I saw a post on the Schneiders Tack blog about a barn they visited which had special "fire halters" next to the fire extinguishers by the barn door. The throat and chin pieces had been removed, leaving the crown piece that goes over the top of the head. They had leadropes threaded through the back of the halter, taking the place of the chin piece that had been removed. At least in theory these halters should be easy to grab and slip on the horse's heads in case of a fire. Click on the link above to see pictures of the halters.
I like the idea but I'm not sure how helpful these would really be in the event of a fire. First of all the farm in question has the halters buckled over a bar. In an emergency situation someone would have to take the time to unbuckle each halter which seems to be defeating the fast and easy access purpose to me. My other question mark is that the halters are nylon. Occasionally my science degree from college comes in happy, and I do remember that nylon burns at a very low temperature. With that in mind I'm thinking leather might be a better choice than nylon. My other question is wouldn't it be easy for the rope under the chin to get pulled tight, making it hard to get the halter on, especially if the person doing the haltering has never been around horses?
Is this really any better than just having a halter and leadrope hanging on a hook by each stall door? I have to say I have never liked boarding at barns that insisted the halters be neatly hung upside down, by the hardware where the nose and chin pieces meet. Yes it looks very neat and tidy but sometimes appearances aren't everything. In an emergency any non horse-person trying to help will never figure out how to get the halter on the horse's head when they pick it up upside down with the sides flush together. I always insisted that my halters be hanging by the crown piece, with leadrope properly attached, so that maybe a non horse-person might have a chance at getting the thing on the horse's head in the event of a fire or other emergency.
A barn fire is one of those things that tops the list of worst nightmares that can happen to a horse owner. Several years ago a barn that I boarded at when I was in middle school burned to the ground from a lightening strike in the middle of the night. All the horses in the barn died. The horses on night turnout were just fine. The barn had properly installed lightening rods which served as a harsh reminder that they are not 100% effective. It goes without saying I hope to never have personal experience with a barn fire. If nothing else reading the post on fire halters certainly made me pause and think. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the fire halter concept vs halters hanging on hooks by each stall door.
Merlin and Fabrizzio
Lighty, Africa and Murphy
Griselle was looking very relaxed
Lucky and Lightening
Noble and Fabrizzio
another very relaxed mare (Lily)
Apollo and Chance
Romeo making a goofy face