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How to Use a Stud Chain on a Horse

By Jen Davis

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A stud chain is a lead line that has a chain on the end of it that attaches to the horse. it works similarly to a curb strap except it is used by someone who is handling the horse from the ground. Stud chains apply pressure on the underside of the horse's chin to encourage the horse to behave himself. This piece of equipment is called a stud chain because they are most commonly used to keep stallions in line when around mares. It also may be used to establish boundaries and ground manners with pushy or ill mannered horses.

Step 1

Place your halter on your horse and adjust it so that it fits snugly but not tightly. The halter should not slide around on your horse's head.

Step 2

Attach the stud chain to the halter. You will insert the chain end of the stud chain, clip first, through the ring on the left side of the halter's nose band. Run the chain between the halter and the skin and clip the clip on the end of the stud chain onto the ring on the right side of the noseband.

Step 3

Lead your horse as you would normally do, standing on his left side and walking at his shoulder. The stud chain should be loose enough that the horse knows it is there but is not receiving any pressure from it. If the horse misbehaves, pull on the lead line section of the stud chain so that the chain tightens against his skin and applies pressure. Release pressure when the horse does what he is supposed to do. Continue leading and applying pressure as necessary.

Items you will need

  • Stud chain
  • Halter


  • 💡 Stud chains work by teaching the horse to do what you want in order to release the pressure. Make sure to reward the horse by releasing the pressure on the chain when he behaves correctly or he will not learn the lesson you are trying to teach.
  • 💡 Some people run the stud chain across the top of the nose or across the gums rather than under the chin. The same principle applies either way, but under the chin is the most common place to use the stud chain.
  • 💡 Stud chains are considered appropriate attire for Halter and Showmanship horse show classes, regardless of whether you apply pressure.


  • Stud chains, like many pieces of equipment, can harm the horse if used improperly. If you are unsure how to use a stud chain or your horse has never had one on him before, have a professional horse trainer teach you how to use it properly and get your horse adjusted to it before you attempt to use one on your own.

Photo Credits

  • Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images


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.