Today's post comes from California hobbyist and performance shower extraordinaire, Susan Hargrove. If you've ever had any inclination to show your halter horses with halters, Susan's advice should help make sure that halter is a help rather than a hindrance!
Don’t Ruin Your Model’s Appearance With A Poorly Fitted Halter!!
by Susan Hargrove
You’ve finally purchased your favorite stock-horse model...MINT condition...and are ready to take a show photo. You decide to put a silver show halter on your model...this simple decision could essentially eliminate your model from the competition if the halter is not adjusted properly!! Unfortunately, something as easily changed as the halter-fit can ruin the picture...especially if the halter hangs loose and gives an overall sloppy appearance!!
How should the halter fit? The halter should conform to the model’s head...fitting snugly behind the jaw and under the throatlatch.
a) The noseband should be positioned approximately halfway between the eyes and the nostrils. Common Mistakes: 1) having the check piece too long...placing the noseband too low on the model’s head; 2) the diameter of the noseband is too small...causing it to remain too low on the horses head.
b) The cheek piece should be parallel to the cheekbone on the horse. Common Mistake: Having the throatlatch too short...making it impossible to put the cheek piece in the correct "parallel" position.
c) The crown strap should fit "closely" behind the horse’s ears...but not so close as to pinch them!!
d) The connector-strap between the chin strap and the throatlatch should fit "snugly" along the under side of the model’s head.
What about chains? Chains over the nose cause the halter to "pop up" over the ridge of the nose...which detracts from a smooth appearance. If you insist on using a chain in a "control-type" fashion...it would be better to run the chain under the chin and up the right side of the halter. However, in our world of "miniature" equines where "control" is not an issue, a better choice would be to simply "loop" the chain portion of the lead shank through the center slot on the chin strap of the halter and attach the snap to the ring where the chain joins the leather!!
Remember...just because the "proportions" of the halter are correct for your model...the design may not be the most flattering for your model’s head. The thickness of the leather...width of the straps...and placement and size of the silver give each halter a unique appearance.
Here are some examples of common fitting problems and their solutions:
Many thanks to Susan for allowing me to use her words and photographs! Be sure to check out her website for more model horse showing tips.
Just a reminder--I am always looking for good guest blogger posts.