ISPMB Offers Brief Guidance on Haltering a Horse

A halter is a piece of equipment that is placed on the head of a horse. It is used to tie the horse, lead them and convey basic commands to them. In many ways, haltering can be considered to be the first step in training a horse. The volunteers at the International Society for the Protection of Mustangs and Burros or ISPMB mention that haltering wild horses will take a bit of time and patience. People have to spend time in getting the horse used to have their head, ears, and neck touched and handled by the owner or the trainer. The halter has to be introduced gradually, as the wild horse gets used to the smell and sight of it in the hands of a person.

Wild horses are not used to being around humans. Hence, it is understandable that it will take a bit of time to warm up to people. The volunteers at ISPMB mention that as the wild horse starts to get used to human presence, and has no qualms about being touched and stroked, people can start introducing them to grooming implements, halter, and lead rope. It is vital to closely observe the horse and its reactions to determine which one to introduce first. If a horse seems to be head shy, one can start by firmly stocking their neck and shoulders, and gradually moving to the back.  It is always vital to maintain a gentle and nonthreatening, yet confident approach while doing so. Once they are all right with being handled, halter and lead rope can be introduced to them by allowing them to smell these items.

If a person has been bonding with their adopted wild horse, and have had success in getting them to mirror their actions and walk alongside them, then they should not face any problem in transferring this knowledge to halter training. Once a horse has got used to being around a halter, they should be okay with it being put on them. The lead rope could be laid over the neck or back of the horse, while they walk around it for a bit. This shall help the horse to be assured that there is nothing dangerous about it. After this is done, the trainer should attach the lead rope to the halter, and continue to have their horse follow their actions. As the trainer will be connected by the halter and lead rope to the horse, giving them any instructions and guiding them on a path shall become easier.  According to ISPMB volunteers, people may keep the halter on the horse for the first few days before starting to practice taking it on and off. This will help them to get further used to the item. It is important never to get angry with a horse when trying to halter it. A calm attitude is crucial for this step.