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Article Index

Approach & Retreat
Buying a Horse

Common Sense on the Trail
Curb Strap Tying Info.

Focus & Time
Ground Driving
Ground Manners
Ground Tying
In the Saddle
Introducing a New Horse

Lateral Movement
Mecate Reins
One Rein Stop

The Process
Progress Strings
Punishment & Correction



Round/Square Pen

Rope Skills
Slobber Straps
Training Home
Training Stick
Trailer Loading
Trailer Unloading
Tying from Above
Tying a rope halter



Training ~ Haltering with a Rope Halter ("Printer Friendly" version of this page)

Rope halters convey a "message" to the horse. A typical flat halter is very difficult to train with because a horse can lean on it - making training difficult. Rope halters work because the relatively thin rope causes the horse to yield to their own pressure -- teaching them not to lean. Yet, the rope is soft and comfortable to the horse when they are yielding. The strategically placed knots on the halter also assist in this process.

Halter breaking is a term I have heard over the years that really doesn’t have much meaning. It sounds like something bad is going to happen by putting on this piece of equipment.

showing halter to horse picturePutting a rope halter on a horse is pretty uneventful if you have worked out the ground manner issues with your horse. By this we mean, does your horse respect your space? If not, then you need to work this out first. But, assuming that you can stand next to your horse without getting bit, having them swing their head into you, or stepping on you, then you can approach putting the halter on.

Start by having everything ready. Hold the nose piece of the halter in one hand and the long tie strings in the other. Show the halter to the horse. Work the nose piece onto the nose of the horse. Bring the tie strings over the head and behind the ears. Make sure the tie strings are straight,with no twists in the strings. Take up the slack and center the knots on the nose and throat latch.  And finally, it's important not to move fast with your hands.

Tie the latch knot:  Bring the tie strings through the back of the loop. Hold your fingers below the loop, bring the strings around the back of the loop, through and under the strings. This is the best way to tie the latch knot. It won’t come loose but it will come apart easily when you go to take the halter off.

tying the halter picture 1

tying the halter picture 2

tying the halter picture 3

You can start a good bridling experience with good haltering practices. Don’t move real fast. Ask the horse to bend at the poll and lower its head. You don’t want to be putting a bridle on a head high horse, so why would you do it with the halter? Reward your horse.

You should be able to halter your horse on your knees. This is an easy goal to work for. Ask the horse to bend at the poll, reward this behavior. Over time you will get him to lower his head and be able to keep it there for you to halter.

Next Concept: Yielding

Ordering Information

Our rope halters are hand tied to your specifications using the finest quality 1/4" double braided rope you can buy. There is no hardware to injure the horse and all splices are sewn and the ends are buried to prevent the "unraveling" effect that some other rope halters experience. These are the highest quality rope halters you will find -- even if you pay more money!

horse with rope halter pictureSoft, marine grade double braid nylon marine rope.
No metal fittings.
No knots at the poll.
All splices are hand sewn to prevent unraveling.
Hand tied with a Fiador knot for lead rope attachment.
Somewhat adjustable.
Latch knot end ropes spliced- will not unravel.
Order here


rope halter picture Take a measurement around your horse's nose just below the cheek bone and at the throat latch. Note: the average horse is about 23-24" around the nose. We can custom make every halter to your specifications. Use a string to get the length of these measurements and lay the string out against a yardstick or tape measure. DO NOT USE A METAL TAPE MEASURE TO TAKE THESE MEASUREMENTS ON YOUR HORSE!

Our standard sizing chart

Or you can order the following sizes:

Pony - fits ponies/yearlings and very small horse heads. Approximately 20" around the nose.
Arab - fits cob/Arab size horse heads. Approximately 22" around the nose
Horse - fits the average size horse head.  90% of the halters we sell are this size.  Approximately 24" around the nose.
Warmblood - fits the large horse i.e. warmbloods.  Approximately 26" around the nose.
Draft - fits the VERY, VERY large horse i.e. Percheron, Belgian, Gelderlander, etc. Approximately 28" around the nose.
Custom - Specify the nose & throat latch measurements.

Note: If you have to decide on a size -- It's better to have a halter that is a little bit too big than one that is too small!  If you are going to ride with the halter you want a 2"-4" space above the fiador knot to tie the lead rope into the halter (see the picture above, the lead rope is tied into the halter for riding).

Important: Do not leave a rope halter on your horse when you are not using it. Do not tie your horse in a trailer with a rope halter.

Here it is, the instructions for how to: Tie your own simple rope halter

*Click here to purcahse rope halters*


There is some risk involved in horse training for both you and the horse. Horses can cause serious injury. Be sensible and don’t attempt anything that is outside your comfort level. This information is intended to illustrate how we apply our training techniques, you are responsible for using this information wisely. If you don’t feel comfortable with your abilities or an exercise, don’t do it! Seek advice or assistance from a professional horse trainer. Stay on the "high side of trouble".

Natural Horse Supply Training Information, (c) 1999 Natural Horse Supply. All rights reserved. Duplication of any material  prohibited without express written permission. This prohibition is not intended to extend to personal non-commercial use, including sharing with others for safety and learning purposes, provided this copyright notice is attached and you have written permission. E-mail to submit comments or request reproduction permission.


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Updated Sept. 2012