Introduction: How to Halter a Horse -Fit & Tie a Rope Halter-

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This is step-by-step instruction on how to properly halter a horse or mule using a rope halter. A halter is one of the most important pieces of tack necessary for working with horses. Read and follow these instructions carefully, the final step contains a video link that can further illustrate the process.


What You’ll Need:
-Horse / Mule
-Rope Halter
-Lead Rope
-Treat *(optional)

Step 1: Approach and Hold

Let’s Get Started!

You’ll need to have your Lead Rope attached to a Rope Halter to begin... though depending on the horse, a treat in the hand may save you the hassle of chasing down your mount. Every horse is different, some will come to you, some will run off in defiance or to play a game, while others may just stand there waiting for you to come halter them. Many of these behaviors can be changed with training to an extent, though some are just personality (especially mules). Horse psychology is all together it’s own instructable, for those of you chasing your horses, just think of the good cardio you are getting!

Approach your horse from the head or side. Talk as you walk up in order to let your mount know where you are so that they do not startle. Take the free end of the Lead Rope over the horse’s neck, this will “catch” the horse as most will stop in their tracks once this is done. Grasp both ends of the Lead Rope with one hand to form a loop to hold the horse. If you are not on the left side of the horse at this point you’ll need to make your way there for the next step.

Step 2: Halter Positioning & Placement

Once your horse is caught and held by the Lead Rope, you’ll need to arrange your Halter so that it can be pulled into place over the horse’s muzzle. Again be sure that you are on the left side of the horse, behind their head and facing the same direction that they are before proceeding.

The Lead Line Loop with attached Lead Rope should be aimed downward, away and at the lowest point of the Halter. The Nose Band should be arched over the Lead Line Loop in order to make an opening for the horses muzzle to pass through. Your right hand should be holding the Poll Strap while the left hand holds the Tie Loop. Keep both hands separated and place the Halter beneath the horse’s head. Once in place, pull the Halter up into place.

Before moving onto the next step, make sure that the Nose Band is brought up high on the muzzle, well past the nostrils.

Step 3: Aligning & Threading the Poll Strap

Align (straighten) the Halter and make sure that the Nose Band has been brought up high on the muzzle. Once done, take the Poll Strap and “flip” it up and over the back of the horse’s head so that it meets up with the Tie Loop. Feed the Poll Strap down through the Tie Loop, place the Throat Piece behind the jaw and pull the Poll Strap snug.

Step 4: Tying the Knot -Sheet Bend-

The knot used to secure a Rope Halter is the Sheet Bend. Take the Poll Strap to the right, down and back under the Tie Loop. The knot will wrap around the Tie Loop with the free end of the Poll Strap trailing behind and down from the horse’s face.

It is important to pay attention when tying this knot, again the Sheet Bend must be tied onto the Tie Loop below the place where the Poll Strap threads through the Tie Loop. Make sure that the knot is tied so that the trailing Poll Strap is not aimed up or at the horse’s face / eyes.

Lastly, the halter should fit snug but not tight, it is not meant to choke or restrict the horse in any way, Halters should not be left on when the horse Is put out to pasture as they can become tangled and cause serious injury. Wearing a halter for prolonged periods(weeks) or tying too tight can cause hair loss and sores. Be mindful and vigilant of these possible issues.

Step 5: Check Your Work & Lead On!

Step 6: Watch This Video Demonstration!

If seeing listening to this process being demonstrated would help, take a moment to watch the tutorial video below.