Halter Theory

New toys: leather halter and extra long lead rope for ground work/agility exercises. Since I am still cameraless, product picture on the Dover site in brown with green trim [Sussex]. The leadrope is a green and white twisted rope with knots on either end with a double ended-snap. I believe in DIY leadropes because a) I’m cheap and b) I don’t see the point of having chain right where I want to put my hand. Green has become Rodney’s default barn color. Convenient for a horse with a “wood” nature. The leather halter is because every horse gets one chance at a fancy rig. If they prove destructive, back to nylon with break-away straps.

In addition to the joy of buying new horse toys, I do have a theory. One of the fundamental rules that Previous Horse lived under was that he MUST behave when wearing a halter or bridle. It was often hard for him to restrain himself, but he understood the consequences. At liberty, he was known to take the occasional flying kick or bite if he thought he could make a clean get-away. (Really, he wasn’t mean, just a grouchy old man. [Dreary]) He knew the difference between liberty and under starters orders. He was good with rules. He was very “metal”. But I digress.

Rodney, hasn’t gotten the liberty/halter distinction. But then, he doesn’t need to. He is easy-going in either case – provided the sky is not falling. Still, I have instituted different gear for different activities:

Liberty – Do as you will. This gets fuzzy as we have been know to lead him around by his nose.

Grooming slip – You must obey the rules of the road but it’s okay to daydream. Stand ground-tied. Used for grooming, massage, generalized horse fussing with. Movement dispensation granted during physical therapy if we do something to which he can reasonably object.

Leather Halter – Pay attention. Learning to be done. Exercises to be sorted. If we ever get to formal horse agility or liberty work, I want tack that says this is not riding but neither is it grooming.

Bit & bridle, currently worn under grooming slip without reins – Hello, we are going to the ring to move our feet about in a way that might someday morph into riding exercises.

Elaborate, yes. I’m hoping to take advantage of the equine power of habit. Of maybe I just like rules. There was a reason Previous Horse and I got along.

Categories: Groundwork, Horse Behavior, Horses, Tack

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