Halter Breaking An Angus Heifer
Halter breaking an Angus Heifer to lead is a process that begins months
prior to actually entering the show ring with a successfully trained animal. You’ll begin by choosing a heifer with
good conformation and then working with your heifer daily to make sure she trusts you.
Activities such as petting her daily and feeding her on a regular schedule
are necessary for her overall health, but also serve the purpose of building trust between the two of you. Plan to
spend a lot of time with your heifer. If possible, it’s a good idea for other people to pet her and spend time
around her as well so she becomes accustomed to activity and voice around her that aren’t as familiar. When she’s
housed in a barn during the fair or a show, she will be hearing many new sounds and experience new smells.
want to begin halter breaking your heifer about six weeks prior to the time you plan to show her in the ring.
Some heifers respond quickly, whereas others are a bit more difficult. Much of your success depends on the
personality of your heifer, but don’t be discouraged. Continue to take the proper training steps and she will
eventually get it.
To begin halter breaking an Angus heifer to lead, allow her to become
familiar with a halter by leaving her tied for short time frames. One to two hours at a time is an appropriate
length of time to start. As you lengthen that time, make certain she has food and water. A stable halter is
designed to remain loose under her jaw even if she’s pulling on it, so use this style of halter at first. You’ll
want to remain near so she doesn’t become frightened and hurt herself. Perhaps try this training exercise while
you’re doing your barn chores or feeding the other animals.
Another technique is to lead your heifer in a halter to her food and water
each morning and evening so she has motivation to go with you. Despite herself, she will become more accustomed to
wearing the halter and being led. Switch to a rope halter once she seems comfortable with the stable halter. A rope
halter does tighten under the jaw with the lead rope to the left, giving you a bit more control over her movements.
The nose band of the halter should be low on the heifer’s nose.
The very first time a heifer is taken into an open area on a halter, a
person experienced with training heifers should be in control. The young person planning to show the heifer should
be nearby watching everything so they’ll understand how to handle the heifer properly. Walking by her side is the
best way (usually) to get her to walk with you. When she stops, stop with her and give encouragement and then walk
again. Continue the process for about 20 minutes and then put her back in her pen. If she balks, you’re not likely
to get her to move by yanking on the lead rope, so have someone available to nudge her from behind or to twist her
There are other techniques for halter breaking an Angus heifer to lead,
but this is the most tried and true technique that seems to work well for most heifers.
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