Horse Halter Buying Guide: Halter Materials

Closeup of the head of a horse on sky background

A horse halter is used to tie up your horse or for leading horses; it goes over the horse’s head, much like a bridle, and attaches to a rope lead. However, you shouldn’t just pick any halter for any horse as there are numerous different types designed for different functions.

This may be the most used piece of tack in your tack room, and it definitely needs consideration when choosing!

Read up about the different types of halters and their purpose before buying a new halter for your horse.

Halter materials:


Nylon halters are great because they are inexpensive, easy to clean, and come in a range of fun colours. However the colours do eventually fade with sun exposure. When it comes to nylon halters the higher the thread-count is the higher the quality will be – just like when you shop for linens.

Better quality nylon halters hold their shape for longer – as one tends to take halters on and off a lot one needs one that will keep its shape making it easier to place over the horse’s nose.


Rope halters were originally used on ranching and for draft horses – however they are becoming increasingly popular. Rope halters are made from a single-length of rope that is knotted to form the shape of a regular halter.  On rope halters knots are found where fittings are found on standard halters – this is how the halter is adjusted to fit each individual horse.

The thickness of the rope allows for more or less control when handling the horse; thinner ropes have more bite when pressure is applied to the lead, and therefore thicker rope halters are preferred for more responsive horses. It is important that you know your horse’s personality, not only their size, when shopping for a halter.


Leather halters are a lot more costly than nylon or rope – the prices will differ depending on the type of leather used, the stitching, padding etc.  Leather halters have an elegant and classy look to them and are often decorated for show horses.

Leather is also more likely to break under pressure than synthetic materials such as nylon web. Some halters are designed to be breakaway halters in order to allow a horse to escape from where it is tied if an emergency occurs. However the training and personality of your horse will also come into play here as a horse that manages to “escape” his/her halter once or twice may make a habit of this. Generally when one ties a horse one does so with the intention of the horse staying in place. All halter materials generally come in breakable and unbreakable options – this is up top you to decide. Breakable halters usually come with replacement pieces for easy fixing – so once the halter is “broken” is can be repaired and reused.