Friday, May 12, 2017

Just Call Me the Halter Girl

I have a thing for strap goods. ( you uh... might have noticed). Quality leather speaks to me, and if you think I've a bridle snob, you've never seen me around halters. Which I own a lot of. For reasons. 

I mean, I'm not sure Courage was even home yet when I ordered him his custom halter. Ocala Tack Shack, cob size, havana with stainless hardwear, english chin.
halter #1 Ocala Tack Shack
It's a great halter--fantastic leather, triple stitched, whatever. Big problem: when I was ordering (like almost 4 years ago), I forgot to specify I needed a throat snap. Hence they didn't put one on. Hence it's annoyed me for probably the last 3.5 years.

However, it's my halter and you don't ride in halters and what the hell, right? It's an $80 halter. I'll suck it up and deal with not having my $2 snap that I forgot to order. 

Of course, then there was the little incident where someone decided trailer loading was a Courage-optional activity and I watched Alyssa flail around for an hour+ with my horse in a flat halter. 
this r how we dressage

And if you've ever used a flat halter, you know that it's an imprecise tool at best. 

Next purchase was the "Bad Boy Halter", aka a knotted rope halter with one of those weird natural horsemanship lead ropes that's uber long.
all 'tude
To me, this halter is a tool. The knots are designs to put pressure on the sensitive parts of the horse. The rope is thin and stiff with some bite to it. This halter says PAY ATTENTION. (also imho given these things, it's ignorant/mean to crosstie in a rope halter and put the weight of the ties on the bridge of the nose where there are knots sitting, but I'm a hater and lots of people do it so ymmv). 

It's not pretty. I don't brag about this halter. However, if I want to do training on the ground or have more control when I travel, this is my #1 choice. Oh and since we're doing some comparison pricing, I think this set up cost me $40ish and came from my local western tack store. 

Things can never just be easy, so next step was when Courage decided that being caught in the field was also a Courage-optional activity. 
And while I agree there's nothing funner than chasing your idiot horse for an hour+ in the hot sun and then walking up to him, only to have him spin and fly away the moment you pull a halter out, sometimes that's not fair to the barn workers who handle him. 

So we snagged a turnout halter with one of those insta-breaking crowns. 
and a fancy nameplate
Again, this halter is a tool. Courage went on an eight week bender of pretending he'd never been caught before in his LIFE and this halter let you just snap a lead rope on him vs playing the OMG WILD MUSTANG STALLION MUCH AFRAID OF HALTER game. (That game is only fun if you're the stallion, btw. Trust me.) 

Then eventually he started letting people catch him again and this halter got stowed in the bottom of my trunk "just in case". For the eight weeks we needed it, it was $25 well spent at a local feed store. 

You'd think that would be enough halters and you'd be right.

Unless your two year old nephew goes to a tack store and picks out a purple nylon halter for your Christmas present. 
why yes that is the cutest thing i've ever seen
Plus. In addition to being literally the cutest thing ever (and super sweet by my SIL), the purple halter made me smile and while it also did not have a throat snap, at least I hadn't paid $80 to not have said snap. 
in the interest of uniformity
Cost=priceless. I adore this halter. 

However. I also despise winter hair and Courage despises grooming, so he gets clipped. I don't know if you've ever tried clipping in a standard halter, but it is a PITA. I've done it. Several times. For I dunno, a couple years now, I've had my eye on a convertible grooming halter, so the horse is normally restrained, but then the throat/chin section completely clips out. CWD makes one, but I wasn't $200 interested. Plus Renate has some choice words about the quality of that product. I've whined about it on and off and never found one that I liked enough to pay for. 
ok
But digging through a bin at Rolex, Leah ran across one and then when I was like "yeah but do I $30 want it" she was all BUY IT OR I SLAP YOU QUIT YOUR BITCH ASS WHINING. 

So that happened. It was $30 well spent. It's double stitched, which makes sense for what it is. It's Perri's leather, so it's acceptable but not incredible. It's brand new and not broken in, but I want it for clipping a few horses a few times a year, not daily use. It'll probably last the rest of my life and be fine. 

And again. That's more than enough halters. Many, many people would happily have one nylon halter for the life of the horse and call it good AND NOT BE WRONG.

Where's the fun in that? 


So Courage and I have been through a lot together and where we are is not where we were and I like having a nice leather halter and dammit that lack of a throat snap still annoys me, even if we've been without one for so long that Courage has forgotten halters can slide on and sliding them on prompts the WILD MUSTANG NEVER BEEN HALTERED response. It's cool. I can fix that.
purple stitching even omg <3
So I did.

That's a Peacock Leather beauty with a bunch of fun custom options, ordered at an excellent booth at Rolex.

AND THEN you would think I definitely had enough halters.

And you would be right.

But the morning after I got back from Rolex, I got a call from a Kentucky area code before the ass crack of dawn. A very peppy sounding lady from Kentucky told me I had won a custom leather turnout halter that I had no recollection of entering for. She even read me the custom options I selected and didn't ask for credit card information, so I figured it probably wasn't a scam and gave her my address.
d'awww
This bad boy showed up. (The halter, not the teeny).
pretty!
It's a cob size, havana leather, brass hardware turnout halter from Central Kentucky Tack and Leather.

