Updated: Mar 15
Natural horsemanship as a method of horse training gained significant popularity in the 1990s and early 2000s. This was due in part to the work of several prominent trainers, including Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, Buck Brannaman, and Pat Parelli who helped to popularize the approach through clinics, demonstrations, and books.
The natural horsemanship movement emphasized a more gentle, intuitive, and respectful approach to horse training, focusing on developing a partnership between horse and human rather than using force and intimidation. The approach also drew on principles of psychology and communication to better understand the horse's behavior and needs.
The popularity of natural horsemanship continued to grow throughout the 2000s, with many trainers embracing the approach as a more effective and humane way of working with horses. They also sold merch. The carrot stick, for example, and various forms of rope halter, with knots in different places, indicated that you were a proponent of natural horsemanship. They were sold as an innovation at the time. Rope halters are now widespread, and can be purchased at low quality very cheaply.
But leather headstalls are worth your reconsideration.
Patent Leather Tahiti Headstall on our Riding Pony mare Buttercup (photo bomb - Dakota)
There are several reasons why you should reconsider leather headstalls:
Safety: leather headstalls are less likely to break or fail during use. A rope halter only has one method of release, whereas our leather headstalls have buckles on both sides, a buckle under the chin, and a breakaway buckle under the jawline. This means if you have a problem, you have several ways of removing the headstall from different sides of the horses.
Durability: Leather is a durable material that can withstand wear and tear, making it a better choice for a piece of equipment that will be used regularly and always. The more you use it, the softer it will become. Rope headstalls can become frayed and worn over time, which can compromise their safety and effectiveness.
Comfort: worn-in leather headstalls are generally more comfortable for horses than rope headstalls because they are softer, more pliable and have a larger surface area. A stiff rope headstall can rub and irritate a horse's skin, leading to discomfort and potentially even injury.
Control: Leather headstalls provide better control over a horse than rope headstalls because they are less likely to slip or come loose or snap under pressure.
Aesthetics: They look better. Our leather headstalls are beautiful quality leather, have sturdy hardwear, and eye-catching trim. We also have matching bridles for each style. Medusa and Tahiti also have matching saddle pad sets. We are expecting Safari (leopard skin) saddle pads sets to be in stock soon.
If you would like to see a particular colour, please let us know, as we are always looking to expand our range in line with our customers preferences.
Medusa Headstall on our TB Filly Splendour
Overall, while rope headstalls may be cheaper and more lightweight than leather headstalls, the increased durability, comfort, control, and safety of leather headstalls make them a better choice for horse owners. And they are gorgeous.
Safari Headstall on our Welsh Cob Peekaboo