|Back to Back Issues Page|
Nose To The Ground, Issue #004 -- Xenophon Had it Right.
January 01, 2005
For the next few months we're going to be focusing on tack and saddles which will be reflected in the next few articles. Haven't forgotten books, art and the like, just concentrating on other aspects of horse gift ideas for a bit.
We've added some pages designed to help you if you're of a mind to purchase a new saddle. - It's at an awkward stage at the moment with some key pages not yet completed but that'll be taken care of shortly. To see what we've been up to you can go to our main Saddles page.
Horse Books One of my favorite horse books is Pat Parelli's Natural Horse.Man.Ship. After borrowing the book several times from friends and the library I got my own copy as a Christmas present.
As I've noted on the web site, just about every sentence in the book contains something of value. That's something few authors can achieve. If during the New Year you're considering the gift of a book for a horse lover, especially a "beginner", Natural Horse.Man.Ship would be an excellent choice. You can view our write-up for this and some other fine books on our Horse 101 books page.
Horse Jewelry One of our suppliers of jewelry has sold out leaving us with a gap to fill. In particular our source for the popular Celtic Horse Jewelry is no longer there and one of our tasks at the moment is to find a suitable replacement.
This month's article features the rope halter. In true Nose-to-the-Ground fashion, the idea just sort of came out of the blue. In thinking about an off-the-wall gift idea, the thought of a piece of rope with instructions on making a rope halter came to mind. Then I got to thinking about how very valuable the rope halter is as a training tool - we've used them often - so, why not share the idea for a rather strange but useful gift here and in our Cool Ideas section.
This Month's Article.
Great Training Tool - but a Great Gift?
Our "great gift idea" was actually a 20' length of rope and a set of instructions detailing how to make a halter from that piece of rope. There is a group of horse people out there, admittedly a minority, for whom such a gift might not be such a bad idea. Such people either (a) love a challenge, (b) like to use things they've built themselves, (c) are adept with tying knots and handling rope, (d) have time on their hands, or (e) all of the above.
Then here are those, most horse owners and horse lovers, who primarily rely on nylon or leather halters and use rope halters for specific tasks. And finally,there are also those who feel that rope halters are generally a bad idea and see little use for them.
A - We've used rope halters when ground training a foal as there is far less tendency of the little guy to lean on the halter and fight the lead rope than if a nylon halter is used. When you stop and think about it, with a nylon halter the bands tend to spread pressure over a wider area instead of focusing it on a smaller area as a thin section of rope or a knot will do. In a nylon halter it is easier for the foal to fight the lead rope.
B - We've used rope halters when a grown horse develops an outbreak of bad manners while being led. Our oldest Fjord gelding, Nessi, though a rather smallish horse is, like others of his breed, incredibly strong. Under saddle or while driving, Nessi's manners are impeccable but for some strange reason he occassionaly suffers a bout of Norwegian stubborness while being led. If a you are leading a Norwegian Fjord in a northernly direction and he (or she) suddenly decides to head to the east, you will either drop the rope or head in that direction as well. While this does not happen very often, the remedy is the use of a rope halter for a few days and the problem goes away.
In either case, especially the latter, I would emphasize that the rope halter is not used as a device for punishment, but as a tool to establish better control when needed. Like bits and spurs, when used correctly the rope halter produces needed pressure at a specific point and nothing more. It sends the needed message without harm or undue discomfort to the horse.
In short, the rope halter is a useful tool when training a horse or dealing with behavioral problems. When tied properly (normally not a problem if store-bought, potentially a problem if I tied it) the rope halter is durable and reliable, lightweight and pliable and easily kept clean, especially if made from synthetic material.
Other informative websites you can visit for information on purchasing, tying, fitting, or using the rope halter include:
So if your wandering how to get the New Year off to a good start, get yourself a 20-foot piece of rope and .......
All of us at the Goose Bay Ranch wish you all the best for 2005.
|Back to Back Issues Page|