April 17, 2015
At the Virginia Horse Festival my eye caught on a rope halter with attached lead. I like a rope halter for wearing under a bridle on trail rides, and grabbing a pony out of the field at home. Since I have ponies that are already responsive and quiet to lead I like the thicker soft rope halters. They just feel good in the hand.
I saw this halter hanging up at a vendors stand. Primarily a darker gray rope, with a small amount of pink on the nose and top of the lead to bright it up, it stood out. They had a few other colors. Black with some yellow, red and blue, but this one just struck me. $16, what they heck, I made the purchase.
Since then I have used it a few times. Once on a trail ride, and a few times to move ponies from field to field.
Last night I was moving ponies from field to field with it, and was moving Spike, the last of my three gelding herd, while opening the gate to deposit him he turned his head to look the other way. The slight tug on the lead was hardly noticeable until it abruptly ended, with the lead in my hand and my pony unattached. My husband’s dog choose that moment to zoom by at top speed and the pony, realizing he was free, took off after the dog.
This avalanched into Spike escalading across several hay and corn fields, across the road, and ended with him at the trotting along the neighbor’s horse fields making new friends. I grabbed up a fresh lead and went after him, adrenaline kicking as I imagined him running in front of a car on the road or getting a leg in the cattle guard. He cantered up to me when I got close to him, and we walked him pleasantly with a happy ending.
Upon closer look the lead appears to just have been taped on and then wrapped lightly in the pink and gray thread. This is certainly nothing that should be considered safe for equestrian use. While the halter seems well made and sturdy, the lead is attached with no integrity! The potential for this lead to pop off was extremely high and I was lucky I was at home and all ended well.
I spent a while today trying to find the company who puts out this particular halter and lead and have been unsuccessful. I found the same one on Amazon and on Ebay, but no manufacturer listed, just smaller vendors. It is listed as a Spiral Ethological Halter and Matching Leadrope.