Bosal/Hackamore/Horsehair Reins Questions

       The Horse Forum > Horse Tack > Horse Tack and Equipment

Bosal/Hackamore/Horsehair Reins Questions

This is a discussion on Bosal/Hackamore/Horsehair Reins Questions within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Hackamore bosal bridle reins
  • How to soften horse hair reins

LinkBack Thread Tools
    12-02-2008, 07:37 PM
Bosal/Hackamore/Horsehair Reins Questions

I just got a very nice hackamore with horsehair reins this week.

I've never used either a bosal or horsehair reins before.

I was really surprised at how the horsehair reins felt. Very scratchy.

I've always either used leather or sampson rope reins before.

Will these reins ever soften to the feel?

Do people usually wear gloves with horsehair reins?

I've also bought two separate dvd's on how to use the bosal. I'm mostly worried about how far down it hangs under the chin.

My 6 year old has been in a bosal before and my older two horses do great in the Dr Cook bitless bridle, so I think they will handle the transition fine from snaffle to bosal.

Is it possible to use the snaffle one day, the hackamore the next? Or would that be too confusing?

I know that a person has to use a bosal differently than a snaffle. Mainly riding with soft hands, using leg cues is very important, and that it's easy to have a horse brace with them.

I've also seen where you should ride two handed, I mostly do anyway, but, can a person neck rein with a bosal?

Any and all tips you can give me I would appreciate.

Sponsored Links
    12-02-2008, 07:59 PM
The horsehair doesn't soften. From my understanding it is scratchy and heavy like that to cue the horse while neckreining. I wear gloves if I ride with them, but I never really do very often
    12-03-2008, 08:06 AM
Thanks, I was afraid of that.

I guess I will get used to it and or wear gloves.
    12-03-2008, 09:32 PM
Mane hair (more expensive) can get softer but tail hair will not. You can neck rein with anything so a bosal is no problem and in fact you need to. Using a bitless bridle is really the same principle as using a snaffle bridle in that you are direct reining and a pull of the left rein affects the right side side of your horse's face.

A snaffle or bitless bridle has the reins attached at the horse's mouth but a bosal has them attached a few inches below his jaw so direct reining is different. That's why a neck reined horse works better in a bosal.
    12-04-2008, 05:17 AM
Eventually you should be able to ride one handed, but at that point the horse is ready to transition into a two rein. (If you were following the traditional training method) You should use the hackamore for awhile to learn the feel of it before trying to switch back and forth. Remember when you are starting out, you do not pull on both reins at the same time. Use one rein or the other. If you put the time into it, it is a great skill to learn, don't get discouraged.
    12-04-2008, 05:27 AM
Make sure you fit the bosal properly also. It will take a bunch of attempts to tie the rein the first time, it should not be as tight as a caveson, but will not work if it's too loose either. A new bosal will also rub your horses face and chin up sometimes, so watch for that. I prefer to tie a new bosal to fit the horse, then hang it up for awhile with a can of vegetables wedged against the knot and tied in there so that it ends up more oval shaped. If you wet it some it will take shape faster, but usually takes a week or two.
    12-04-2008, 06:44 PM
Oh gosh, lots to know! Thanks for the info.

IRIDEHORSES, it's made of mane hair. It's a Steve Guitron hackamore set, the cheapest one he makes, but still good quality.

I'm glad to know that the bosal works for neck reining since I wanted to concentrate on that this year!

Clifton, I have read that a person needs to "set" the bosal's shape and to use cans or wood. Hopefully when I get to the dvd's they have a visual on that.

"Remember when you are starting out, you do not pull on both reins at the same time. Use one rein or the other. If you put the time into it, it is a great skill to learn, don't get discouraged." Good to know.

I just got it this week and ordered the dvd's off Ebay and they should be here any day too. So, I really hope they give me some more insight. I am extremely glad for the heads up from you all.

The really sad thing though is that I probably won't even really get to start playing with it till spring. It's winter here and I don't do as much riding this time of the year. I'm a Wuss! Today's temps were -5 with the wind chill. I thought I would use this down time to learn all I can about it and be prepared in the sping.
    12-06-2008, 10:26 PM
My mare was already bosal trained, so I can't help much. I do know you can direct rein (one rein in each hand) or neck rein, both methods work.

If the hair rein bothers you, you can replace it with cotton rope, or with a leather rein. I made a long leather rein and wrapped it around the bosal heel, just like with the horsehair rein. It's soft on my hand and communicates well with my mare, I think.

My bosal is quite old and well worn, it softened up nicely. Some folks might say the bosal is supposed to stay stiff, but I really think the slight flexibility on mine is perfect. Doesn't rub my mare either.

You can wrap Vet rap or fleece around the bosal if it rubs your horse, or wet the bosal and stretch it out like someone else posted.
    12-07-2008, 09:15 AM
The horse hair reins I had drove me crazy before I could break them in and the only way I could handle them was with gloves. I finally sold them on ebay.

It really isn't practical to replace them with leather since they need to be tied into a Mecate. I replaced mine with 5/8" (or 3/4") marine grade poly rope. It is very soft and works much better then horse hair (for me) since I tuck the lead portion into my belt. The end of the rope can be unraveled into a bushy end if you like that look (which I do).

Here is a site that explains tying the Mecate on a bosal: Tying the Mecate Article
    12-12-2008, 08:12 PM
Yeah, I don't like the horsehair mecate reins either. When I was still at home and working a lot at the barn, it wasn't so bad because my hands were rough and callused (sp?) but now my hands have softened up and the horse hair reins bother me. I like the poly marine rope like iride said. And yes, it can get confusing at first if you switch back and forth from snaffle to bosal. Use the bosal exclusively for a while until they are going good in it before trying to use a snaffle again. If it was me and they go good in the bosal, I would just leave the snaffle hanging in the tack room. You can neck rein in a bosal the same as any other headstall. For direct reining, it just takes some time for the horse to get used to the different pressure points but works well once they pick it up. Good luck and keep us posted.

Quick Reply
Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Draw reins, side reins, chambon, de gogue...please help Duskylove Horse Tack and Equipment 14 07-06-2012 11:22 PM
Split reins or roping reins ddewey Horse Tack and Equipment 1 11-28-2008 11:09 AM
Horsehair Reins Curly_Horse_CMT Horse Tack and Equipment 14 11-01-2008 09:20 AM
what is a bosal? and hows it used? jazzyrider Western Riding 6 09-03-2008 12:25 PM
Bosal MrsSnyder Horse Tack and Equipment 9 08-28-2007 10:58 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:07 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0