bosal vs hackamore

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bosal vs hackamore

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  • What is the difference between a bosal and a hackamore?

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    05-03-2011, 12:44 AM
bosal vs hackamore

This is probably a dumb question but I'm so confused now.. what's the difference between a bosal and a hackamore?
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    05-03-2011, 06:47 AM
Truly depends on what you mean by hackamore. Like something like this: is called mechanical hackamore. Which is VERY different from bosal (and personally I don't like mech hacks). However I always thought that "traditional" hackamore = bosal ( Of course I may be wrong as I never used one (I did use sidepulls instead).
    05-03-2011, 08:20 PM
The way I always understood it, the term "hackamore" referred to any bridle that was bitless and you would use terms like 'mechanical' or 'bosal' or 'sidepull' to describe the type of hackamore.

For instance, I would say "I just started riding Dobe in my bosal hackamore" or "I am considering buying a mechanical hackamore".

As for the difference, a bosal is a more complicated piece of equipment and can take years to learn how to use properly. Used improperly, it is fairly easy to either skin a horse's face up or teach them to brace and ignore it. It places upward pressure on the horse's jaw and downward pressure on the nose with a bit of poll pressure in there as well. With an experienced person, it can be a fantastic training tool for young horses.

Mechanical hackamores, on the other hand, are often misused and I am of the same mind as KV. I don't really like them either just because it is so common to see them used improperly. They are not really designed to give clear cues if you try to direct rein and they can be exceptionally harsh. Basically, anyone who has a horse that neck reins well and travels on a loose rein and the rider has soft hands can get along okay with a mechanical hack but IMHO, there are much better bitless options out there.
    05-03-2011, 09:27 PM
No, I don't want to use a mech hackamore. Hmm well by your second link (at I always thought that was a bosal lol. I thought bosals had that hard noseband and hackamores were all soft like. Idk I'm probably just confused lol. What's the difference between a hackamore and a sidepull?
    05-04-2011, 07:08 AM
As I think about it smrobs gave a better explanation than me by "hackamore" being a general word. Sidepull is basically when you have a noseband with reins attached. Pressure on nose is much less in this case, but you have a direct reins like on snaffle bridle. There are different configurations of sidepull (with stiff noseband, leather noseband, etc.). I used something like this Billy RoyalŪ Padded Nose Leather Sidepull in Sidepulls at Schneider Saddlery before introducing my mares to the bit.
    05-04-2011, 11:42 PM
Hmm ok. I'll think about which one lol thanks!
    05-04-2011, 11:49 PM
Green Broke
I was watching Craig Cameron the other night and he defined a bosal as just the nose piece and the hackamore as the whole bridle.

In other words, the bosal is like the bit, and the hackamore is the bosal with the headstall and reins attached.

I had never thought of it that way before, but that was Craig's definition.
    05-05-2011, 12:20 AM
Originally Posted by trailhorserider    
I was watching Craig Cameron the other night and he defined a bosal as just the nose piece and the hackamore as the whole bridle.

In other words, the bosal is like the bit, and the hackamore is the bosal with the headstall and reins attached.

I had never thought of it that way before, but that was Craig's definition.

Actually for a bosal, the headstall is called a 'hanger' and it is supposed to be used with 'mecate' which are the reins. But you are right about the bosal just being the bit.

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