Halter Training: Why Mule and Donkey Owners Should Not Use Nylon Halters

Nylon halters are responsible for creating head shy mules. The amount of communication you lose by using a nylon halter is one thing – but the real deal is the pain and discomfort you cause the animal.

The devices may look pretty but they should never be used on your animal.

Steve Edwards: I really thought this was something. When I brought my first nylon halter to the ranch, old Bill Doherty looked at me and said, “What the heck you doing with that thing?” I said, “Man I don’t have to tie no more halters. I got it. This is the new thing.” He says, “Nope. All it’s going to do is create problems.” Boy was he right.

We started having halter pullers being brought to us. Peoples with fingers missing. See? See him refusing? That’s bracing. That’s bracing. So I’ve got my hand here and I’m remind him. He goes, “Oh okay.” I wouldn’t want it on my nose either. It’s horrible. He’s bracing me right there. So I’m going to wait right here.

I have to give a little bit with the feet to be able to get what I want with the head. There. All right. Nylon halters. What about this going up into here? You think that would feel good? Everybody says, “Oh look. It’s got a little notch on it.” No, that notch goes right around there and hits that bone just right. So as this mule is bouncing around in the trailer, you don’t think he ain’t getting his head beat to death? I’ve seen some of these just bleeding from these sorry halters. Sure I can lower it down to the last notch there but if he pulls back on it, what do you think?

I just love these halters. Makes me all kinds of money training mules that are head shy. Brace, brace, brace. There’s nothing here. This big webbing here, shoot, if you want to know why he’s tight? Give me one step. I can’t get him to go forward right now.

I finally had to bump it a little bit to get it to go. Tightening them neck muscles. He says, “Shoot. I know that halter don’t mean diddley to me.” So I tell folks these are pretty and everything. They’ll be prettier on Ebay or prettier hanging on your wall.

So we go back with the come along hitch and I’m going to ask you. That a boy. Look at you. You’re so awesome. How about this? They don’t want you messing with their nose. So right to left, second one goes above the first one, pull up on the first one, feed with the second one, right ear first, left ear second. Yes sir.

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