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Hackamore

This is a discussion on Hackamore within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Bit or bitless bridle or hackamore for a green horse
  • When To Use A Hackamore

 
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    10-15-2010, 11:41 PM
  #1
Banned
Exclamation Hackamore

I need a hackamore for a few reasons.
1.My horse won't take a bit
2.She does better with a hackamore then bit
I don't know where to buy one, I look at my near by store but they don't have any...
Help, please.
     
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    10-15-2010, 11:46 PM
  #2
Weanling
I use my rope halter and lead as a hackamore. Works fine as long as the lead is tied so it won't come undone.
     
    10-15-2010, 11:59 PM
  #3
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharliGirl    
I use my rope halter and lead as a hackamore. Works fine as long as the lead is tied so it won't come undone.
I have been using a halter and ropes for reins. Lol it works.
I barely ride her, she need training.
     
    10-16-2010, 01:25 AM
  #4
Weanling
What kind of hack are you wanting?

Mechanical:


Bosal:


Bitless:
     
    10-16-2010, 02:30 PM
  #5
Banned
A bitless.
I'm using a halter and ropes as a hackamore right now. I'm riding later with a friend in an hour and that what I'll be using.
     
    10-16-2010, 04:47 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowgirl101    
I need a hackamore for a few reasons.
1.My horse won't take a bit
2.She does better with a hackamore then bit
I don't know where to buy one, I look at my near by store but they don't have any...
Help, please.
1) First we need to address WHY your horse won't take a bit. Is she is pain and in need of dental work? Does she have a lack of training/respect to where she simply refuses to open her mouth?

You need to identify WHY she won't take a bit, instead of immediately defaulting to saying "I need a hackamore". It is not fixing the problem; it is merely covering it up.

2) First I am confused as to how you know she does better with a hackamore than with a bit when you don't even have a hackamore (which is why you are looking to buy one) and when you say she won't even take the bit. ??? Can you expand on that?

There are several different types of hackamores as snookeys pointed out. They also have different actions and different purposes.

Mechanical hackamore: a leverage bit that puts pressure on the horse's nose, the underside of the jaw, and on the poll. The severity depends on the the length of the shanks (shorter = less severe) and also the material/design of the noseband (a wide, fleece-padded, flat leather = less severe), and of course the curb strap (wide, soft, padded, no chain = less severe). This is usually classified in the Western discipline.

Bosal: puts pressure on the horse's nose and lower jaw. The mecate (rein) is fastened to the bosal with a special heel knot that adds weight to the lower end of the bosal. This allows it to drop down and forward when the rider releases pressure on the mecate. This is usually classified in the Western discipline.

Sidepull: commonly used for schooling colts, it has a headstall similar to an English jumping hackamore. The noseband usually is made from one or two pieces of lariat that is attached to a flat leather strap under the horse's jaw. There is no leverage. But there are "transition" sidepulls that incorporate a jointed snaffle bit that will allow the horse to get used to carrying a bit, while the rein pressure affects both the noseband and the bit. This is usually classified in the Western discipline.

Bitless Bridle: Different from the others, this is usually classified in the English discipline. The most common bitless bridle is a jumping hackamore that looks pretty much like a conventional headstall with a leather-covered rope noseband with a flat leather chin-strap and two rings for the reins.

(Click on the name of the hackamore to see a picture of it.)

But getting back to the original PROBLEM: Why will your horse not take a bit? You need to figure that out first.
     
    10-16-2010, 05:03 PM
  #7
Showing
Agree with beau159, you need to find out why this horse is not taking a bit. My thoughts are pointing to a lack of respect or training, or an owner not wanting to take the time to train a horse to accept the bit, but I've been wrong before.
     
    10-17-2010, 06:20 PM
  #8
Banned
Well I stopped riding from a injury. For about 6 months so no one could train.work for her. Now after that she wouldn't take a bit. But I have been working training her again, I have not rode in her in awhile. Because first I am training her. And a few people saw a need a hackamore, because she won't take a bit. But before all that she won't take one a bit easy, after fighting with her. She took it. But now she won't.
     
    10-17-2010, 07:09 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowgirl101    
Well I stopped riding from a injury. For about 6 months so no one could train.work for her. Now after that she wouldn't take a bit. But I have been working training her again, I have not rode in her in awhile. Because first I am training her. And a few people saw a need a hackamore, because she won't take a bit. But before all that she won't take one a bit easy, after fighting with her. She took it. But now she won't.
Well if you are "first training her" that WOULD include re-training her to take the bit (again, provided you have ruled out that she is not in any pain).

You cannot just resort to another bit (or hackamore in this case) and avoid the real problem. You need to figure out WHY she will not take the bit. It doesn't matter if you haven't been able to work with her in a while, which in your incomplete sentences, it sounds like you've had this issue for a long time.

You can't fight with her to take the bit. She'll win. She is a 1000+ pound animal. You need to TRAIN her to take the bit (once again, as long as you have already ruled out it is not a pain issue and is indeed a training issue).

Have your equine dentist come out and take a look at her teeth. If you can't locate a dentist, then at least have the vet come out and look at her teeth and examine the rest of her health to make sure she is not having pain anywhere.

You should have the vet come out anyway too because it is possible she has back pain, or the saddle is pinching her, or she has joint issues that hurt when you ride. She associates the bridle with riding and therefore would refuse the bit, because she knows that riding is going to hurt.

Once you rule out that she does not have pain, you need to go back to the basics and TRAIN.

She should first drop her head on command. You can start training this with a halter and lead rope. Stand next to her head and calming repeat the word "down....down....down...". At the same time, grab onto the throatlatch of the halter and pull straight down, so that the halter is putting pressure on the poll of her head. You can also place your other hand on her poll and press to reinforce the pressure cue.

Hold this pressure steady until she correctly drops her head (don't jerk and don't start to pull harder -- just hold it steady). Right away, she may shake her head, lift it higher, or do all sorts of things to deal with the pressure. Do not release the cue until she responds correctly. In the beginning, even if she gives a very slight downward movement of her head, release the pressure and praise her. Start with rewarding baby steps first. When she can consistently lower her head just a little bit, start asking her to lower it a bit more before you release the pressure.

But the important thing is to release the pressure IMMEDIATELY when she responds correctly.

When she gets perfect at doing that, you can start trying to only place your hand on her poll and apply pressure (without also pulling on the bottom of the halter).

When she gets good at that, you can try asking her to drop her head when you go to catch her in the pasture BEFORE you put on her halter. Then she will learn she should drop her head for you when you want to put on a halter ... or later the bridle.

When she can do this perfectly every time (it may takes weeks), now you can start working with the bit.

Ask her to lower her head and present the bit in front of her. If she raises her head to "fight" you, you have already established the "head down" cue so you can ask her to do that. Touch the bit to her teeth and give her about 10 seconds to respond on her own. Be careful not to smack the front of her teeth with the bit - that hurts. If she does not respond in 10 seconds, stick your finger into the very corner of her mouth (where the bit would be held). This will cause most horses to open their mouths, and there are no teeth in that location so your finger is safe.

When she opens her mouth, gently insert the bit and praise her. Make sure you are careful when you pull the bridle over her ears and that you are not causing her any pain or discomfort.

And it is also VERY important to be careful when you are removing the bit! If you allow it to smack or hit her teeth on the way out, of course she is never going to want to put that bit back in her mouth, because it hurts when you take it out!

So just always, always be very cautious that you are not accidentally causing pain or discomfort during the bridleing process.
     
    10-17-2010, 07:17 PM
  #10
Yearling
I'm in 100% agreement with beau159
     

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