I wouldn’t necessarily classify Tristan as tough on halters, but he has destroyed his fair share – somewhere in the double digits, but not more than 20. (When I write it out like that it looks more dire than it really is…) When he finds a turnout buddy he likes, he is a halter tag champion. He also rolls a lot, and when he rolls he grinds his face into the ground, which tends to weaken buckles and other fittings.
I am fairly fanatic about always having him in – at minimum – a breakaway or leather halter, and strongly dislike rope halters in all situations, so that really leaves a leather halter as my best option. On top of that, he is a tough fit for a halter: he has a whopping big head but an old halter scar on his nose that means if I don’t get just the right fit, the hair on that bump is gone in no time flat; more than 48 hours of rubbing and it’s probably going to open up again.
So for several years, whenever he trashed a halter I would have a cheap breakaway nylon halter in reserve with fleeces and the hunt was on for something else that worked. I found some good one-offs but was never thrilled with the quality, or the fit, or the general handling of them.
Enter this halter. About three years ago, he destroyed a halter just before Hannah and I left for the Area 1 Championships at Fitch’s Corner. I knew I needed a new halter ASAP but didn’t have time for a leisurely tack store visit. I paid a visit to the Bit of Britain truck at Fitch’s (dangerous, seductive place) and came out with this halter, in black. It was a gamble, but when I brought it home and put it on his head it fit perfectly.
And here we are three years later – a record for a halter. It’s faded and beat up, but the only real damage that’s occurred to it is the loss of the extra leather piece from the chin piece – the stub leftover after fitting it to his nose – which doesn’t change the functionality of the halter at all. I’m really, really pleased with it and would recommend it to anyone.