By Clinton Anderson
I often get asked if it’s OK to tie a horse in the trailer using my rope halter. The answer is absolutely. I tie all my horses in the trailer using my halter and lead rope and an Aussie Tie Ring. Whenever you tie a horse using a rope halter, make sure the halter is positioned correctly. When you’re working with your horse, I tell you to position the halter so that the knots of the noseband are just above the soft tissue on his nose. When you tie a horse, you want the knots to sit higher on his face so that they’re about three finger widths above the pressure points on his nose.
You want the tie ring to be at eye level or higher to the horse. If it’s any lower, you risk the horse getting one of his front legs crossed over the lead rope.
Slip the lead rope through the tie ring so that’s it’s on the ring’s second setting. That way, the horse can’t easily pull out of it, but at the same time, if something did happen in the trailer where the horse got in a wreck with the lead rope, the rope could still slide through the ring and he’d be free.
You want about a foot of slack in the lead rope from where the clip attaches to the base of the halter to where the lead rope hooks on to the tie ring. That gives the horse room to move his head, but doesn’t create a dangerous situation where he can get his front feet hung up in the rope. When you tie a horse, a good rule to follow is “short and high.”