Natural Horse World

Safer Rope Halters and Bitless Bridles

Did you know you can have safer rope halters and bitless bridles with a simple breakaway point

Have you ever thought about what would happen if your horse caught their rope bridle or halter on something solid – like a gate latch, or a hitching rail, or tree branch?

Rope bridles and halters without a break-away point are a serious wreck waiting to happen!

I’ve seen horses almost drown from getting a leg caught up in their reins while swimming, and a horse strike their hoof through another’s reins and join the two together in a serious tangle until the rein clip broke.
I’ve known two horses that plunged off a narrow cliff trail when one slipped and dragged the horse who’s saddle he was tied to, with him. Fortunately, the rider survived and was able to euthanise both horses.

Rope hackamores used by Natural Horsemanship trainers and riders have a solid rope rein that can be deadly if caught up. And what about the horse that escapes with un-breakable rope reins dangling? Imagine the serious wreck when a front or hind leg steps through those reins, especially when still around the horse’s neck.

The same goes for a rope cordeo or neck loop that has no breaking point. If it falls close to the head a hoof could potentially get caught in it. Using something like this breakpoint tether will help keep the neck rope in place. 

And how many neck and back injuries are caused by pull-backs when tied solid? We’ve all had those and perhaps changed to a different method of tying, or used a releasing gadget or a piece of twine! Obviously, it’s best to educate your horse to stand tied but you still can’t account for needing to tie your horse somewhere different, or that sudden scare factor.

You can make your own break-away tab with scrap or re-purposed leather.

This all paints a horrible picture but can be avoided by using a break-away tie on the headpiece of your rope halter/hackamore/bridle. You can make your own as demonstrated here on Horse Nation.

LightRider Break-Away Latigo
The LightRider Break-Away Latigo is ready to go.

Or buy a ready-made break-away latigo from Natural Horse World here.


How to use a leather latigo as a breakaway tie: 

Many rope halters come with a leather latigo attached under the jaw so here’s how to remove that and use it as your break-away latigo.

  1. Undo the leather latigo from the throat knot.
  2. Loop the latigo through its first slot, then push one end through the halter’s tie loop.
  3. Pull the other tail of the latigo through the remaining slot and straighten it firmly.
  4. Tie the headpiece through and around the new loop formed by the latigo.
  5. When you remove the halter, keep the headpiece in the latigo loop for tidy hanging.


Supersoft Rope Halter with branding latigo.
Add a leather latigo to the halter tie loop.
Add a leather latigo to the halter tie loop.


Tie around the latigo.
Tie around the latigo.


Here’s a video to show how it’s done:

LightRider Bitless Rope Bridles are the first to include a breakaway latigo, as are the Supersoft Knotless Rope Halters sold exclusively by the Natural Horse World Store. 

The Supersoft Knotless Rope Halter includes a Break-away leather latigo.

4 thoughts on “Safer Rope Halters and Bitless Bridles”

  1. Another fail for ‘natural horsemanship’

    Let’s create a product that breaks when a horse pulls back, developing a learned behaviour thus causing the horse to believe it can escape when it pulls back and if it doesn’t that it will if it pulls harder all thanks to a breakaway rather than educating the horse or sending it to a trainer be be educated properly to not pull back and to stand patiently without need to be elsewhere. ????

    1. Cynthia

      Thanks for expressing your point of view but this isn’t about teaching them to pull back. I agree that a horse should be taught to stand quietly, but when you’re using equipment that won’t break (like a rope halter) I’d rather be in the position of the horse being able to get free than being’broken’should something terrible happen. Damage can be done to their neck that can cause them to have spinal issues. I’d rather deal with re-educating a horse than a horse that was badly injured, possibly for life.

  2. Sue Ann

    Just wondering why the LightRider Bitless Bridle – Rope Natural is being discontinued. Is it a performance issue?
    Thank you in advance for responding. I’m already on the mailing list.

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