However, despite all the allure and hype, rope halters are uncomfortable and just not beginners-friendly as wither leather or nylon horse halters. There are several reasons why experienced horse trainers do not recommend rope halters.
The most important one is the comfort of the horse. Rope halters are tied very tight and could be downright painful if not applied correctly. The fact is that tying a rope halter properly takes a lot of practice and experience; two things that not every horse owner or trainer have with trop halters.
Rope halters depend on strategically placed knots to apply pressure on the nerve centers on the nose and head. These knots should be tied with just the right amount pressure and placed accurately. If the halter is too loose, the noseband will ride low and put pressure of the nasal bone. If the halter is too tight, it would be excruciating painful for the horse.
Compare this to the ease offered by nylon horse halters. These halters have standard sized bands that offer maximum comfort to the horse at all times. For the stable staff, putting on a horse halter is easy and quick.
One important advantage of nylon horse halters is the amount of time they could be left on. Rope halters cannot be left on for a longer period because of the discomfort they cause to the horse because of the thinness of the rope and the position of the knots. In contrast, nylon horse halters have wide bands that ensure that the halter remains comfortable for a longer period.
Rope horse halters chaff and burn the skin easily. Because of their tightness, they constantly irritate the skin on the nose and around the head. Everything the horse moves its head or the handler pulls on the lead or raining rope, the halter will rub against the skin. Nylon horse halters, with their wide bands usually do not cause extensive cuts and burns. High quality nylon horse halters have the edges especially covered with stitching or webbing that further reduce the probability of burns.
Perhaps the most important reason of preferring nylon horse halters to rope horse halters is the issue of safety. Rope horse halters are made out of natural or synthetic fiber and are extremely strong. Add the fact that the majority of the rope horse halters are made out of a single piece of thin rope and you could image the strength of the equipment. This is a huge negative point as rope halters have been known to break the neck of the horses.
In contrast, nylon horse halters have breakaway points built into their fastenings. These safety features come into action when the horse panics and the whole halter snaps, freeing the horse. Nylon horse halters have saved many a horses from sudden or painfully lingering deaths due to broken necks and snapped spines.