After graduating, hubby and I bought our own little puppy. I was delighted with Kirby and loved taking her for walks on the leash. Hubby also took her for walks, but early on he complained that she behaved terribly on the leash. I was puzzled because she heeled smartly beside me whenever I took her out. After a short Q & A, it was revealed that I was walking Kirby like a horse, on my right side. Oops!
Apparently, dogs are taught to heel on the person's LEFT side.
Little Tobias, not so little anymore, is also learning to heel and walk on the leash. Thanks to a tip from Hubby's parents, we are teaching him with the Gentle Leader instead of the old choke chain that we used on our other dogs. It might look a little mean, but Dr. Thurman assured me that it does no harm to their face and is actually safer and more humane than a traditional choke chain.
While endurance riding, I used rope halters exclusively. We were frequently camped in places where a runaway horse could mean death. On occasion, horses at endurance rides get loose and run away from camp. They occasionally run toward traffic. I would rather my horse bang a leg on the trailer than get loose. That's why I used rope halters; they don't break.
Now that I am just in the barn or on show grounds, Speedy goes in a nearly regular halter. It's configured like a regular halter, but it's made out of Biothane, a synthetic material. Biothane washes very easily and dries almost instantly.
Sydney now gets the rope halter. His behavior improved immediately with its use. Now when he drops his head to graze when I am leading to the arena, a quick tug gets his immediate attention. The thinner strands of the rope halter can be sharp on a thinned-skinned face. Even though there are no side rings, I clip the cross-ties to the single strand of rope that sits behind the cheek knot. It works like a charm.
I know there are many other kinds of halters, but these are the two that work for me. And just like for dogs (harnesses, choke chains, Gentle Leaders), you have to find what works best for your own horse.