Saturday, December 11, 2010

Showing halter with halters

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?


  1. I agree completely. If halters make you happy, you should make and use them. Showing should be about having fun

  2. Really, as you mention, they need to fit/be flattering, etc. And all yours are described as such :D

  3. Yes Jennifer, YOUR halters are awesome on your entries! The problem I have is when people use HUGE poorly fitting ribbon halters on their halter entries, and they obscure a large part of the face. Those I would rather not see.

  4. I was once at a show as a kid where an adult shower tried to have the entire youth division kicked out for not having halters for every single horse in their show strings. Fortunately, the operative word here is "tried" and cooler heads prevailed.

    That said, I love a well-fitted halter and think they can be just the thing to add that extra something to an entry. Halters are going to be my next project since law school exams are ending tomorrow and I'll finally have a life again. YES!

  5. I'm with you on using halters! I do use them in any show I can, though there are a few here in Region 9 that specify no halters unless molded on. I even use them on my NAN entries and it hasn't stopped those horses from placing in the Top Ten (or going National Champion, which happened this year!). And I really agree with you about Strawberry Jam - she looks totally "dressed" for the show in her halter!

  6. I'm wondering if the same counts for photo shows too? Because I have certain models (of my very small herd) which I like to show in several different breed classes, and I use the halter to reflect the breed I'm showing the model as. Wonder if that's a good idea...