Saturday, June 16, 2012

Tack Review #4: Leather Halter

In keeping with my tack 'ho roots, I have high standards for leather, both quality and workmanship. It took me a long time to find a leather halter I approved of. I like pretty things, but not overstated. Good quality, but not too expensive. There are a lot of leather halters out there to choose from, ranging in price from $20 to $$$.

My dream halter, the CWD stable headcollar, is fabulous 1" wide leather with snaps all around to convert to a grooming halter and a nice, clean look. One day, when I can justify spending $180 on a halter, I'll get it.

In the mean time, my budget is much smaller. That said, both of my horses have sported fabulous head gear.

Izzy's halter was ordered to suit her personality. I joked I would show her as 'The Dominatrix' for good reason. After extensive searches and lots of in-person handling of leather, I went with Kate's recommendation and ordered through Danzig Brothers.

Standard leather halters are havana with brass, which wasn't right for Izzy. I really wanted the black/stainless in a pretty but workmanlike ensemble. I got it in the large thoroughbred size and shipped with a nameplate, my custom colored halter was about $80. Not bad.

Love it.

Along came Cuna. His personality and color scheme couldn't be more different from Izzy, and as such, I thought he needed his own halter. I went with the same size, but ordered havana/stainless because I just don't love brass on him.

Again, semi-custom, came with nameplate, gorgeous, sturdy leather, excellent workmanship. I couldn't be more pleased with it. Honestly, I handle lots of leather halters in our barn, ranging from super cheap to plenty spendy, and this one is always hands down my favorite. The leather is supple and wonderful. It's very sharp looking and the leather is just so nice to handle.

The other thing I really love about these halters is that I can get them with the fixed chin. It looks neater, is sturdier, and just adds that extra touch of class.

A word about Danzig for anyone not familiar with them: CALL THEM. They have a completely useless website, but Bill is super to work with and can email useful information like size charts and color options. Look at the website to see what they do, but then a simple phone call will do wonders.

Maybe you too can be this cute.
I have no complaints about either halter. When I sold Izzy, I moved her halter along to a friend who seems to still like it. Cuna's halter gets used and abused daily. I think I maybe condition it once a month and it still look brand new. It's been dropped in mud, left out in the rain, hauled long distances, and it's holding up great. Yeah Danzig!


  1. HHHMMM wonder if he will post to Australia!!!!!!

  2. Both halters look STUNNING! I keep having fantasies about leather halters with brass nameplates for each of our horses, but with four of them, I can't justify the $$$ when we have perfectly serviceable (if boring and ugly) nylon halters for them now.

    Maybe some day!

  3. Great post! I have more leather halters than I need for my one horse but I've bookmarked that website for the future.

  4. I am putting that black / stainless on my 'Wish List', although I may need the Havana also...damn that color changing mare of mine!

  5. i definatly want one but just like Nina... i wonder if they send to Canada....

  6. Yay so glad you got another one for Mr Sexy Pants. Lucy destroyed her leather halter last month and I sent it back to be fixed - it was repaired, cleaned, and returned to me within 2 weeks. Not shabby at all!

  7. Hi - New reader here, and I should have come sooner! I have seen your comments elsewhere (Eventer79's blog) but didn't know how much fun I'd have checking out your place.

    I do not have my own horse. Never have, but hopefully someday there will be an OTTB in my life. And what is the very first thing I plan to buy him??? A really nice leather halter. So this post is terrific! I don't understand why people have nice horses and then throw some fuzzy, filthy piece o' junk nylon halter on them. Seems to me a small (and safer!) thing we can do to distinguish our precious beasts.

    I always look at leather halters in the Dover catalog and elsewhere and fantasize over what I'd get, but these Danzigs look much better. Yeah, their website is horrible so I would definitely call them. :-) In the meantime, I might just get the fancy dog collar I've always wanted for my "mini-horse" Springer Spaniel. She's 10 but it's not too late! :-)

  8. P.S. By "fixed chin," do you mean a noseband that is not adjustable? I guess as long as you get the right size halter it doesn't matter?

    (And speaking of nosebands, I've never understood why the KY breeders put their mares and stallions in halters with such oversized, huge nosebands. I was taught that was a no-no because a horse could put a foot through it. Any idea?)

    1. Yes. The fixed chin means there are no unsightly buckles interfering with the ring that the lead clips to.

      Maybe the idea with the huge halters is that they will fit all sizes of horses? I have no idea. It does look sloppy. :) A fitted leather halter is a lovely thing. Welcome to the blog!

  9. I prefer a leather halter over a rope one, but I don't need to spend that much on one and don't need any special effects. I use just a plain leather halter that I have used for three horses over almost 20 years.

  10. Great halter. The stiffness of the leather makes it difficult to adjust initially but I'm hoping it softens with age. Otherwise, it looks great and fits very nicely.


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