Do you need a halter to show a model in a halter class?
This is a common question among new hobbyists and the short answer is no, halters are not required in halter classes. In fact, conventional wisdom dictates that it's better not to use a halter.
Halters (or in hand bridles) introduce a whole slew of variables to an otherwise straightforward entry. Is the halter breed appropriate? Does it fit properly? Is it well made? Is it flattering? Unless the answer to all these questions is a resounding yes, a halter is far more likely to hurt an entry than help it.
That said, I still like halters.
In fact, I think some horses look positively naked without them. My little Strawberry Jam resin is a perfect example. This is not a horse standing in a pasture. She's clipped, groomed, shod and presented like a show horse. She should be dressed like a show horse as well.
Perhaps I've been fortunate, but in all my years of showing I've noticed very little bias for or against my haltered models. That's how it should be. After all, I'm really not making all those little halters for the judge's benefit. They're there because I like them and they make me happy. That's what matters, right?