Discussion in 'Training Horses' started by Perthian, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Perthian

    Perthian New Member

    Would love some help in what hackamores suits what type of horses. :confused:
    How each one work and how to train myself and my horse.
    Anyone willing to give some hints or suggestions
  2. RVP Horses

    RVP Horses Well-known Member

    Are you talking about natural rope hackamores, western hackamores otherwise known as a bosal or mechanical hackamores used in English riding?
  3. Perthian

    Perthian New Member

    All three,
    There are so much on the net and just makes me confused.
    I just used a mechanical one on my horse and she was not impressed with the chin strap tightening and stuck her head up in the air.
    I tried to stop her as she was a tad naughty and wanted to move forward. I used voice, seat and in the end rein, first a touch then more and more pressure and in teh end she stopped moving but head straight up. This is why I am asking what type and what use each one has. It was effective without no drama for just touching when turning but stopping was a different story.
    Need advice
  4. RVP Horses

    RVP Horses Well-known Member

    If you train your horse by the principles of natural horsemanship then the rope hackamore is an extremely soft connection between you and your horse. If your horse isn't trained to respect one and if you don't know how to use one it is very easy for a horse to completely ignore that it is there. If you ride western then a bosal might be the go but again it all comes down to the training of the horse. Both the bosal and natural hackamore are gentler than a mechanical hackamore which in the wrong hands can be extremely severe. I personally don't like them at all but that just my opinion. If you ride English and compete at English events a mechanical hackamore is more "acceptable" some events won't allow you to compete in a rope hackamore I truly don't understand why and even if you were allowed to compete in a bosal you would probably get some really weird looks. Another option to look at is a bitless bridle. They are milder than a mechanical hackamore but because they have the reins at the side of the head instead of both joined underneath then the action is easier for a horse to understand. There is more control with a bitless bridle but it is still dependant on how well your horse is trained. If trained well enough you don't need a bridle at all.
  5. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    What do you hope to achieve in the Hackamore vs your usual gear?

    I can only put up an opinion about rope hackamores and bosals, you can actually create reasonably refined and soft communication with them, but IMO they aren't really designed for riding in a continuous contact but are perfect for mostly loose rein riding.

    They can be good for horses or riders hands that can't cope with the intimacy of a bit. For instance, a horse that has a bitting history that causes it to be anxious or evasive in the bridle can breathe a sigh of relief in a hackamore. Conversely, a sensitive horse might miss the reassurance and focus they get through a feel on a bit, and get lost in the fuzzier communication of a nosepiece.

    I'd definitely recommend you check your horse understands how to yield to pressure and preferably follow a feel before riding in one. Groundwork translates very easily to riding using the same gear, and a halter provides lots of information or clues to the horse through its whole head for messages like lateral flexion. If you have problems slowing down, don't imagine that being allowed to pull harder on the nose than the jaw is helpful. Headgear doesn't equal brakes, and remember that you can pull harder on a nose, but a horse can also pull back much harder than you.

    But I love riding in my halter when my aim is to relax and enjoy a trail ride without the huge responsibility of reins. It is my low intensity fun choice of headgear.
  6. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    I was having problems with a hrsoe a few years ago. It was not listening to the reins and ignoring all ques to stop. A friend has a western mechanical hackamore and she lent it to me. The only illustration I could find for you was this one.

    Weaver Fast Stop Browband Headstall - Horse.com

    The difference it made to the horse was amazing. He learnt incredibly fast that he could not ignore my hands.


    It is a very very strong piece of equipment and I could never recommend it for someone who does not have extensive experience riding and coping with rearing horses without panicing.

    The very first thing the horse tried to do was rear up when he felt it take up action (He had never reared before that day nor since). I could easily see that this could result in a nasty accident if as the horse went up the riders hands moved close to their body you could end up on the ground with the horse in top of you.

    I got off and long reined him in it (He had been a harness horse so this was easy for him) and so I could safely teach him on the ground without worrying that I was going to cause problems if I got unbalanced if he reared up again.

    However for a rider who has control of thier hands and a good amount of experience it was very very effective and it did not take long riding in it before the problem was solved and the hrose went back into a normal bridle.

    It sits in the shed now untouched as I have never had need for it since.

    It is not very adjustable however and is for a horse with a relatively small head. The horses I have used it on have had small heads.

    So unless you are experienced (talking years and years not just a bit of weekend riding here and there) and ride by instinct instead of having to think through each move this is not the right tool for you.
  7. Perthian

    Perthian New Member

    Thank you for all the information given.
    I do believe after reading that mechanical is out. I got very worried when the shin strap tightened and she was not happy. This horse never rears or has any issues and wants to please but will tell you when she isn't happy.

    Must say also that my horse has been taught basic natural horsemanship on the ground and english riding. She listens to halter on the ground and while riding in halter on property
    I understand it can be very severe and taken note while I was riding, on a lose rein and yes she can take the piss out of her mum.

    Was suggested a hackamore after a endurance ride where she was very strong and pulled on the reins/bit to the point she bit herself and carried a red lipstick for the last 5km.
    When she has settled she is great to ride on a lose rein and listens to your voice, seat and leg aids very well.

    I would not lay off my english bridle at this time at all and I do understand this is something that needs proper training, I am willing to learn if anyone is willing to teach :)
  8. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    Perthian if you are willing to pay money to be taught how to install good brakes then it might be worth seeing if you can find Lou Francis. He will put a lovely set of brakes on your horse by teaching you how to do it. BUT you have to have a strong belief in yourself and be able to get very very strong and out there in your horsemanship.

    If you are a quiet retiring sort of personality I could not recommend him. He would be too abrupt for you.

    Alternatively spend the money send the horse to a professional, they can remouth for you and teach you how to ensure they stay good.

    Trying to teach this sort of thing over the internet is not easy because it is vitally important to get the timing perfect and if it goes wrong it's got the potential to go wrong quickly.
  9. RVP Horses

    RVP Horses Well-known Member

    I agree with the advice to get some professional help. You can put a harsher bit on your horse or use a mechanical hackamore etc. But if your horse is relying on you pulling on their head whether it be poll pressure, curb pressure or bit pressure, to stop there is something wrong. You need to teach your horse to respect your other cues to slow down rather than rely on their head. There are many different trainers that can help with this whether you want to go down the natural horsemanship path or having your horse remouthed is your choice but if your horse is disrespecting a bit to that extent he will most likely disrespect anything else you put on his head eventually. You need to change his mindset and only training will do this.

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