From Endurance to Dressage
Before last summer, I can't think of a single time that I've had a halter break. When I've replaced a halter, it has been because it got grungy, or I simply got tired of it. In the past ten months, Izzy has gone through more halters than Speedy has worn in fourteen years. In fact, Izzy has gone through more halters than my last five horses combined. Some of Izzy's halters were even hand-me-downs that belonged to another horse before he wore them, and he STILL has had more halters than anyone else.
Back in 2013, I discovered Tekna Halters. I LOVED them. I bought a black one for Speedy, and then a year later I bought one in brown. Speedy still wears his, but after seven years - six with Izzy, the brown one finally needed to be replaced. After much thought and deliberation, I chose the beautiful Schockemohle Ulm Round Raised Padded Leather Halter. Within a few short weeks, Izzy sat back and broke the crown piece. Jerk.
I was pretty peeved about it, but a few weeks later, I was gifted a very pretty leather halter that fit just right. All was right in halterland until a month ago when I noticed that the leather at the noseband was wearing thin. It wasn't exactly Izzy's fault, but how come Speedy's halters last forever? It might not be completely Izzy's fault, but he does deserve some of the blame.
I ordered Izzy yet another halter. Is anyone keeping count? I took the name plate off the old brown leather halter and used it for the new halter. I took Izzy down to STC Dressage for two weeks and hoped that the halter would come back in good shape. It didn't. While at the show on Saturday, Izzy gave his head a quick snap backwards, and the halter dropped to the ground, broken at the buckle. He gaily jogged off to visit a neighbor while I ran up to the barn to borrow a halter - someone else was grabbing my doofus horse. I always keep a spare in my trailer, but I overlooked it in my hurry to recapture my run-away horse. Jerk.
The borrowed halter barely fit, but I was grateful that the grooms at SCEC were willing to let me use it over-night. Once Izzy was back in his stall, my friend Valerie and I drove over to Tractor Supply to pick out a nylon halter to use for the remainder of the weekend. Unfortunately, we didn't think to bring the broken halter with us for sizing. It ended up being nearly too small. It fits, but everything is on the last hole. Since it was just under twenty bucks, it wasn't worth taking it back, and it did its job.
While I was super annoyed, the whole thing was made even more frustrating because before leaving for vacation the week before, I had decided to "save" that pretty leather halter for shows and clinics - although that obviously was a flawed plan as Izzy broke the halter at the first possible opportunity, and had ordered a custom-made beta halter from Two-Horse Tack. I had also ordered a spare crown piece. It's not as heavy-duty as the Tekna, but it should resist breaking. It arrived while we were at the show.
I took the nameplate off the black Schockemohle halter and used it on the beta halter. Since I hate to throw away things that can be repaired, I did a quick Google search and found a 3-pack of breakaway "fuses" from Weaver. Fuses are the piece of leather that connects the halter ring to the buckle bar. With the new brown leather halter "repaired," I started working on fixing the black Schockemohle halter.
My first find was a black leather crown piece from Riding Warehouse. For $15.95, I was certain I had poured new life into a dead, but practically new, halter. Unfortunately, when the crown piece arrived, it was a quarter of an inch too wide. My halter is ¾" leather while the standard measurement is 1". I was able to find a ¾" black leather crown piece on Amazon, but it came to nearly $24 with shipping (not eligible for Prime shipping).
Given how much I've spent on halters in the past few weeks, I opted to leave it in my shopping cart for a while. Besides the cost of the crown piece, I would also need to order yet another nameplate as there are now two unsightly holes on the cheek piece of that halter. It's a pretty halter, but at some point I have to quit spending money on halters.
Besides the inventory of halters listed here, Izzy also has a rope halter - I should obviously being using it more often. Speedy, too, has several halters: the Tekna, a rope halter, and a leather halter we won for being reserve at RAAC a few years ago. There is also an extra rope halter hanging in my trailer and an old Rambo nylon halter that I had forgotten about.
The degree of heartbreak associated with one's halters is obviously dictated by how much money one has spent on said halters.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: