Best hackamore?

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Best hackamore?

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    11-07-2010, 04:30 PM
Best hackamore?

I have decided to get my horse a hackamore. She really doesn't enjoy the bit. And, I don't see why she should have to wear one. A bit is just something the rider uses when they can't control them without.

For casual riding, I was just going to use a rope halter and lead. But I don't think that's allowed in showing.. haha.

For western showing, I was thinking of the bosal hackamore.
But what about for english? I was hoping to get into hunters and maybe a little jumping.

Can you ride with a bosal in english?

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    11-07-2010, 05:21 PM
That's not why I use a bit. ;)

When you say she 'doesn't enjoy the bit' what do you mean? Does she rear? Toss her head? Chomp?

You can use a bosal or bitless bridle, but in English you might get looks. With
English, mechanical hackamores are the norm.

PS. Wouldn't jumping be a huge no-no if she can'y do speed events? Even tiny jumps cause concussion on the joints-- wouldn't that wear her out faster?
    11-07-2010, 07:50 PM
When you say she 'doesn't enjoy the bit' what do you mean? Does she rear? Toss her head? Chomp?
No, she doesn't do any of those things. But, whenever I go to put it on, she lifts her head in the air, and yawns forever... like she is preparing her mouth for it.
She's a good girl, I have ridden with just a halter, even without anything multiple times. She just needs more work with bending without the bit.
I figure if she can be ridden without the bit, and she would enjoy it more, than why not?

PS. Wouldn't jumping be a huge no-no if she can'y do speed events? Even tiny jumps cause concussion on the joints-- wouldn't that wear her out faster?
I'm not really sure yet. I have never jumped with her, and probably won't for quite a while, as we are just starting her in english.
For speed events... she can do them, but not full on like some of the riders.
She was fine when I did that a couple days. The only time when she becomes sore, is when I ride for a long period of time pushing her really hard. I did that once, will never do it again. She was sore for almost a month because of it :(
But, I have galloped on trails, and she showed no soreness the next few days.
I think she'd be fine in jumping just on low levels. But, we will see how it goes once we get into it :)

Thanks so much! Is a mechanical hackamore harsher than a bosal?
    11-07-2010, 07:59 PM
That sounds like she is just being a pain-- she may do that once she gets a 'hang of' the Hackamore, too. The horse I ride does the opposite.. leans down into the bit and is then fine. It sounds like your horse is not resenting the bit, but is just doing a 'lesson horse' thing.

You might not be able to show without a bit. Some parents might raise a fuss(especially if you win.. my coach can't cross into Western with her gaited horse.. but this girl who NEVER wins can show her strung-out trotting horse in the gaited division). It all depends on your local rules.

Mechanical hackamores are shanked. So yes, they are more 'harsh.' But hackamores can do lots of damage-- they're not 'nicer' than bits, just different.
    11-07-2010, 08:02 PM
^^ I don't understand why hackamores are looked down upon in shows though... some horses HAVE to wear a hackamore, whether they were abused or other issues.

Oh she is a pain. Haha. But, I was just thinking that I would prefer a hackamore as well over a bit. I thought for now we could try it out with just the rope halter and see how it goes :)

    11-07-2010, 08:09 PM
Because people can always say 'that horse can't be controlled in an emergency, there's no bit! What if it spooks and kills everyone?' Parents of horse kids can be MEAN, especially if you seem to be winning over their kids. I've seen parents scream for do-overs at a freakin' fun show.

Also, some judges won't place you for using 'unconventional' equipment. So for the show ring, I'd stick to the bit.

That being said, you should do whatever you can to make your horse more versatile in different situations.
    11-07-2010, 08:52 PM
Green Broke
You'll have to get copies of your shows rule books. Many require a bit for horses over the age of 5 in western events, and most require a bit in all English events (except jumpers, which is a speed event that would likely not be good for your horse).

I would have a vet look at her teeth. She could have some issues going on there. If not, you might try a 3-piece bit (like a frenchin link or one with a roller middle piece) and see if she likes that better. Work her on taking the bit better. Put some molasses or honey on the bit to help her accept it more readily. Make sure to NEVER bang her teeth with the bit when you're putting it in or removing it.
    11-07-2010, 09:51 PM
^^Oh wow, I didn't know some horse parents were like that.

I rode her tonight with the halter. She is amazing. She is a million times better with the halter than with the bridle.

I even use a slack rope. To get her to turn, I just place my hand on the opposite side of her neck that I want her to turn and put a tiny leg pressure from the outside leg, and she spins that direction immediately.

When I use the bridle to get her to back up, she takes one step but takes forever and she doesnt like her mouth getting pulled on.

With the halter, I barely put pressure with my hands, squeezed my legs and clucked.... she backed up far and really quickly.

While doing it all, her ears were completely forward. She really enjoyed it. I even did a couple spins. She even did better with spins than with tack on.

Normally when I ride, both her ears are back and rarely come forwards. So, I'm thinking she enjoyed it a bit more.
Also she kept playing with her mouth, like licking her lips while I rode, is that a good sign?

Thanks! I guess for showing, I will have to ask their rules, and she will have to wear a bit for that.
    11-07-2010, 10:06 PM
It's safe to assume that you need a bit for showing.

With the amount of difference between tack vs. no tack, I'd get her checked out. I wouldn't be surprised if you were inadvertently hurting her with a piece of tack.
    11-07-2010, 10:16 PM
You do not need a bit to show english. At least in the jumper ring you don't. If you watch Eric Lamaze and other riders at Spruce Meadows some of them use hackamores. It is illegal in dressage and I have no clue about western but in Show Jumping and Cross-Country it is allowed. I have a friend who's horse absolutly loves the hackamore. For some reason he's happier tha with a bit, never asked the owner why. She uses this kind Click This Link

Meanwhile my horse hated it, he got super pissed and didn't listen in the hackamore. I also have 2 other friends at the barn who use the hackamore shown above. One can get incredible bend with it, much more than in a bit and the other's horse is just uber happy.

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