Lead shanks and lunge lines that feature chains are mostly used on stud horses or horses who exhibit vices during regular handling such as rearing or pulling. In an ideal world you would never need to put a nose chain on your horse, but in the event that you have to use a nose chain to lead your horse or lunge your horse with a chain placed over his nose, you need to make sure to use the chain properly so you do not injure him.
Place a halter on your horse's head. The crown piece needs to be snug around the horse's head so that the halter does not slip off if the horse pulls against the halter. You need to be able to put at least two fingers between the throatlatch and your horse's skin when you snap the throatlatch.
Adjust the noseband so that it fits slightly loosely: you need to be able to get several fingers between the noseband and the skin. Make sure the noseband is sitting directly at the midpoint between the nostrils and the cheek.
Run the snap end of the chain through the ring located on the left side of the noseband. Run the chain across the nose and underneath the halter, and snap the end of the chain onto the ring located in the center of the right side of the noseband. Make sure the chain runs smoothly under the halter's noseband and is not twisted.
Lead your horse normally, standing on the left side of the horse with your right hand just below the chain and the excess lead in your left hand. If your horse misbehaves, and only if your horse misbehaves, apply pressure with your left hand. Release the pressure when the horse responds the way you want him to.
- Applying pressure with a nose chain and failing to release it can cause your horse pain and even harm him in the event that the chain cuts into the skin. Nose chains should be used only by experienced horse handlers.
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Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.