How to Fit the Dually Halter Correctly: A Step-by-Step Guide by IH Trainer Sandra Williams from Hearing Horses
Want to know how to fit the Dually Halter in a correct and safe manner? When it comes to fitting halters, fly masks, or Duallys on your horses, it’s crucial to know how to stand at the side of their face correctly. This step-by-step guide will assist you in fitting the Dually Halter with ease and acceptance, providing both you and your horse a safe and comfortable learning experience.
Preparing To Fit The Dually Halter
Before you begin, ensure that you and your horse are in a comfortable space, preferably a stable or a similar-sized area. Make sure your Dually Halter has the nose strap (front and back) with buckles set to the loosest holes. Avoid attaching your rope to the training ring, as it can limit the available space for your horse. Instead, use the under ring (tie-up ring) or keep it nearby for attachment.
Environment – Comfort Zone:
Create a comfortable environment for your horse by starting with a loosely fitted Dually. This allows your horse to approach you willingly. Tightening it too much can make your horse uncomfortable and less willing to cooperate.
Always hold your lead line across the palm of your hand while fitting the Dually or attach it afterward. Avoid looping it over your arm for safety reasons. Consistently practice safe handling, even when you think it might not be necessary, to build muscle memory for when it is.
Fitting the Dually Halter
Step 1: Stand Beside Your Horse
Position yourself next to your horse, behind his eye on the nearside. Give him a wither scratch or a gentle neck rub while exhaling to create a relaxed atmosphere.
Step 2: Hold the Dually Halter
Hold the Dually Halter in your left hand. Ensure that both nose straps lay across your palm, and grip the poll strap between your thumb and forefinger.
Step 3: Place Your Left Hand Underneath The Dually Halter
Slide your left hand (holding the Dually) underneath your horse’s neck, and exhale calmly to keep the atmosphere relaxed.
Step 4: Reach Over Your Horse’s Neck
With your right hand empty, place it over your horse’s neck while exhaling to maintain a calming presence.
Step 5: Release the Poll Strap
Release the poll strap into your right hand, bringing it over and behind your horse’s ears.
After Step 5, you can ask your horse to take a sideways step towards you if needed, especially in tight spaces. This reinforces that you can request your horse to move its feet by gently squeezing the ends of the Dually.
Step 6: Guide the Nose Straps
Use your left hand to guide the two nose straps up and over your horse’s nose while exhaling.
Step 7: Secure the Poll Strap On The Dually Halter
Secure the poll strap, ensuring that the Dually is lifted up into the throat line, similar to a facelift.
Step 8: Adjust the Front Nose Strap On The Dually Halter
Tighten the front nose strap until it forms a backward-facing L shape down the side of your horse’s cheekbone and around his face. While doing this, exhale and give your horse a positive stroke along his neck.
Step 9: Tighten the Chin Strap
Tighten the nose strap behind the chin. This is also the time for an out breath and a positive stroke along your horse’s neck.
Step 10: Check To See How Much The Dually Halter Twists
Position your hands behind your horse’s eyes, take hold of the Dually on each side by the cheekpieces, and ensure it does not twist around to obstruct his vision.
Step 11: Final Fitting Adjustments
Once you are satisfied with the fit, tuck the straps into the buckles and give your horse another reassuring stroke along his neck.
Avoid double-backing the leftover straps through the buckles, as this can create unnecessary pressure points.
Step 12: Attach the Lead Line
Attach your lead line to the training ring, and you are ready to go!
The Next Step:
Over time, you can consider reducing the slackening off to just the back chin strap, as this will still allow enough room for your horse’s head and face to fit comfortably.
Ready To Take The Next Step? Why Not Try These Groundwork Exercises To Practice
by Kelly Marks and Sandra Williams
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