The Equilibrium Stellar Safety Headcollar could save your horse from serious injury. Smart, weather-proof, and scientifically tested too. Ideal as a field safe, everyday or competition headcollar.
Reusable safety release system prevents injury to the soft tissue and nerves on the face, poll and neck of the horse.
Smart, durable and weatherproof material. Made from PVC with stainless steel fittings.
Neoprene padding for comfort, on the headpiece and nosepiece.
Ideal for use with the Field Relief Muzzle Protector.
What inspired the Stellar Safety Headcollar?
We’ve offered the Field Relief Muzzle Protector for a long time, and as a welfare, safety conscious company we would always recommend using it with a field safe headcollar. As a company, we like to make products where we think they can be improved, or where there’s a gap in the market. So we set out to investigate headcollars, how safe they were and if there was any testing on them.
We approached Dr David Marlin to find out if there was any research on headcollars. He couldn’t find anything in scientific literature, which we found quite surprising as headcollars are used so frequently.
Dr David Marlin started researching by conducting a survey of 5615 horse owners* to find out their experience with using headcollars. This included how often they used them and the problems associated with them.
The results were surprising.
Almost 1 out of 3 people experienced a horse being injured as a result of a headcollar.
More than 1 in 7 people have been injured in a headcollar related incident.
There were 167 horse fatalities as a result of a headcollar.
Diving into the horse injuries – it didn’t seem to matter what headcollar they were using. There were combinations of standard headcollars, safety headcollars and safety devices, however baler twine was associated with a higher risk of injury.
Unsurprisingly the majority of incidents happened tied outside, closely followed by in the field.
These results demonstrated that perhaps, headcollars should be investigated in more depth…
There are a lot of different headcollar designs, materials and safety systems. However, none of them appear to have been studied in any kind of systematic way.
For the next stage of testing, Dr David Marlin constructed a testing rig, to measure at what load the different headcollars broke or released at.
Firstly, typical headcollars were identified – webbing, synthetic, rope, leather, safety.
Each headcollar was tested in a standardised way which was repeatable. They were tested 6 times. For headcollars which broke, a new one tested each time. For safety headcollars that released, they were re-used where possible.
The results showed that some broke incredibly easily, while others were so strong that they could suspend more than an average horses’ weight without breaking.
Based on this research, it was clear that there is a need for an appropriate load for headcollars to release at, especially if they are a safety or field safe headcollar.
When handling horses, we can’t afford for a headcollar to release at too low a force, because it’s not practical to use. However, if the headcollar doesn’t open at all or at a high load, it increases the risk of injury and, as we’ve seen from the survey results, the injury could even be fatal.
The Stellar® Headcollar has been independently field tested by Writtle University College on their yard by a variety of people and horses for all general horse handling.
How can the Stellar Headcollar benefit horses?
We all know accidents with headcollars happen, but you think “it’ll never happen to me!”, however as we know from the research, it is far more common than we think! And while lead ropes, and baling twine can and do release – but not consistently – there are several instances where they wouldn’t even come into play. For example, your horse could get the headcollar caught on a gate/water trough/stable door/etc.
The Stellar® Safety Headcollar has been scientifically tested to have a consistent release point where the headpiece releases when poll pressure is applied, with an average of 83kg of downward force. Our research indicates that this is strong enough for safe horse handling, but low enough to prevent serious injury to the horse in the event of an incident. The Headcollar can also to be quick to release. While we wouldn’t recommend getting in the thick of it if your horse is stuck for the risk of getting caught, the headcollar can be released easily if the keeper can be pushed up and stud fastener pulled outwards, rather than downwards.
For instance, in normal circumstances you should be able to lead, tie up, turnout, load and travel your horse in the Stellar Headcollar. There may be some instances however, where you decide it is not appropriate to use it. For example, if your horse is near or on a busy road – i.e., you are travelling abroad or when you break down and must unload your horse on a motorway. In these circumstances a bridle may be more appropriate.
Who is the Stellar Headcollar for?
The Stellar Headcollar has been designed to be used by all horses and horse owners. While some may think ‘safety headcollars’ are just for use in the field, we know from research that accidents do happen elsewhere too, with the vast majority of them being when your horse is tied up outside.
Not only that, but the Stellar Headcollar is made from a weatherproof material with stainless steel fittings to ensure it is long-lasting and ready to tackle the elements!
Therefore, the Stellar Headcollar is great to be used as:
A field safe headcollar
An everyday headcollar
A competition headcollar
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