How to keep your horse calm

Arab stallionFor a horse frightening situations can occur when you even wouldn’t think of it being so scary. Also guiding your horse into a horse box trailer and out of it can be intimidating.  Working in a horse clinic I encountered numerous situations like that.  Sometimes just parading in front of the veterinarian was enough for some horses to be frightened and to try to flee.

I like to tell you a great method how to keep horses calm with just a simple horse halter.

Updated 2017

First of all you need to be aware that horses have specific instincts.  They are prey animals.  That means they most likely try to flee as first reaction in dangerous or unfamiliar situations.  There are of course situations where a horse will fight, most often when flight is not tenable or when they want to protect their offspring.  But these situations are probably more rare when handling your horse.  Well, how do you handle your horse to keep him calm and trustful?

In the horse clinic in Switzerland where I worked I learned to recognize if a horse would make trouble and be difficult to hold and lead.  You know how I did that?  Actually by observing the horse owner.  When the owner showed all signs of “vet visit stress” I knew that I had to approach their horse very carefully.

I used to walk the horses just with a simple halter even when the owners assured me that their horse needs a strong hand and a heavy-duty headgear.  Otherwise the horse would run away and pull the person on the other end of the halter with him.

I soon got the reputation to calm every horse no matter what they did or how they felt.  Well, I reveal here my secret so you can do that service to your horse too.

Arab stallionMy secret of how to calm a frightened horse was: breathing.  Yes, I know, it sounds crazy, but it worked and it works – with almost every horse.  I took the horse at the halter and did the first minutes nothing else than breathing.  Deep and calm and long. Breathing in and out.  As horse owner you know that your horse is connected to you in a way you can’t even start to describe.  The way you feel, your horse is mirroring.  Are you nervous and even frightened, your horse will be the same.  Are you calm and confident, your horse will be the same.

I said that calm and deep breathing works with almost every horse.  There are sadly horses that encountered in their lives terrible situations.  Those horses are deeply disturbed and need a good horse trainer in order to find back to a happy horse life.

For all other horses just with breathing and giving enough time they receive the unspoken message of “everything is alright and under control” and let themselves willingly lead wherever the person will go.  As said a horse halter is actually enough to hold and lead a horse in a normal situation.

Hungarian horseBefore I present you 4 great horse halters I’d like to tell you an amazing story I witnessed in Hungary.  Hungarians are known as horse people, they treat their horses with such a lightness and understanding that creates very confident calm horses.  This is what I saw one day in a Hungarian stud farm.  A tiny very old man led a horse with a simple halter.  The horse was a young stallion – a very beautiful dark brown stallion by the way.  The old man walked with his thin bow legs in front of the horse holding the halter so casually that it was sagging.  The young stallion shuffled slowly and two steps behind him.  The horse even seemed to imitate the old man’s wobbly walk.  The man opened the gate to a paddock, the horse waited behind him patiently with hanging head and ears.  The man stepped into the paddock, pulled the halter carefully off the horse’s head, turned around and closed slowly the gate behind him.  The stallion waited until the gate was closed – then he exploded!  With powerful jumps he raced down the paddock, stopped, threw himself around, galloped to the other end.  The view of this vivacious horse was just incredible – and didn’t fit the picture I had of him while he was shuffling behind that old man.  That was a horse that trusted the man fully and stayed calm until he got free.

I hope you find among these Top 4 Horse Halters the perfect halter for your horse and I hope that you can utilize my tip of how to calm your horse in intimidating and unfamiliar situations.

Premium Halter

Accent Premium Horse Halter

Product Highlights

  • Non-fade nylon
  • Triple ply cheek and chin straps
  • Heat sealed no-tear holes
  • Superior quality hardware
  • Equipped with a patented “Equi-Snap”
  • Sewn with diamond stitching for extra durability

Customer reviews

Made of good material with strong seams.

It fits my gelding perfectly and the color is great (I got the green). The color hasn’t faded like the halters I usually get.

Really bright colors and very well made.


 

Nylon Padded Halter

Tough 1 Nylon Padded Halter

Product Highlights

  • Double ply nylon halter
  • With padded nose and crown
  • Adjustment at crown and nose
  • Complete with snap at throat

Customer reviews

I got the horse size which fits my paints and quarter horses.

It is a FANTASTIC halter. Nicely padded and sturdy. I have a 15hh Arabian gelding that has a huge jaw and small nose so regular arabian halters don’t fit him!  The adjustable strap under the chin is perfect for him.

I’m sure both my horses appreciate the soft padding on the inside too. The halter seems to run a little big, but the horse size fits my thoroughbred and mustang perfectly when it’s on the highest hole.


 

Nylon Halter

Weaver Leather Snap Horse Halter

Product Highlights

  • Top quality nylon construction
  • Heat-sealed oblong buckle holes
  • Box-stitching at stress points
  • True-to-fit-sizing
  • Adjustable design
  • Comfortable rolled throat
  • Brass plated hardware

Customer reviews

Weaver halters are my favorite (nylon) halters.  Adjustable straps and throat latch clip aren’t cheap in the least. This will last a long time.

We have bought many Weaver halters throughout the years, and they’re your best bet for 1) durability and 2) adjustability.  I appreciate the adjustable noseband, heavy snap throatlatch, buckles and even the metal tip on the crown strap.

Very good halter with enough adjustment to allow for good fit.


 

Nylon Safety Halter

Intrepid International Leather Horse Halter

Product Highlights

  • Replaceable crown will break away if horse get caught
  • Durable, two-ply, 1″ nylon
  • Throat snap
  • Double-buckle crown with heat-welded hole at adjustable chin

Customer reviews

Like the leather crown for horses’ comfort.  Fits rather large, had to punch another hole but not a big deal.  Like easy clasp on side when removing from horse.

Halter itself is bigger than I expected and yesterday, the breakaway leather strap really DID breakaway when Donny hooked himself onto the non-climb fence with the grooming strap hook.

It did exactly what it was supposed to do – broke away when she was in a tight spot.


 

This entry was posted in Horses, Large Animals and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.