Breakaway halters are useful if you have a horse that has to wear a halter all the time. The most common reason is because the horse bites. If he’s already haltered, you can snap a leadrope directly to the halter while standing at his shoulder, where you can deflect a nip. I also use a breakaway halter on Prim, my old mare with the dropped fetlocks, when I turn her out to self-exercise. (She never lets Gunsmoke out of her sight, which is the reason I turn him out in the arena first.) When I let go of her leadrope (a very short one, called a “catch rope”) and cluck, she gallops towards him and they circle the arena a couple of times, Gunner on the inside, Prim on the outside. It’s short, so she can’t step on it and trip, or get it snagged on something. Even if she did manage to do that, her breakaway halter would do its job and break. Unlike Gunner, she doesn’t wear it all the time—just when I turn her out.
The throatlatch of this breakaway halter is fastened to the top ring of the cheekpiece by a snap facing in (and into the horse’s face) instead of out. This breakaway halter is defective. (Photo by Joan Fry)