That I won.

And I never win things, so that's super cool.
purple is for champions
And no, despite taking/uploading all of these pictures, I haven't totaled up how many halters that is. I just know it's probably more than I "need". 

50 comments:

  1. The purple 😍😍😍😍💜💜💜💜

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  2. Your recollection of the acquisition of the Perri's halter might be *slightly* skewed, but I'll allow it. Also, I recognize one of those pictures..... 😂

    I dig the Peacock halter. Maybe one day I won't be such a cheapskate and will get something that fun for Ruby and Cinna. It's so gorgeous, and Courage looks fantastic in it!

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    1. No I'm pretty sure that's exactly how it went down. I was there, you know.

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  3. Those both showed up quick! Also, that Peacock Leather one is just gorgeous.

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    1. They told me "within 30 days" for Rolex orders, but I placed mine right out of the gate on Thursday morning. So. YAS.

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  4. FYI, I know a girl who makes awesome rope halters in custom colors of your choice. They are $10 plus shipping. If you ever need a bad boy halter that is also pretty, hit me up ;)

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    1. You had me at custom.

      Because I clearly need more halters for my one horse.

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  5. Coming back to add that I have more halters than I can count. Each horse has a "fun colored" nylon halter with breakaway. I have a leather halter with name plate for each one. I have a rope halter in pretty much every color of the rainbow, with varying severity. I have Ozzy's original halter that he wore at the track. I have my Two Horse Tack buckle-nose halter. Endurance halter (biothane). Halter-bridle. Halter with side pull rings. Assorted halters from horses past. And for a while I had one of those overrated hybrid halters that's half rope halter, half flat halter (and no good for anything, but hey, it came with the horse). Oh yeah... and a grooming halter from the track. I think I have a blingy western halter somewhere too...

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    1. Haha I've been seeing those hybrid halters around and I couldn't decide if they were super useful or totally useless.

      They didn't have purple padding tho so I restrained myself.

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  6. I also have a halter problem. Need to work on that...

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    1. By "work on", do you mean "acquire more"?

      Cuz that's def what I was hearing.

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  7. I have never understood the multiple halters, mostly because mine have always had to sit out on a fence getting bleached by the sun. But I definitely drooled over all those nice leather halters. If I didn't board in places where my halter has to hang exposed to the elements, I could see myself developing a leather halter addiction.

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    1. Ha yeah that's definitely a difference maker. When I did that, my horse had a "barn use/turnout" halter and then the nice halter I used.

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  8. Yay! That purple lined halter is a thing dreams are made of. Love that thing forever.

    I tend to be a halter collector. I had one of those halters with the big fleecy piece across the nose, because rubs. Then I bought the ugly but totally useful and awesome "field safe" halter with the velcro break aways that I find intensely helpful in training horses with tying problems (especially if you find yourself going through a ton of breakable crowns or your horse flips in crossties, mine doesn't but I've used it on horses that do to great effect.) I don't use that one anymore, but I have stowed it away for future use. I have a nice leather halter with nameplate I used to use only for shows, then used at my current barn where it seemed leather halters were the norm (along with other crazy fancy). But I got sick of it getting nasty in the humidity of the tackroom and getting hosed down every day. So I bought a black Tekna one, and use it a lot. It's not my favorite, but it's practical and doesn't look like crap. Winning.

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    1. Note. The field safe halter rubs like a mother. I also had a plain green nylon halter. But I hate nylon halters. They smell terrible over time. Bletch. I gave those away when I moved barns.

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    2. I was terrified that C would get bloody rubs the whole time he wore the turnout halter but I was also sick of chasing his ass all across tarnation.

      Though now I kind of want a velcro halter.

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  9. I thought this post would end several times and I kept scrolling and scrolling. I have one halter for each horse (yikes). My tack game needs some working on...

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    1. See, I admire the people who can do the one halter thing. They're like mythical creatures I have no hope of understanding, but I respect their great strength of character.

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  10. Love the Peacock leather halter! I've been pretty good about restraining myself when it comes to halters, though there are a couple I have my eye on (Le Mieux, PS of Sweden, and a Teal Padded Black halter). I only have one a nylon halter that I never use, a rope halter, and a Smartpak fancy leather halter.

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    1. Haha basically every time I go to a tack store and don't buy a halter, I consider myself a model of restraint. This peacock leather one really is one of the prettiest things I've ever seen tho.

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  11. LOVE the Peacock leather halter, too. OMG the purple details!!!

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    1. True confession: I did not know about the purple stitching until it showed up. LOVE.

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  12. omg i want the peacock leather one. be still my heart. it has purple stitching.

    you guys are really fucking bad for me just saying, i used to be a 'nylon pos halter and one brush' kinda girl. but where is the fun in that????

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    1. I used to be that kind of girl too. Can 💯 confirm life is better as a tack ho 😉 poorer maybe, but infinitely more fun. With more pretties.

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    2. I see it as opening people's eyes to the beautiful world of endless possibility and freeing them from the narrow-mindedness of their pasts.

