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What equipment do you need?

Here's 5 points to help you decide...

Talk to anyone and they will tell you that you need this tool, this bit, this bridle, saddle, lunge aid, stick or whatever to help you and your horse 😃

Now I have seen a horse completely transform just by using a different tool and I have seen other horses hate the same tool. There is no one right answer for every horse so there’s always a fair amount of trial and error to these things.

There’s so many ways to spend money with horses so before you run out and buy the latest, greatest gadget to help you, it’s worth checking what exactly the tool does and if you really need it 💰

So how to you decide whether to spend your hard earned cash or not, consider these 5 points and you shouldn’t go too far wrong 🧐

1. What do you need to train your horse to do?

2. Do you know what techniques are going to help? If not, then no tool is going to help

3. What does the tool do for you that will help?

4. Do they match? If yes, get the tool. If no, look for another option.

5. Borrow or trial it if you can!! That way you can test if it does what you want before you buy.

Here’s one I hear nearly everyday... Do I need a rope halter? In short my answer is nearly always - it depends

Firstly let’s look at what rope halter does…

A rope halter is usually made from relatively thin (approx 6mm) nylon rope, it’s carefully knotted together to fit the horse and apply pressure in certain sensitive area’s. Because it is very light it is very comfortable for the horse to wear as long as there is no pressure on it. If there is pressure on it for example from the lead rope then because it is thin, it’s not so comfortable, so it discourages the horse from leaning or pulling on it.

Most rope halters do not have any sort of pulley system on them to close down onto the horses head and are therefore different to a ‘pressure halter’ that tightens on the horses head or nose and is more severe.

So what’s the advantage?

It’s hard for the horse to lean on the halter so good for horses that tend to drag you around or plant and don’t walk forward when you ask 🥵It is very clear for pressure & release type communication as it’s quick to apply and release pressure from the rope, especially when teamed up with a longer, heavier rope 👍

What’s the disadvantage?

They don’t break, be extremely careful about leaving a horse loose or unattended in a rope halter in case the horse gets caught up in something, particularly if you use a rope directly attached to the halter without a clip 😱They can be too sharp for some horses, some sensitive horses just don’t need that much pressure 😬

So going back through our points, if your horse leans or pulls on the rope and you know (or are learning) how to apply pressure and release techniques, then a rope halter will be a useful addition to your tack room 😁

But if your horse is really sensitive and never pulls on the headcollar, it’s something you just don’t need ✋

This little process can be applied to just about any piece of equipment, bit, bridle, saddle etc. and hopefully will help save a bit of cash rather than having another random purchase that sits in the tack room waiting for the next clear out 😃👍🦄💕


Before trying any training technique it is important to rule out pain or discomfort. Saddle fit, teeth, back, hoof balance and lameness issues should all be checked by a qualified professional before applying any training.

If you have questions or need idea's to help with a specific problem feel free to get in touch with me on


Lyla has been helping riders and their horses in the UK, USA and Europe for over 15 years. She has prepared horses for crowds of over 6,000 people with no calmers or ear plugs for venues including Birmingham NEC, Aintree, Bury Farm EC and Hartpury.

Lyla specialises in horse psychology and behaviour problems with a specific interest in dressage and has worked with horses from grass roots to Grand Prix across the UK and Europe including international competitors and Olympians from Spain, the US, Canada and the UK.

See or email for more details.


All training techniques discussed are from experience only, it is impossible for to accurately advise on horse/rider combinations without seeing them live. Lyla Cansfield & Equine Mind & Body Training strongly advise anyone considering using any of the techniques discussed to get live help and can take no responsibility for the outcome of applying any of the techniques discussed without supervision. Riding is a high risk sport.


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