The Gear That Horses Wreck

You tell what equipment your horse (or someone else’s) ruined—and how it happened.

Leather lead. I let a “horse mom” hold my gelding while I took her daughter for a short walk to calm her nerves before her showmanship class. When we returned, I found my new $50 leather lead chewed almost in half—because Mom thought my horse needed to work out his anxiety. She didn’t notice that his back leg was cocked and his eyes were half closed because he was so “stressed out.”

Illustration by Bonnie Timmons

Jen Kvalheim, Wisconsin

Triple-stitched halter. My big Paint gelding is not a fan of stall rest. After he spent a few days cooped up for a pulled suspensory, the tantrums began. They ended when I haltered him to lead him out for his change of poultice, and his head-tossing caught the noseband of his brand-new halter on the screw eye for his stall guard. He seemed as surprised as I was to find that a beautiful, triple-stitched and padded noseband could snap so easily.
Joanne Friedman, New Jersey

All my tack. During a rainstorm, we put the horses in the barn, tied in the open stalls. When I came back the next morning, all the horses were untied, and both my saddles plus numerous pads, bridles, and halters lay strewn on the floor, stomped on. Yet my boyfriend’s tack was left untouched—can’t figure that out.

Caiti Walker, Alberta, Canada

Bridle rein. I was about to mount when my gelding spooked and took off. The rein tangled between his legs, he jerked his head up, the rein snapped.

Kiley Moore, California

Web halters. My daughter and I pastured our two geldings together so they could learn to socialize. Within two weeks they’d shredded each other’s web halters while learning to play “halter tag.” We learned to remove halters before “recess”—saves wear and tear on halters, plus is much safer all around.

Kristen Williams, Minnesota

Halter, round pen. Last summer, my instructor’s horse, a Percheron named Buddy, was in the round pen, sticking his head through the bars to munch the grass on the other side. When he drew his head back through, he must have caught his leather halter on something, as the round pen collapsed and both it and the brand-new halter were destroyed.

Tory Heliker, Washington State

Winter blanket. The gelding in the pasture next to my mare liked to massage the top of her hindquarters—so much so that he tore the back half of her blanket completely apart.

Kim Alley, Maine

Spray bottles, fly masks. My horse delights in picking up and chewing on my fly-spray bottles. Meanwhile, his fly masks I find in trees, on fences, in the creek. He just takes them off.

Kassandra Helderman, Alabama

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