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Monday, June 4, 2012

How to make a simple Arabian Halter

 How to make a simple Arabian Halter

by Samantha Kroese

What you’ll need:

Craft Cord (or Embroidery floss depending on what you want to do) – Make sure if you get the cord it’s the flat sided braided kind not the round kind

 Examples of Craft Cord

 Examples of Craft Cord

Embroidery Floss to match the Craft Cord if you’re doing tassels

Jump Rings

Necklace Chain to match the jump rings (gold or silver)

If you want an easy halter end to clip on you can use the necklace clamp findings that go with the jump rings too


Thread that matches the cord (or you can use the floss too)

Pliers (craft ones work best)


If you’re going to braid or knot your own cord you’ll want to look up a pattern for friendship bracelets. I found some online. You just adjust them to whichever width you want your halter to be.

If you’re using cord...just get the cord out and untangle a nice length of it.

Get the model down you’re going to fit it on.

I always do the part that goes behind the ears first so wrap the cord from one edge of the mouth to the other. Leave about an inch on each end out past the muzzle. Then cut the cord free of the rest.

Now you’re going to take a jump ring, slip it on one end. Hold it to where the edge of the mouth/bit would go. Fold the cord underneath over the jump ring so the cut part will lie against the horse’s face. Then you thread your needle, make a small knot and sew the two parts together a few times to make it sturdy then knot it off. Then do the same on the other side. Then cut the ends kind of close to where you sewed.

You can use clear nail polish on the ends to keep them from unraveling if you need to.

I always make the nose-band next. So you’ll take your cord again like you did above. This time you’re going to measure across the bridge of the nose to where the jump ring would sit on a real halter. Once again leave about an inch to fold over. Fold a side over one of the jump rings. Sew it close to the jump ring then cut off the excess and repeat for the other side.

Figure showing the triangle of chain under the horse’s chin with lead rope connected.

Now you’re going to cut a length of your chain to go under the chin. I like to make a long enough one that you can thread it through both jump rings and make a triangle (point down) out of it. This way you can adjust the chain to be snug just by pulling down on the lead. Attach a jump ring to the bottom of your triangle of chain and secure the loose ends. If you’re feeling really good about it you can open one link of the chain and attach it back to the other side instead of a jump ring for a more professional look. You can usually bend the links in a chain (and the jump rings if needed) enough to open and close them with a pair of pliars. Needle Nose crafting pliers work the best.  Alternatively if you just want the chain to hang and not be snug you can cut a length and then attach the ends of the chain to the jump rings. This is a great way to re-use broken necklace chains.

Picture: Close up of Brow Band connection on side, as well as the chin strap piece behind it (second cord behind the ear)

You’re going to do the same thing for the browband, only you’re going to wrap the cord around the piece of cord that goes behind the ears approximately where the browband would sit on a real halter. Then you can sew it like the other places. Make sure you don’t sew it TO the other cord, just make a loop and sew it close enough it’ll stay in place. This way you can leave the brow-band adjustable for going up and down if needed.

For Arabian halters the regulations do require a chin-strap, one that goes behind the ears and holds together under the chin. These are often long and ornate. Sometimes they’re  just a simple chain. For my halters I use the same cord and measure it so the middle of the length I want sits in the middle of the spot behind the ears. Then cut as long as you’d like for it to hang on both sides. Once you have that piece carefully sew it to the halter by connecting it to the piece you already had going behind the ears. Be careful to make sure your halter is fitted right before you do this though so the hanging pieces are even.

You will need some sort of tie to hold the chin strap. This part needs to be adjustable. You can use a pony bead (though those are often out of scale) or any bead that the cording will fit through. Or you can make your own tie out of the cording by wrapping it around and tying a tight loop around (that is snug but can still go up and down).

To make your lead rope you are going to need the necklace clamp. Usually these have a small circle on the back side. Just attach a jump ring there. Then you will thread your cord through the jump ring and sew it like you did on the halter. Cut to the length you’d like your lead rope to be (I usually measure so it hanges in a loop to the side when you flip it over the horse’s back and still has some length to go down the opposite side of the horse). Knot the end without the jump ring.

And there you have it. A basic Arabian halter. Now you can decorate it with anything you’d like from tassles to beads to gemstones to necklace/bracelet charms. Be creative!

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