Tag Archives: halters

Modern Show Halter Reference

This is the second post in my Tack Reference series, and this one will focus on the beaded, crystal and macrame style Arabian halters. These types of halters became popular with showers of real Arabian horses because they are sparkly and yet subtle, and they are usually so delicate that they show off a horse’s head well. Keep in mind that this type of halter is not fixed to a certain standard, and so there are many different kinds of halters in this category. I will try to discuss them all.

Beaded Halters
Beaded halters are…beaded. They are essentially a simple headstall made out of beads with a chain noseband that can have charms on it or not. The beads for the halter are ususally varying in size, with alternating small and large beads. The noseband can also be beaded. These halters can be worn with or without a throatlatch. Sometimes a tassel on each side of the halter can be added, though this is not common. Any colour is possible with these halters, and many are accented with gold or silver beads.


Crystal Halters / Arabian Horse Jewelry
I call these halters ‘crystal’ halters because they often have crystal-like stones on them. Really I am just making this category up, because it’s quite hard to seperate the modern show halters into categories. Crystal halters are heavily jeweled, with golden or silver decorations on the entire halter. They can have little decorations shaped like moons, stars or suns on them.


Macrame Halters
These halters are made using the special type of weaving called ‘macrame’, which is believed to have originated in the 13th century in Arab countries. The macrame halters basically weave beads and other decorations into an intricate pattern. They are usually very fine, detailed halters – perfect for showing! They do not usually have throatlatches, but I suppose those can be added for shows that require them.




Macrame halters

After doing research for my last reference post, I was inspired by the many beautiful and elegant macrame show halters. So I wanted to try making one in mini scale. 

This first one has a twisting knot on the cheek pieces, and two little tassels. 

I found the thickness of this halter a little off, so I made a second one with smaller knots for a finer look. This one has a simple design with coloured beads woven into a pattern.

I am looking forward to making these in all sorts of colours and designs!  

Native Halter References

Recently I have been playing with the idea of doing a kind of ‘reference’ posts about Arabian tack. It would serve as a way of compiling lots of pictures of different styles of Arab tack, with short descriptions of what’s used at shows and other events. Of course I’m not an all-knowing expert on Arabian tack, so it will also be a fun learning process for me.
I will start with the tack item I know best – the native Arabian halter. Surprisingly, there are many variants out there, and I will describe each below. I will try to give photo credit wherever I can, but in some cases I couldn’t hunt down the person who took the picture.

Bedouin native halters
Bedouin native halters are woven from wool, and are usually found in traditional colours such as red, yellow, green, blue, white and black. These halters have a metal nose band (brass, silver or gold) sometimes with ‘daggers’ (shark’s teeth) hanging from them. According to some sources, the Bedouin halters only have tassels on the ends of the halter, near the noseband, as opposed to Egyptian native halters which also have tassels on the check pieces. Bedouin halters are decorated with cowrie shell designs and beads. The throatlatches are usually removable from the halter so it can be used with or without.


Egyptian native halters
This style of halter is essentially the same as the Bedouin style, but with tassels (usually three) on the cheeck pieces. This type of halter can also come in a ‘zebra striped’ pattern where the base of the halter is woven with two different colours. These halters can also have mini ‘pompoms’ on them in different colours, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to find a good photo of a halter with those. Egyptian native halters are sometimes seen with a decorative browband as well, though not often. The browbands are usually in a V shape and have one or more tassels attached.


El Badia style native halters
El Badia halters are an adaption of the Egyptian style halters, with the tassels being beaded at the ends. These halters often have shark’s teeth or other charms hanging from the chain nosebands. Unfortunately these halters are a little uncommon, so finding good reference pictures is hard.


Native style show halters
Show halters can be done in a native style too. These often have no tassels, and no throatlatches. Though a throatlatch can always be attached since they are mandatory in some shows. The nosebands can be plain chain or have charms. The base of the halter is attached to two halter rings, and can be wrapped with a contrasting colour or left unwapped. Cowrie shells can be used seperate in a row, or in the classic medallion style.

I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful halters in this post, and hopefully it was helpful. I would like to do posts like this on native costumes, Hollywood costumes, dancing horse costumes and other show halters. If you have other ideas for reference posts, let me know!

Cowries and tassels

Yesterday was spent making cowrie shells and tassels for several projects. I am currently working on a halter commission that will be a replica of this real halter.


The cowries and gold plates are finished, now I just need to make the base of the halter.


And I am also working on a red costume for myself. This one has the new style of tassels, which look super silky! Now I’m debating wether to change all the tassels on the blue costume to this new style… It will be lots of extra work, but I get the feeling that it will be worth it. Anyway, both costumes have a long way to go before being finished.

Blue Halter Finished

Yesterday I finished this blue halter and leadrope. The leadrope has a tassel in the “new style”. It gives the halter a nice silky polished look.

I used dark blue embroidery thread for this halter, and added a splash of colour with an orange stripe running over it. The cowries and little medallions are handmade.

I haven’t decided wether I will put this halter up for sale, since I like it so much 🙂 I might…or not, but if I do I’ll post the link here.

New designs

A few days ago I started some new halters with new designs. The yellow one is a simplified version of a native halter. This type of halter can be used in the showring since it’s a nice dash of colour, but it’s not overwhelmingly decorated. This one was fun to make too! I want to make another one in blue to keep for myself.
The blue halter was an experiment. It’s basically a simple beaded halter that adjusts with sliding beads. I’m still finding the best way to weave the beads into the halter but it looks nice enough for now.


Finished native halters

Today I made the cowries for the two native halters I was working on. They turned out great, and both will be put up for sale on MH$P.

The black halter:

And the red halter:

Neither of the halters is adjustable in length, but surprisingly they both fit on the  PSA and Breyer PAM. Apparently their heads a pretty similar in size. Seeing the red halter on my PS Arab kind of makes me want to keep it…

red & black native_001

I will place links to their MH$P ads soon 🙂