I do a lot of riding in a halter. I mean a LOT! 90% of the time when I ride, I am riding in a halter. I had long ago realized that my horses went better without a bit in their mouths. They were happier, and even calmer, when I rode them without a bit (for more on bitless riding, check out my links, and I encourage you to read Dr. Cook and Dr. Strasser’s book “Metal in the Mouth”).
I tried many different types of bitless bridles…. but none of them seemed to meet my needs. So I ended up just riding all the time in my rope halter. One day, riding down the trail, I noticed a few things that bothered me about the halter. Firstly, when my horse was walking out at a nice forward pace, the halter, with the reins tied to the fiador knot under the chin, would begin to swing back and forth to the point where it was nearly smacking my horse in the head. Not only was my horse annoyed, I spent the whole time trying to pick up the reins to counter-act the swinging. Also, I noticed that when my horse would graze or drink, he had an uncanny ability to step on the end of the lead/reins (tied in an emergency release knot, of course) and untie them. I also noticed that when we were doing work at speed or jumping, I did not have the precision control I was looking for…
Other types of rope halters and side-pulls had problems. For example, in a rope side-pull, the rings are placed on the noseband too high, so that the halter will ride up the horse’s face when pulling on the reins as seen in this illustration:
So, I went to work designing something that would work better, and came up with what I now call the Aeron Riding Halter. It is based on the traditional rope halter, but with several key improvements: I eliminated the bulky fiador knot altogether. Instead, I added two additional blood knots further down on the noseband, and attached two rings. The design is so unique, I have a patent pending. Now, it was possible to use the halter both to train in and to ride in, with the convenience of being able to simply clip on reins and go. Then I made some reins out of nice yacht rope that worked perfectly with the halter. I call them the Aeron Perfect Reins. Now, this system is all I use for training and riding. It’s the most convenient way to ride, and I am hoping others will agree! A riding halter is $34.99 plus shipping ( $9.95 for US shipping). To order a riding halter, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. . You can also buy the matching reins for $39.99 plus $9.95 shipping. If you buy a set (both the halter and the reins) you SAVE $5.00, plus save $5.00 on the shipping! The set (including shipping) is $82.93. Order your set today!
A Few General Safety Rules for Rope Halters
Please keep in mind that rope halters of any kind are usually not breakable, and therefore certain precautions must be taken. For example, NEVER turn a horse out in a rope halter. The halter can get caught on something, or worse, the horse can get his foot in it and really hurt himself or worse. Never leave a horse in a rope halter unattended for the same reasons. If your horse is not 100% okay with being tied, just loop your lead loosely around the post, or tie it to a piece of bailing twine that will break in an emergency. Also, I take the time to teach all my horses what to do in an emergency. They are all used to walking around with the leadrope dragging on the ground, so that this doesn’t spook them. Also I do excercises wrapping the rope around their legs to teach them to yield to pressure instead of panic and fight it. A very good example of the benefits of this was demonstrated in one of John Lyons’ videos, where he has his stallion Zip walk over a metal folding chair lying on it’s side…. it is incredible to watch the stallion stepping in between the legs of the chair, and slowly and carefully step out of it. Amazing! In general, anything that sets off that little “I wonder if this is safe?” voice in your head should alert you to a potential safety problem. There is a short tutorial on How To Start Using A Riding Halter on the links to the right.
Here is a recent picture of my 21-year-old TB mare Lily competing in the riding halter. Even though this one was a little large on her, you can see that it still doesn’t ride up the face the way side-pulls do, even when galloping and jumping!
Here is what people are saying about this halter:
|I absolutley love it! It fits her beautifuly! No more raw spots from the halter. I thank you and my baby does too..she didnt even get upset when I put it on her! It was so light weight and alows her skin to breath..thanx again Aeron..you and your videos have been a tremendous help to me and I have established a much better relationship and communication with my horse..thanx again! YOU ROCK! -Kimberly B.