Unpopular Opinion: Leaving a Halter On

We leave halters (leather) on horses overnight all the time,
both in the clinic and at home.
- Rhonda Rathgeber PhD, DVM

Scroll to see our design with a much lower break point next to a nylon halter



Leaving a halter on your horse for an extended period of time. No matter the discipline, breed, sex, age or even type of horse, every horseperson has his or her own opinion. While this idea is taboo to some, many others embrace long-term use in a variety of conditions. We’ve all seen the photos of what could go wrong. What are the unknowns? It’s not natural. What if the horse catches himself, spooks and seriously injures himself? There are pros to the cons. It makes a horse easier to catch and provides quick identification to handlers.

While it’s true, leaving a nylon or other synthetic material halter on a horse for an extended period of time can be dangerous, not all halters are created equal. Much of this is due to the tensile strength (or break point) of these different materials. For example, the tensile strength of all-natural leather is much lower (ie, 4-5 times lower) than synthetic nylon. This means, if your all-natural leather halter gets caught-up or snagged on something, it is much more likely to break than nylon. Further, by designing halters with stainless steel hardware you can introduce controlled and reproducible break points (eg, at the crown) to preserve the rest of your halter while sparing your horse trauma or serious injury.





Horses spend the majority of their lives unsupervised. In a 2016 poll conducted by Horse.com, 30% of participants said they spend an average of two hours riding and caring for horses each day, while 27% said they spend three hours per day in the barn. Depending on the boarding facility and level of care, number of employees etc, that leaves horses unsupervised for 21-22+ hours/day. In this large quantity of time illness, injury and distress can present itself, often with no action taken to resolve said ailments until the morning or the next visit. With ailments like colic, the sooner noticed and treated, the better outcome for the horse. 

The all-natural leather NIGHTWATCH® smart halter is a breakaway halter — and so much more. Handcrafted of 1-inch premium bridle leather and married with the most innovative technology, NIGHTWATCH® is what gives you peace of mind when you bring your horses in the barn to be tucked in, or turn them out for the night. This groundbreaking technology is not only lightweight and beautiful to hold, it’s sophisticated enough to save your horse’s life through early warning alerts. Leaving this smart halter on your horse overnight is like leaving your horse’s trusted caretaker with them around the clock in their stall, but only better because NIGHTWATCH® sees what the rest of us can’t because of biosensors, artificial intelligence, and more.

NIGHTWATCH® is committed to your horse’s overall safety and wellbeing, and aims to enhance halter safety through education and continuous design improvement. You can rest easy knowing this 100% all-natural, handcrafted leather halter is designed to break away in an emergency.