How does a breakaway halter work?

Discussion in 'Tack & Equipment' started by NiftyJ88, Dec 16, 2006.

  1. NiftyJ88

    NiftyJ88 Senior Member

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    I've owned horses for 7 years, and have been riding for about 15 years. How in the world does a breakaway halter work? I never bought one or used one before, but I just moved to a new barn where they require one. No big deal, but I was examining the structure of it and can't figure out how it would "break" if a horse got it caught somewhere. Any have experience with this?
     
  2. Heavenly Jumper

    Heavenly Jumper Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    They make one part on it that is weaker than the rest, generally a leather "fuse". When under great stress, it will snap there rather than the nylon part...releasing the horse and enabling you to fit it with a new leather fuse later instead of replacing the whole halter. :) Neat huh?

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  3. aqh88

    aqh88 Senior Member

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    The ones I've seen had a leather strap across the poll instead of nylon. Leather breaks much sooner than nylon and unless it's very thick plus being in perfect condition it rarely holds the weight of a horse pulling full strength against it. Nylon on the other hand won't break except under extreme pressure. I've seen horses catch nylon halters in the pasture and be stuck there all night. Some we've had to cut the halter off the fence because they pull on it so hard and wedge it in too much to ever get it back off. When ever we really need to leave a halter on a horse even in a stall we used the leather halters. Most of which despite being very good quality had been repaired at least once because they'd broken from a horse pulling back on a rope or getting them caught on something. Even though our fences and stalls are much safer now compared to when I was growing up I still never leave a nylon halter on a horse. Also a reason I still prefer leather for certain pieces of tack like when I use tie downs or the billets on my saddle. I'd rather if something went wrong that the tack broke insted of my horse's leg, neck, or causing other serious injury.
     
  4. JBandRio

    JBandRio Senior Member

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    There's either a leather "fuse" like in the picture, or as aq said, the entire crown piece is a not very thick strap of leather, and some all-nylon ones have a section that is just velcro'd together.

    Generally leather will break before nylon or the hardware, though not always. The longer the piece of leather, the weaker it is, so personally I'd prefer the long crown piece compared to the shorter fuse, partcularly since the crown piece will have the tension of the buckle to help break down the leather.
     
  5. JKetsche

    JKetsche Senior Member

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    If you get the kind with the crownpiece that buckles on both sides, you can also buy a $3 replacement crownpiece easily enough--better than buying a whole halter with a "fused" piece. Also, if you attach the crownpiece on a hole other than the bottom on each side, when it breaks you can drop to the bottom on the unbroken side and just go up one on the broken side (since they usually break at the buckle). That way you can even reuse the same crownpiece! I always keep at least one spare handy, though.
     
  6. Heavenly Jumper

    Heavenly Jumper Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    See the smallest photo in the ones I posted? Those are little replaceable leather pieces, called "fuses". ;)
     
  7. JKetsche

    JKetsche Senior Member

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    Ah, I didn't see that--though I do agree with JB about the longer strap (and, like I said, you can sometimes use it after the first break!).
     

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