Cypress Lodge

Cypress Lodge
Promoting Humane Training and Treatment of Horses



Rope Halters

Halter technical article


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Rope Halters





Thank you for joining us on our halter page.

We ask you to take a moment and read this general info that applies to all rope halters.

A good quality, well made rope halter should sit comfortably against the horse's head providing a pressure free fit and release all pressure once a cue is released. 

A rope halter can be a severe training tool capable of exerting extreme localised pressure.  As with most training devices, it is not the device itself that is extreme, it is the way individuals use it, therefore correct use and technique is encouraged in order to train humanely and obtain optimal results.

Timing is essential when utilising a rope halter, pressure and release techniques need to be used accurately in order for the horse to understand the request and the reward when the desired response is given.


A good quality rope halter is made with 100% polyester marine double braid rope. 

The marine rope is ideal for equine requirements…  soft feel, high strength, low stretch, high shock absorbency, mildew & rot proof and high UV resistance.  These features guarantee you a serviceable halter for many years.


These features combine to make a halter that is incredibly strong and although this is a benefit, it also means some consideration must be shown when using a rope halter on your horse. 


A rope halter should never be left on an unattended horse.  Because of the halters strength and shock absorbency, if the horse should become snagged, caught or cast, the horse will break before the halter does. 

We bought our first rope halter from a Queensland trainer who warned us to never turn out a horse in a rope halter.  He tells of a station horse was turned out in a rope halter, got its rear hoof caught in the halter while scratching and tumbled into a dam and drowned. 


Please keep this in mind if you decide to buy or use a rope halter…

For more detailed info on rope halters, click on the halter technical article in our homepage menu.

Lodge Rope Halters

 Ideal for Natural Training and Riding or simply a robust halter for  everyday use.

 Made from 100% Australian made 6mm marine double braid rope.  Tied with the traditional fiador and blood knots, not a simple overhand knot.

 Soft and smooth but tough and strong. No snaps to rust or break, easily fitted and adjusted, machine washable.

 Available in Mini, Pony, Cob, Arab, Full, Warmblood and Draft sizes or we will custom tie your halter to your specifications at No Extra Charge.  

Prices  (Aud$ excluding postage)   $18.00

Colours: Purple, Black, Red, Green, Electric Blue, Pink, Pink/purple fleck, Black/purple fleck,  Black /red fleck, Black/blue fleck, Black/pink fleck, Black/beige fleck, White/red fleck, White/blue fleck.  Beige, Brown and our own custom made Beige/Brown, Pink/Purple zig zag rope and Camo coloured

LodgeRopes 8mm Halter

We have been using these thicker halters for years at Cypresslodge so we thought we better put the info on the website.

The standard rope training halter is made from 6mm double braid marine rope, this halter is made from 8mm.  The larger diameter rope spreads contact pressure therefore lessening the pressure per Sq inch.  We use these halters for starting the babies in basic leading & training.  We all want any lesson to be a pleasant experience for the little ones and the 'softer' halter is ideal for the developing a good relationship with your weanling/yearling.  More recently we have been making 6mm halters with extra padding on the poll strap and as the halter knots are smaller and the less weight, we feel this is a better option for the youngsters.

We have friends use these 8mm halters on their larger horses as they offer increased strength yet are very comfortable for the horse.  The larger diameter rope is very populat with stations up North and campdrafter/stockhorse riders.


Colour: Black/ blue fleck, Hunter Green, Purple, Brown and Black only.

Lodge Logic on Halters


  Natural Training techniques rely on quickly rewarding a horse for yielding to pressure, direct or implied.  Lodge Rope Halters are made to a traditional design that follows this principle.  If a horse leans into or fights against the rope halter it will experience an increase of pressure,, but when the horse yields to or  from the pressure, the horse is instantly rewarded by the instant release of pressure.

The Rope Halter is smooth, soft and flexible so it fits the horse in such a way that it makes contact without hurting the horse.  There are single strands along the cheek but double strands across the poll and nose areas.  The double strands are there to spread the pressure over a larger area, therefore reducing the possibility of injury to delicate parts of the horses head.

