01-04-2014, 09:44 PM
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I use a mechanical hackamore all the time but then I'm trail riding and not training for a dressage test. The type I use is the short shanked, padded noseband with leather curb strap and not the other kind that Herosbud mentioned (I do think those have the potential for being harsh). I'd say it is very comfortable for the horses.
Placement of the hackamore is important. Perhaps this is what has caused some of the comments. Keep it up off the soft parts of the lower face and keep the curb strap adjusted accordingly (there is sometimes a tendency to have it adjusted too tightly). Also, if you are using one of the long shanked jobs, perhaps you might want to consider moving to the short shanked, padded style - at the very least they are lighter in weight and that in itself makes them more comfortable.
P.S. Welcome to the forum.