Properly Installing a Halter

Steve Edwards: Just go nice and relaxed. Look at the ears, nice and quiet.

Sue: Good girl.

Steve Edwards: Good. The tail’s a little switchy, but not a big deal. This is where you need to spend time on the right-hand side.

Sue: Okay.

Steve Edwards: Catching him on the right-hand side. Okay. Once you catch him, it’s okay to put the lead rope around him. Go ahead, put the lead rope itself around the neck now. Just the lead rope itself. Okay, and put it on the other side, and then kind of pull her towards you a little bit. You don’t want to go in there, and get yourself boxed in, and maybe get hurt. Go ahead and pull her to you just a little bit, nice and easy. Nice. Very good, keep on coming, keep on coming. Bring it on out.

Sue: Oh, I don’t want to.

Steve Edwards: You bet. Now, come around to the other side. Now, you see you’re in a safe area. That was nice and quiet. Just touching them nice and quiet. The animal stayed quiet the whole time. Now, notice the frame of this mule. As it walks, head is down, framed up, and balanced. That’s a nice trail animal, but notice the animal went past her, okay, and came around in the front even. Okay.

Only thing that happened was Sue did not teach her a cue, I want you to be here. She knew, but she just wants to go anywhere, okay. Once that halter’s on there, now our communication’s going to be crisper and cleaner.

Now, this is really important. Notice how the halter is tied above the loop here. What happens is, as this mule moves around, moves around, moves around, moves around; see it coming out.

Sue: Um-huh.

Steve Edwards: Pretty soon this is going to come completely out.

Sue: Okay.

Steve Edwards: What we’re going to do is we’re going to make sure it’s up in the notch of the poll. You feel this right here? That’s the skull ending right there, in this kind of tender place. We want to be right in that notch. It’s okay, baby. That’s right. Okay, and then we’re going to pull it up, and -bump your nose over here- we’re going to pull it down here. Okay. Go ahead and do that.

Again, we see a lot of people trained and teaching mule stuff, and they’re saying it’s mule classes; but if they don’t have a halter adjusted, their communication is not going to be as crisp and clean.

Man: It is more critical with a mule than a horse?

Steve Edwards: Yes, very much more critical of a mule. Okay, do you see how it’s above? It needs to be below.

Sue: It needs to be below what?

Steve Edwards: It needs to be below this loop. Like this, come underneath.

Sue: Oh, okay.

Steve Edwards: Like that.

Sue: Let me try one more time.

Steve Edwards: Yes, you’ll see horse trainers that are trying to train mules and say they’re mule trainers; but as soon as you see their halters -as I just demonstrated to you earlier, and I’ll demonstrate it to you one more time – is that your communication, you can still get things done, but you’ve got to be more aggressive at it. I want to get away from the aggression. I want my communication to be crisp and clean. Okay. Very good, Sue. There you go, like that.

Now, as the mule moves around, this will get snugger; but it’ll be easy to do. This is the original snap. You just turn it like this, slide it right out.

Sue: Okay.

Steve Edwards: Okay. Now, again, if we had the knots adjusted out here, we’d push on it, we’d get a foot. This time we got more. If we lower it down, we get all kinds of feet. The proper way, as far as I’m concerned, for a halter to be adjusted is down here on the nostril. Your communication is crisper and cleaner. Where up here, I’m pushing on bone. It’s uncomfortable. Down here, I get feet movement.

Steve Edwards: Soft, easy, with no pressure. That’s like I say. You’ll see a lot of guys, a lot of women, guys and girls both, say, “Okay, I’m a mule trainer.” Okay, you probably are, but how crisp and clean is your communication? You know. If you’re really a mule trainer, you’ll understand the nose. The nose is the most important part to your mule, okay.