 Here at Cypress Lodge we don’t believe the story that the halter knots work on pressure points.  The stimulation of pressure points is an exact science.  Pressure point locations are well documented and named, so are the energy lines they stimulate and the internal organs they effect.  So if any halter maker can provide this information, then explain how they guarantee that their halters stimulate these exact points on each and every horse, please feel free to email and we’ll say sorry.  Until that happens, and don’t hold your breathe, we maintain that’s it a load of bull****.  These halters work in much more benevolent manner, they simply reward the horse for yielding to minimum pressure applied by the trainer  or rider.

 While on the subject of pressure point knots we do not use, therefore, do not make rope halters with extra knots over the noseband.  We believe these knots do not work on pressure points but rather create points of pressure on the very sensitive nasal region of the horse.  We are of the opinion that these knots cause unnecessary discomfort and/or  pain therefore not meeting our requirement for humane training tools.

 Finally, beware of gimmicks.  We have seen some rope halters that completely destroy the principles of Natural Training.   We have looked at side pulls, cross over or under and constricting noseband rope halters and fail to see what they have to do with Natural Training.    In certain situations, some of these types of Halters may have a genuine application but, in general they are not recommended. We do make an Enduro rope bridle that is ideal for a responsive horse but we do not make this item as a gimmick cure all to behavioural problems, these need to be addressed with suitable understanding and training.

If it forces the horse rather than teaches the horse…it’s a gimmick – John Lyons.

Recently there has been a number of specialist halters produced to meet market demands for  'new' improved tack , the Natural Horsemanship equivalent of the bigger bit syndrome.  Constrictive devices are more common than a few years back, so it was with great interest we read some posts on the New Rider.Com horse forum about such halters......

Kate Farmer,  author of The Harmony Project and a good mate,  posted a reply into the forum that covers the issue better than anything we could put together.

Here is the post from the forum...

Kate F.



Join Date: Mar 2004

Location: near Vienna

Posts: 819

I would just add that you are actually talking about two completely different types of equipment with completely different actions. It's not really a case of one being more "severe" - they are based on totally different principles.

Pressure halters (Be Nice, Dually etc.) close on the horse's head when it pulls against you, thereby punishing the wrong behaviour with a pressure greater than the horse exerted into the halter. The horse learns not to run into this pressure, and therefore yields.

A rope halter has no closing action. If the horse pulls against it, it will get its own pressure back - so not really a punishment - more a consequence. The rope is thinner than a conventional halter, so it exerts a more concentrated pressure if the horse leans on it.

However, the real point of the rope halter, when used well, is not to prevent or punish the wrong behaviour, but rather to give clear signals about the right behaviour. A good quality rope halter has weight, and therefore a gentle but clear movement on the face as you move the rope. The horse then learns to respond to ever lighter signals. As you get better at using it, you find you can get a lot of refinement with the signals you give, and a of differentiation by just small movements in the rope. I won't say you can't do that with a pressure halter, but it's a lot more difficult. (A bit like doing embroidery in boxing gloves!) As the "Be Nice" name suggests, it's designed more with preventing undesirable behaviour in mind, while the rope halter has more emphasis on refined communication.

I use a rope halter for everything, and I agree with Ameliet that pressure halters can cause more problems than they solve - especially with claustrophobic horses. However, I also agree with AengusOg that the real key is in HOW you use it -whichever you choose. The equipment won't change anything unless the person is prepared to change.

Kate - author of The Harmony Project


Kate, in email, encapsulated the issue...


"Thinking about it, I think I can summarise my opinion on pressure/rope halters more succinctly...

The pressure halter focuses on discouraging the wrong behaviour, while the rope halter focuses on encouraging the right behaviour…or in Ray Hunt-ese The pressure halter primarily makes the wrong thin difficult, while the rope halter makes the right thing easy!"  


To join in the online discussions on all aspects of horsemanship, log onto and click on the natural horsemanship forum.  We will be adding a link to The Harmony Project - Kate Farmer  website as soon as the new site comes online.

You can meet some wonderful horse people online, and kate farmer is one of the best. 




LodgeRopes around the world


Hi to Yael in Israel.  'Kaluha' is pictured in a new LodgeRopes Hunter Green Halter....enough of the hard sell. 

Kaluha is a sweetheart...look at those eyes.

Thank you Yael for taking the time to make sure your baby got a well fitting halter.  For our local riders...check out the paddock in the think your top 40 is a little rough.  The ol' grey Fergy would have a fun time in that field.

Cheers from downunder Yael

Have fun & Ride safe

Rob & Sharon


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