in my neighborhood where I’ve found loose horses out on the road (very dangerous for both horses and drivers!) and had nothing but a dog’s leash in the car. I now try to at least have a lead rope in the car as well as a leash — your “halter in a hurry” could definitely come in handy!

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