Fire Halters- An Easy Safety Measure For Your Barn!

It’s safe to say that a barn fire is every horse owner’s worst nightmare.

While visiting Stachowski Farm last week, the Schneiders crew discovered a fascinating safety measure that I personally have never seen before. By the barn door, under two fire extinguishers, was a rack full of red halters with red and white leads attached.

Fire Halters

Fire Halters at Stachowski Farm

Upon closer inspection, we noticed that the chin pieces had been removed and the lead ropes threaded through the brass attachment.

Fire Halters Up Close

Fire Halters Close-Up

In case of a fire, your first objective is to safely remove your horses from the area. Seconds count. In this situation, you don’t have time to run around looking for halters for everyone. Even if you have halters and leads on each stall door, trying to fasten buckles or tie rope halters on panicky horses wastes valuable time. With these particular fire halters, handlers can slip them on quickly and go. Having them all in one place so everyone knows where to find them saves even more time.

Want to implement this safety measure in your barn? Simply invest in one halter (like this one) and lead (like this one) per horse. Cut the chin piece and throat piece off the halter so you are left with the nose piece, cheek pieces and crown piece alone. Then clip your lead to the brass ring on the right side of the halter and slide the opposite end of the lead through the brass ring on the left side.

Fire Halter How-To

Create your own fire halters!

Now your fire halter is assembled and ready to go! Keep your halter(s) in one easily accessible place in case of emergency, and let everyone at your barn know where to find them.

Do you keep fire halters at your barn? What other creative safety measures do you implement?



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  2. MAMAQ says:

    Having been through a barn fire absolutely great idea. I got to the fire in time to find my 16.3 wb being held by a piece of package twine. In the panic all halters on stall doors had diappeared. I have since kept halters at all doors but this is genius. Sharing on FB KUDOS TO THE Stachowski Farm

  3. K Eubanks says:

    This is a great idea, but with a fire can come extreme heat and nylon can melt onto your horse. A fire halter should be made of leather, with a leather lead for it to be safe for the horse and person.

  4. Bree Lake says:

    Since Nylon (halter) and polypropalene (lead rope) have pretty low melting points (meaning they melt easily), would it be advisable to create these out of strong leather halters instead?

    In any non-Fire instance, these would be a great idea.

    • Maggie England says:

      I would think the same thing. Perhaps there’s some sort of fire resistant coating your could put on them, sort of like water proofing?

  5. Marianne Ragan says:

    What a good idea! I think I would try to fashion them of cotton rather than nylon, though, in case they get near flames or are hit by embers. Nylon melts into skin so badly.

  6. Jessica says:

    I like the idea of the whole thing but only thing I would change is the material of the halters. Nylon melts in heat right and you don’t want them melting before you can get to them or on the horse god forbid. If some one could come up with this design in a cotton halter this would make the idea of Fire Halters 100% better. But coming up with this Emergency plane was genes!

  7. Jessica says:

    Plan not plane*

  8. Dawn says:

    At the Thoroughbred track leather halters are required on horses after hours. Boarding at one barn that did a lot of T’bred lay-ups…. this was their policy also. Understandably this is sometimes costly depending on how your horse treats a halter, but in case of a fire, it saves a ton of time.

  9. Sharon Sutherland Tanner says:

    I require leather halters WITH clips, leads attached, hung on every stall door. Halters MUST be hung by the crownpiece, so that they can be put on quickly. I do like how they have shortened their lead ropes, but a rope under the chin might be tricky to keep open on some!! Valuable seconds may be lost getting those on.

  10. Becky says:

    My horses are at pasture in an urban area. They wear leather neck collars with a brass tag that has my name and contact information on it – great if they get lost, or someone sees them sick or hurt. If they were back in a stalled situation, the collars would stay on and be a good device for a fire as they are well trained to lead from the collars as well.

    • Maggie England says:

      That’s an awesome idea :) My horse, although she’s in my backyard, likes to jump the fence every now and then :P I’ve been considering leaving her in a nylon halter with my name/her name/our phone #/ our address, but I always decide that the risk of leaving a halter on her in the pasture just isn’t worth it yet, so this is a great solution :)

    • Danielle says:

      While this is a good idea in general, a fellow horsewoman who shows in my circuit did this too and came home to find her horse had gotten hug up by the halter/collar (it was leather too) and he strangled to death….I never allow a halter on my horse when he is out in the pasture or left alone in his stall.

