Neck collars – what they are and why we use them.
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Neck collars – what they are and why we use them.

August 18, 2019

We often get asked what the collars are
that appear around our horse’s necks. The collars consist of a webbing strap that buckles around the horse’s neck and a sturdy swivel ring. They’re wider than a head collar and
therefore because they cover a greater surface
area than a head collar strap, even if the horse puts tension on the collar it will not dig
in and hurt their neck. They are fitted so that we can get a hand between them and the horse’s neck making them snug enough not to be pulled off over their heads but loose enough not to interfere if a horse bends his head in an outline. The primary job of the collar is to act
as a backup for the head collar. If a horse is tied up, rubs his head and
slips his head collar the clip is connected both to
the collar and the headcollar and the horse remains secure. We use them when we tie horses up to muck out their stables and when putting them to the carriage. Should the headcollar break the horse is still secure. We also have free access to the horse’s
face and nose for grooming, knowing he is still tied up
and without having to remove headcollars. Some people when harnessing up a horse open the head collar at the noseband in order to put the bridle on so the head collar is now acting exactly the same as our collar. However the head collar is often at this
point easily slipped over the ears because the headpiece is loose around their neck. Also, with head collars that do not open at the nose, they must be undone from the headpiece lowered over the nose, and done up again, meaning your horse is not fully secure at all times. If the head collar is then done up over the top of the bridle, there’s the same problem in that you
cannot take the bridle off without first undoing the head collar which you may not always want to do, for
example in an emergency situation for fear of the horse getting loose. Taking the head collars with you on the carriage still means you have to put them on the horse
before using them whereas the collars we use can remain on whether in the stable or when being driven. Sometimes when driving we don’t to use a head collar under the bridle as the buckles can rub on the horse’s
face making it uncomfortable for them. The collars allow us to secure the horse
while in the carriage with only the bridle on and he can be tied up and unharnessed
securely without needing to put the head collar on at all. You can get under halters which are thin, lightweight head collars that are sewn together rather than using buckles, but they have very little adjustment as they only have one buckle to allow the headpiece to be undone. If you have a horse with a wide nose
often you cannot get the head collar far enough up their noses, so it can rub on the bit. The other disadvantage in this is that you cannot open the head collar at the nose, for example if you’re using it to
tie up a horse and you need to remove the noseband to groom him. There are also gullet straps which run from the throat lash to the noseband to prevent the bridle being pulled off over the head. They have a small ring
which allows you to attach a lead rope to but the ring is rather small and not very sturdy. They’re meant to be used to attach a lead rope to in an emergency situation but are not
very strong and if you need to take the bridle off they become useless as a head collar substitute. Here we have passed the noseband through the ring of the collar and the throat lash through the collar itself, using it as a gullet strap. However if we need to remove the bridle
we still have a secure point of attachment on the horse. If we are not using the collar as a gullet strap it can remain on the horse without interfering with any other item of harness or the horse’s face either while being
driven or while in the stable. In short we use the collars with the horses we have in for training as an extra point of attachment both when in the yard and in case of any
emergencies while out driving. They allow us all the benefits of a head collar and a gullet strap in one secure piece of equipment.

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  1. Neck Collars Great idea, are you selling them? Also the Rubber bits, not available anywhere I can find here in the US. You could offer these items on your web sight. Know it's not your line of business, but perhaps there is someone who could help out with that, thanks for sharing. I use knotted rope halter under the headstall now but would switch if the collar was available to me.

  2. I had a horse that I was leasing to someone. When she came back we found that the person leasing her had allowed her to learn that if you just pull hard enough you can break halters. Such bad manners would never have been allowed in our barn, but now we were stuck fixing it, as it was dangerous with her getting free, she really risked hurting herself pulling and we were going through a lot of halters.
    By using a neck collar in conjunction with a halter, it made her much safer. She was unable to break both the halter and neck collar together. Also like you said because it is wider it doesn't dig in as badly and so she was at less of a risk of hurting herself.
    She eventually got out of this bad habit, and it really was thanks to the neck collar and some patience. They really are great devices, even though we wish it wasn't necessary to begin with. Hard to trust people with your horses sometimes!

  3. These are excellent and make so much sense to use!  Where can one buy them???  Can they be ordered online?  Brand name you prefer?  Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thank you so much for answering the question, makes a lot of sense and it is something I would like to get, I dislike having to have a halter underneath my bridle as I always worry about rubbing and how it's so much more on their face, I would love to do something like this.  Is it something you have made up yourself or is there are place they are able to be purchased?

