Mechanical Hackamores - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By hemms
  • 1 Post By Chevaux
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-04-2014, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Mechanical Hackamores

I've been using a mechanical hackamore on my horse for quite a while. Many people believe that the pressure caused by the hackamores can be extremely strong and sometimes painful for the horse. But I have soft hands and I rarely pull on the reins. Whenever I ride in a bit, my horse starts pulling and ignoring my cues. She rides very well in a hackamore but everyone tells me that it's just too severe. What should I do?
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-04-2014, 01:49 AM
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Do what works for you and your horse.

Are you looking to soften things up? You could try a side-pull, rope halter or bitless bridle... But there are opinions that say each of these are harsh.

A tool is only as harsh as the hands that hold it.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-04-2014, 01:43 PM
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Also have a professional check on the condition of your horses mouth.
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-04-2014, 05:29 PM
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If you like what you are doing and what you are doing is working and not causing any discomfort to the horse then go with it. Mechanical hackamores are just fine in the right hands.

Anything can be strong and painful for the horse.. depending on the human on the other end of the stick.

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. -Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-04-2014, 08:45 PM
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I have seen mechanical hackamores that looked pretty severe with a braided nose band, long shanks with chain chin straps and some with a flat leather nose band and short shanks that looked pretty mild to me.
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post #6 of 7 Old 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.
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-05-2014, 06:01 AM
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Why fix whats not broken. Mechanical hackamores can be just as hateful or not as a bit can. Of course the longer the shank the more the torque the more the pressure. Also what the nose band is made up of and the combination of torque plays a role also. In the hands of a beginner with little to no experience combined with a problematic horse = disaster. If you have been working your horse with such a "brilde" and have had no problems (behavior or physical like rubbing or what have you) and your happy with things and your horse is happy then dont fix whats not broken. A horse has to be trained how to response to any device. If your looking for a milder hackamore you can try the above mentioned by other posters or you can give the Beetlebug hackamore a try. I have used the Beetlehack (often called) with great success and works well with horses that dont need alot of leverage.

"The question is not, can they reason? nor, can they talk? but, can they suffer?" Jeremy Bentham
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hackamore , mechanical

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