Our "boys" will be coming home soon! My wife's horse is a 16 yo who has been used for a long time as a western-style "trail ride" horse and because he is so gentle, was ridden by a lot of kids. The problem is he has developed a tender mouth from incorrect rein handling by the kids. He will take a curb bit but only after several attempts. He can be ridden in a pen/arena with just a halter. So my thought is why not put him in a hackamore. My wife is a moderately experienced rider. We be using them for forest and desert trail riding almost exclusively.
I have begun researching the different kinds of hackamores. The simplest looks to be a leather-covered noseband used on a standard bridle. So my questions are: Will a hackamore provide her the control needed on the trails; and will a noseband hackamore work well enough or should we consider a mechanical hackamore?
Any thoughts or input on hackamores are appreciated.
-Dutch & Ten