Horse Headcollars: The 2 Different Types and How to Use Them

Horse Headcollars: The 2 Different Types and How to Use Them

Mare sticking head through fence with collar on - Horse headcollars

Horse headcollars may not appear all that important to novices, but veteran horse riders know that a headcollar is a useful tool that all riders need to include in their tack. An ideal headcollar consists of a headpiece, along with a noseband, and the entire thing is to be buckled around the head of your horse.

You must keep in mind that a headcollar needs to be used carefully—a horse shouldn’t get injured in the process!

The Size Matters

You’ll need to choose a headcollar that fits properly. If the headcollar is too short, then it’ll be tight, as well as uncomfortable. A tight headcollar may also lead to skin irritation and rashes. On the other hand, if the headcollar is too loose, then it might slip and may even get caught in some fencing.

If you’re not aware of the appropriate size for a headcollar, then you can ask those who already own horses for some valuable advice. Different sizes of headcollars are required for different types of horses. Fortunately, headcollars normally come with buckled straps that will allow you to make small adjustments.

Here’s a useful tip: Don’t remove the tags from a headcollar until you’re sure that it fits your equine friend properly. After the headcollar has been put on, make sure the noseband isn’t too snug. If it is, it’ll restrict the horse’s movement. In that case, the horse won’t be able to eat, drink or move without restriction.

You’ll have the option of selecting headcollars with adjustable nosebands. Such headcollars are easy for a horse to wear and can be tightened or loosened without difficulty. You can get such headcollars from any horse riding shop.

Generally, the sizes are as follows:

  • Small: for ponies
  • Medium: for stallions
  • Large and extra large

Headcollars Aren’t to Be Worn in the Field

You should never leave a headcollar tied to your horse while the horse is roaming around in the field. There are three major reasons behind this:

  1. A headcollar might cause irritation and discomfort if it’s left on for too long.
  2. Your horse might get stolen if their headcollar isn’t removed. If you leave your horse’s headcollar attached to them, that’ll give anyone the ability to ride the horse.
  3. There’s a possibility that your horse might get stuck in some fencing while wearing the headcollar, which could lead to severe injury.

Using a Headcollar Effectively

It’s not unheard of to tie a horse to a nearby post in order to tend to other household chores, but it’s certainly not advisable to leave the horse there for long periods of time. No matter how well trained your horse is, they could get irritated by the wait and could also end up hurting themselves.

Here’s another tip: Try attaching some twine to your fencing. After that, tie your horse’s rope to bailing twine. If the horse tries to pull away in a state of panic, the twine will quickly snap and can be replaced with ease. Using quick-release knots may also save you a lot of trouble, as such knots can be easily released.

Handling a runaway horse can be quite troubling, but tending to a wounded and injured horse is usually worse. As a horse rider, if you have to choose between tying up your horse or letting it run wild, always go for the second option. A runaway horse is much easier to control than a wounded horse.

The 2 Main Types of Headcollars

Here are the two main types of headcollars that you’ll commonly see on the market today—you can make the choice between the two based on your individual horse and your experience as a rider.

Leather

The leather headcollar is the traditional headcollar. It’s used widely and has an old-school look, and the degree of thickness can vary from one headcollar to the next. The only drawback of this collar is that it can crack and break quite easily.

Nylon

These collars are heavy and wide, but will never hurt a horse. These horse headcollars are also designed with beginners in mind.

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