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  13. I LOVE your halter collection review. That purple nylon halter from your nephew -- priceless! I love the stories of how your collection grew. :)

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    1. I am rarely sentimental but you can pry that one out of my cold, dead hands.

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  14. Yeah, I love halters - I have 3 per horse... 1 nylon w/ throat clippy for everyday use, 1 leather show halter and 1 naughty pony rope halter each!

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    1. I have a per horse bridle limit. There not a per horse halter limit. 😎

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    2. I don't necessarily either - it's more of a "I'd rather try to save up for things I kinda sorta or actually need for the ponies" and even more of a "how badly do I want to keep my husband vs how much do I REALLY need that for my horses?"

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  15. Dexter has two leather halters (one junker one, one Tack Shack one that a friend got me as a gift), plus a cheapie rope halter and an even cheaper breakaway halter. Plenty of halters seeing as he doesn't actually wear on often. But I am having a hard time not spending money lately (thank you life crisis) and I was a Kentucky Bridleworks halter so badly. But see above that it is not even close to necessary. Besides that, my pocketbook is beyond empty, so spending money I don't actually have is an even worse idea, but my struggle is real lately.

    I love the purple padded halter and I've always wanted a grooming halter, but never pulled the trigger.

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    Replies
    1. Life crises have not been good to my pocketbook, that's for sure.

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    2. I've done okay so far, but the struggle is so real.

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  16. I feel like I've missed out by only having one halter per horse!! And I ADORE the Peacock Leather with purple 💜 it's the prettiest halter that I've ever seen!

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  17. One day I'll get my horse a really nice leather show halter instead of an old Quillan hand me down that I swapped the name plate out on. In the meantime he gets a cheap nylon breakaway halter that only serves to lead him from his stall to the pasture before it's removed since he managed to destroy even his broodmare collar and can no longer be contained by strap goods. Wild stallions forever yo.

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  18. Each of my horses has three halters: turnout/everyday halter (customer BMB nylon in our colors with their name on the left cheek and farm name on the nose), pretty leather (we like the 3'4" option) walsh halter for shows, and a fuzzy shipping halter.
    This probably sounds pretty reasonable but I do have 4 horses. So that's kind of a lot.
    Thus, I judge thee not.

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    Replies
    1. But your system is so logical! That's super cool.

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  19. Okay, now I feel less bad for having 9 halters for 2 horses. ;) Granted, some of those are because a certain mare of mine thinks it's fun to not stand tied anymore, so there's a stretched-to-draft-size-by-jerk-mare rope halter, a stretched-to-draft-size-by-mare-I-may-yet-sell-for-glue rope halter with nose knots, a not-yet-stretched rope halter, a not-yet-stretched rope halter with nose knots, a funky braided rope halter that I will be impressed if Miss Thing stretches it, a cheap nylon halter, a decent-but-needs-to-be-earned-back-into-with-good-behavior nylon halter, and a *good* nylon halter that's being saved for shows. And then the baby boy has the yearling halter he finally grew out of and his big boy rope halter; he'll get a nylon one when I'm convinced his face isn't going to continue to get bigger. I do want to get leather halters for them at some point... and maybe those biothane ones...

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    1. See, if mine get ruined, I get rid of them so they don't count against my totals. Not that I use much of anything enough to ruin it.

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    2. I keep meaning to toss them, but at a barn full of drafts and draft crosses, they'll be useful at some point...

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  20. I sort of have a thing for halters too. I have two fancy nylon halters, a really nice Walsh leather halter, a cute floofy pink shipping halter, and a rope halter that I tied myself since I needed a size that wasn't available. Also, speaking of rope halters I'm happy that you mentioned the cross ties with a rope halter thing. I feel the same and will switch out halters if I've been working with the rope halter before I crosstie Katai.

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    1. I love Walsh halters! Never actually owned one, but I would if I could ever justify it.

      And yeah. It boggles my mind when someone explains to me how their rope halter is designed to his pressure points in a horse's face (preferably after an explanation of how they're a superior horseman for not using a bit) and then clip heavy cross ties onto the rope halter.

      Um?

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  21. okay i may just have to admit I want that last halter. So if you ever decide that color IS NOT for Courage, let me know asap :) that is great that you won it too (YES You might have too many halters, I have about 5 and do NOT consider myself a tack ho but...I have some nylon ones and a cute purple one with characters on it that makes me seem like a five year old little girl and then i just finally bought Remus a real boy leather halter (WITH throat snap thank you) with his name on it.I just couldnt justify paying more than I did. But i like that last halter, just saying :) HEE....(And how cute your nephew picked out the purple one :)

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    1. I think I have some nylon spares in a box somewhere that I definitely did not count.

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  22. I've made my three their own rope halters and then they all have beta biothane halter bridles and Griffin has a THT nose buckle halter and Stan has the one nylon halter he's had since EVER that's faded and ugly and lives at the bottom of my tack trunk.... But after reading this? Now a part of me wants a nice leather halter for Griffin at least.... Damnit.

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    1. Makin' halters like a badass. Why am I not surprised?

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  23. That purple padding and stitching is SO pretty!!

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