HomeExpert AdviceArticleHeadcollars – what you need to know

Did you know that 88% of horse owners use a headcollar at least once a day? For an essential bit of kit, there are a lot of risks we take if we don’t consider safety first

Equilibrium Stellar head collar

We’ve all heard horror stories of horses pulling back when tied off, and running off with whatever they were fixed to in toe still fully attached. Or, for those turned out in headcollars, catching the material on something, panicking and consequently becoming injured. So, why hasn’t headcollar safety been addressed in a scientific, measured and standardised way to help minimise the risk of accident and injury?

Our survey says…

With equine safety in mind, Equilibrium Products commissioned Dr David Marlin to research headcollar safety. His survey of 5,615 owners found…

  • 31% have experienced a horse being injured as a result of using a headcollar
  • 75% of these injuries occurred while the horse was tied up
  • 15% have been injured themselves in a headcollar-related accident
  • shockingly, there were 167 horse fatalities reported to be as a result of headcollar-related incidents

With no current safety standards or testing protocol for headcollars – and when combined with looking at the results of this research – it’s clear to see that there’s plenty of potential to improve the safety and wellbeing of both horses and their owners.

Put to the test

With the help of Dr David Marlin, a variety of typical headcollars, including those purportedly designed for safety, were tested. Each headcollar was suspended and attached to a rig, which applied a downward force. This force was incrementally increased until the headcollar broke or released.

Some safety devices released as low as 9kg, while at the other end of the scale some didn’t break until over 600kg of downward force was applied, meaning the average sized horse could be suspended from the headcollar without it breaking – a scary thought!

Realistically, there needs to be a balance. The horse needs a release point as low as possible to help reduce risk of injury, but horse owners need a higher release point so they can maintain control while leading and carrying out everyday activities.

Equilibrium Stellar head collar in black


New from Equilibrium Products

Taking your horse from field to stable to the showground, not only is the new Stellar Head Collar a smart, first-class headcollar, it has a reusable release system, too. A release system that’s scientifically tested with measurable and consistent results, and has also been independently tested by Writtle University College on a variety of horses for everyday activities.

Durable and weatherproof, the Stellar Head Collar is made from a smart, leather-look synthetic material with padding on the noseband and headpiece, offering maximum comfort. Adjustability at the headpiece and noseband allows for a great fit, with long-lasting stainless-steel fittings.

Equilibrium Stellar head collar release system


For more information, visit equilibriumproducts.com

Your Comments

2 thoughts on “Headcollars – what you need to know”

Charlotte Keene says:

Tie the horse to a loop of string not directly to the ring or metal wall fastening. Basic common sense.

Jane Skinner says:

quick release using new synthetic materials – what’s not to like?!

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