  5. Another piece of safety equipment would be a quick release snap. Should a horse go down while tied it releases with just a pull by a hand; yet stays securely attached no matter what force a horse may exert on it. I grew up with these as basic equipment with horses and not seeing one on a tied horse feels kind of odd. I've seen one or two horses panic and flip over (not mine) and safely released by a good pull in the safety snap; without which they would have been left hanging until a knife could cut them free of the tie. A rare, but not unheard of event…

  6. You can find these neck collars on  I ordered one yesterday as I am training a young horse and I think this is going to be a useful tool as I teach him to let me take off his halter and put other equipment such as a rope halter and eventually a bridle.  Thank you for your wonderful videos.  I look forward to each one and have learned much from watching you deal with your horses gently, kindly and with discipline.  Love your ethics and keep up the good work.

  7. For everyone asking, these are the collars we use as well as the larger ones Please note this UK company does not ship overseas and VAT (and P&P) is added at checkout.

  8. Would you suggest using a neck collar instead of a head collar for turnout? I have issues at the barn my horse is boarded with regular "breakaway" head collars being popped by other horses and the staff then using a regular one which may be too tight and wears at the hair and skin on my Arabian's face. Would this work as an alternative?


  9. excellent, I knew what the purpose of collars were as ive had a little experience of driving, I loved it, drove a very well behaved pair of shires giving rides around a busy showground a few years ago but lost my confidence with my own ride and drive (my age I think) as he was impeccable. so clearly explained, im almost inspired to take lessons and drive agin. thankyou

  10. I liked seeing this. I use an old leather belt (well oiled and soft) on my Paso. Started it when he decided that he's a wild horse, who didn't need to be caught in the field. (Yeah right, not having any of that, thanks.) I don't like turning out in head collars. The strap gives me something to grab if I have to, I can turn out with it on, and I use it when tacking up. I lead with it too. I wouldn't turn out in a nylon one, as it wouldn't rip, but an old leather belt, with the ring from a head collar he destroyed threaded onto it, does just fine. (Provided it's short enough to fit properly.) Happy to see I'm not the only one seeing the merit of them.

  11. Sometimes your captioning completely covers what you're trying to show. I've seen it happen on a few of your videos. Just something to watch with future videos.

  12. I keep looking at your videos to get a glimpse of the rubber bit you all use. In this video I could see all of the bridle but the bit! Could you post a picture of the rubber bit?I am in the US. I am borrowing a 24 year old draft cross retired NY Central Park carriage horse that worked for his living. He is broke to saddle and goes very nicely. I was given a twisted snaffle to use with him. That is too severe for my tastes. He does have a hard mouth. Would the rubber bit you all use be appropriate for my situation? Marci

  13. I was raised on a farm and we worked with horses all. We never used head collars. After seeing this. I will all the know. Thank you for the video

  14. Theses are a brilliant idea ! And as long as they're used responsibly they are practical and useful. it just worries me with neck straps that the horse pulls and runs the risk of breaking their neck because if nothing gives. The answers you gave below I fully understand and think it's great as a back up 🙂

  15. suppose I'm riding, I do show Jumping, can the horse still have the neck collar? without any rope/ tie, just let the collar on like the horse on 2:25 ?
    they seem very practical and I like them more than halters. edit: can we also use them without the halter ? just the collar itself

  16. I worked at a Australian agricultural collage and all the brood mares wore collars with a number on them as well as each horse on arrival at the breeding facility’s had that same number branded into the outside wall of its hoof a method that was not permanent as the hoof would eventually grow out and I recon handling horses with a collar which was far superior to head steals or halters as it was a teaching facility there was a huge range of ability in the skill of the students coming in and some would start the breeding part of the corse before they had done the handling and breaking in section of the corse so you could have a total beginner rider who has never caught a horse in a field be sent out to bring in a stallion which was a recipe for disaster how they never had a major instance happen is a mystery to me

  17. I have tried to look over the net and found only one – it was too narrow and the ring too weak. As my Arab has developed a habit of seeing dragons while tied up I have been looking for one of these to save my rope snaps and his neck – and my nerve ! Looking in detail at the ones in the video it is clear that they need to be about 5cm (2 inches) wide in the strap and have a very STRONG ring and buckle/tongue….not sure about you guys but when my 15.1hh Arab pulls back there is one heck of a lot of power in that pull…. There seems nothing in the market like that so I am going to check out the ships chandlers for fittings as well as farm suppliers.

  18. I love this idea! Would you know of any place that has those kinds of collars that is in US funds? I'm surprised that amazon and ebay don't have them available.

  19. The people at the barn that I go to have them very snug around their horse's necks all the time. Is there any reason for the collar to be on even when they're simply in the stable?

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