      • CJ in Omaha says:

        I always had a halter on my horse but I had the break away kind … instead of having to go out and buy expensive replacement pieces a friend of mine made some for me out of some of his scrap leather and I kept them in a baggy in my glove box. A few times I had to walk the pastures looking for Ginger’s bright red halter but that was okay by me. I realize to halter or not to halter is a personal choice and a lot of things have to be considered but I had zero problems with my break away other than swearing under my breath when I had to look for the darn thing. And I know that the break aways work great as once I was trying to dress a nasty wound that Ginger had on her neck from a nasty nail that had been over looked some how, it put a deep 4″ gash on her neck and when I was trying to dress it she got upset with me (I’m sure it hurt like crazy), fought with me and broke away from me, I was left standing there with a break away halter and lead rope in my hand as she pranced away!

  11. Tanya says:

    I am curious as to why would you cut out the throat latch if you have properly fitting halters especially if you have the kind that have the snap at the throat so as to slip over the head quickly?

    I am guessing it would be great if you had multiple size heads to do as pictured above as one size would fit most and would be easy to get on… However if you are in an emergency evacuation situation (fire, earthquake, flood, etc) I would think it best to have a halter that a horse can’t slip out of. You may need to tie one up to go back for others. It would be horrible if that one that you got out, got loose, and instinctually ran back into the burning barn. If you needed to trailer or if you have a stallion again I would want a fairly secure halter.

    I would think it best to have appropriate fitting halters for each and every horse, with a small dog tag with a name and phone # attached. Leather is great in some situations and if hung inside but wouldn’t do well if hung outside for a long period of time. I know situations vary and it is a great idea to have extra halters where everyone can find them with lead ropes attached… but not sure I would go cutting apart a perfectly good fitting halter.

    Every situation

    • Ellen says:

      I used a similar halter on a horse that had a habit of throwing his head up when trying to halter him in his stall. And one thing a horse will do when panicked is to throw his head up! Trying to get a halter with a full nose band on a horse when he’s throwing his head up and backing away can be really difficult and wastes valuable time. The beauty of these halters is that as long as you can get the poll strap over his ears, you can lengthen the lead rope as long as you need to so you can get it under his chin, then just tighten it as you pull. The horse doesn’t have to drop his head into a nose band. Also, the tightened nose band/lead rope is going to put pressure on the horse so he will come with you with less resistance because some horses won’t want to leave the barn when frightened.

      One good thing about having these all in one place is that you can grab a handful of them and go from stall to stall without having to stop at each stall and look for individual halters.

    • CJ in Omaha says:

      .My brother brought a donkey back from Iraq a couple of years ago. Not an easy feat to get a donkey out of a war zone over to Turkey and then into the USA but he managed to do it, anyway Smoke (the donkey) always wore a halter and my brother had him micro chipped and his micro chip tag was attached to his halter …. I don’t think too many people think of micro chipping their horses, mules and donks but likely event of a natural disaster or theif, it would be a great idea AND the cost of micro chipping is coming down a lot these days

  12. Melanie Rowley says:

    This is not logical. The halters need to be at each horse’s stall, the time spent running back and forth, to get these, is time that will result in horses dying, and possibly you too.

    I also object to the configuration of these, as in a panic, the chances of getting the lead rope caught in horse’s mouth is very great. Regular halters, with leads snapped underneath, will keep that from happening.

    Also need to point out that if horses are not confined either by tying, or placing in secured paddock that they will run right back into a burning barn to die.

  13. Brenda says:

    I deal with cows also. This design is basically the same halter that is used for cattle and sheep. Just all one piece of rope. So if you wanted to use cotton instead of the poly or nylon it would be easy to do. Or the leather show halters for cattle is the same design just comes with a chain for chin piece.

  14. Michelle says:

    Being prepared is a great idea…I see 2 things with this picture. Unless the bar they hang on pulls out these halters have to be unbuckled to release them from the hanging bar. If horses are not used to a chain under the chin this setup may cause issues. If a horse balks while being led and the lead rope chinstrap tightens you could have a panicked horse pulling back. Saw this happen at a horse show where the owner hadn’t practiced with a chain horse got upset and pulled back and couldn’t get any relief so started to rear.

    • Kelsey says:

      I’m pretty sure its a piece of wood you simply slide out of its hooks, slide a pile of halters on your arm and go.

      I think I might pick up some cheap leather halters for just this though!

  15. Sharon says:

    Great idea….but are those halters hung so they have to be unbuckled to get off the rack? That’s a huge time waster…hooks would be much faster.

  16. Cassie says:

    i do not think it is a good idea to easy for the horse to get out of it
    i did try it and with in a second my horse was lose and i did it the way it showed my horse hates constant pressure and that is what it takes to keep those on so in stead i lo a lead around her neck and lead her out like that


  1. [...] Great idea! Emergency fire halters. I simply love this. For emergency responders who are likely not horse people and would take forever to put on a regular halter and so likely just let the horse loose. Fire Halters- An Easy Safety Measure For Your Barn! [...]