Bit or Hackamore

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Bit or Hackamore

This is a discussion on Bit or Hackamore within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • What bit do i need for my mare who likes to take off now and again
  • How do i know if my horse will take off in a hackamore

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  • 1 Post By Cinnys Whinny
  • 1 Post By SorrelHorse
  • 1 Post By RisingGlory
  • 2 Post By Ne0n Zero

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    05-10-2012, 01:12 PM
Question Bit or Hackamore

So, I have a horse that has used a bit before, but has also used a hackamore (what he is using right now)... I personally don't care as long as I am in control more that he is .. My horse likes to take off sometimes and not listen... I eventually get him under control with corrections.
So my question is... Which has more control over the horse? We started out with a snaffle bit and it seemed fine for a while but then he would just keep going and not stop when you pulled back... So then we tried the hackamore... same situation.. he was fine for a while and now he just lives through it... I know hackamores can shut a horses wind off if you tried hard enough, but when I pull back, he seems to just live through it sometimes and keep going in a trot...and I don't want to hurt him so I'm almost scared to pull back any harder than I am . Would a bit be better and result in him listening more? Or do some horses need to have them switched now and then? If a bit would be better, would something other than a snaffle be more effective???
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    05-10-2012, 01:18 PM
Green Broke
I think the issue here is a training issue. You should not have to pull back on the reins and use aggressive bits to stop the horse. You stop and/or slow the horse with your seat, bit is very very last resort and it's better to do a 1 rein stop than to yank or pull the reins. I would get the help of a trainer who can help you and your horse to learn how to stop properly.
Zenyatta123 likes this.
    05-10-2012, 01:23 PM
Ok, wrong on the first thought of mine.... usually I do use voice commands though... ( woah there and such.. clicks for go) I don't use the bit unless he takes off...
    05-10-2012, 01:44 PM
Time to go back to basics. I'd work with a trainer, but for now, stay down at the walk for a little while and improve your brakes. I would keep him in a snaffle.

Basically, an exercise that is pretty hard to screw up when improving brakes is the whoa-sit-reins-back. It works by giving light commands first, then enforcing them as necessary. Like this:

Say whoa. If he doesn't stop, sit your butt down hard. Still not stopping? Grab his face and scoot him backwards. Eventually he learns to stop on "whoa" before you even get to his face.

Do this at the walk until he stops quickly. Then try the trot. Then once you guys get it own pat, go ahead and do it at the canter. Be prepared when you go up to higher speeds for it to get sticky again. Sometimes you just gotta fight it out (For lack of a better term)

But seriously, if you're scared of hurting him by pulling, don't be. If he's not stopping he is a danger to you and himself. If you really are hurting him, you'll only have to do it once before he gets the message. Not really fun, ideally he will stop with lighter signals, but if the horse has these problems you'll have to go there a bunch and eventually he'll soften up and realize what you are asking. I'm not saying to bloody his mouth, but definitely give him a "HEY! I'm still UP HERE!" talkin' to. And immediately release when he takes two or three steps back and make him stand, don't go off right away.

It's pretty amazing how fast horses pick up on stopping from this.
Zenyatta123 likes this.
    05-10-2012, 01:54 PM
My Standardbred used to do this. But what Sorrel Horse just told exactly how we cured my horse's problem. Good Luck :)
    05-10-2012, 05:37 PM
Alrighty.... Thanks SorrelHorse!!! I'll try that!!!
Zenyatta123 likes this.
    05-10-2012, 09:17 PM
Good advice! Will be doing this with beau as well when I get back up to cantering him. He gets excited in the field and could def use a refresher course on whoa ;)
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    05-10-2012, 10:28 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Ne0n Zero    
Good advice! Will be doing this with beau as well when I get back up to cantering him. He gets excited in the field and could def use a refresher course on whoa ;)
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Ha ha, Cin is just like that. Today I was working on canter/trot transitions and he decided that there was no such thing so I dropped down to trot/halt transitions for a while...silly poneh

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