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Don’t Break A Leg! Halter and Lead Safety Tips

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We’ve all saddled a horse while it’s tied to the inside of an arena or to a fence or trailer. But have you ever seen halters hanging from the inside of an arena, still tied to the wall, while riders are working their horses in the same arena? Have you ever seen halters and leads in a pile on the ground with people walking or riding around them? These practices can lead to serious accidents. Putting halters and leads outside the arena (or any area where you’re riding) is extremely easy to do and could keep you, your friends and your horses from having an accident.

“Years ago I was at a cutting with my horses and a good friend of mine was asked by the next contestant to turn back for him.” A turn back rider helps a contestant manage the cattle during his or her run. “My friend bridled his horse but didn’t untie the halter from the arena wall. As he turned and started to lope away the toe of his boot went through his halter that was still tied to the fence. In an instant it turned his leg backward and broke it.” When not in use halters should never be left tied to anything that riders and/or horses can come in contact with.

When halters and leads are left on the ground it also sets up the potential for accidents. You or someone you’re riding with could step on them, get tangled up and trip. You may even fall into or under your horse. Your horse could step on you as you’re getting untangled from the mess. It may seem unlikely but a lot of horse accidents are the result of something that seemed relatively unlikely to occur. If you’re riding while halters are piled on the ground your horse could get tangled up in them. Anything could happen at that point but it could result in a loose frightened horse or an injury to you and your horse.

How to Safely Tie a Horse Using a Bowline Knot

It’s always best to untie your horse before bridling. Lead your horse a short distance away from whatever you have it tied to. That way, if he spooks while you’re bridling him you have a better chance to get out of the way. Drape the lead rope over your left arm so it’s not touching the ground. Don’t wrap it around your arm or hand. Unbuckle or untie the halter, slide it off his nose and re-buckle it on his neck just behind his ears so you’ll still have control of your horse as you bridle.

It’s always best to keep your halter and lead outside of any area where you’ll be riding. Keep them on a hook in the barn, inside the tack compartment of the trailer, or in a safe place outside the arena. Set yourself up to stay safe and help keep your friends, family and horses safe!

Dennis Moreland Tack is a full line manufacturer of handmade tack and we’re here to help you. Visit or call 817-312-5305 for all your tack needs.

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