Originally Posted by NicoleH
I've used a mechanical hackamore on a horse who needed more control than this guy does - so if I used anything besides just a halter that would be it unless he does need more than that once you're actually on him. But my issue is that I don't know anything about the gag bit. But it kinda sounds like a harsher bit than he needs to me??
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Mechanical hackamores can be very harsh if you don't know what you're doing. I would NOT use one if you are not VERY aware and used to how they work. I may be misunderstanding, but you've never used a mechanical hackamore and that's what he's been ridden in? But he can go just fine in a plain halter? Then don't go in the mechanical hackamore. Either stick to a halter, or switch to a simple snaffle. If you want to put something other than a halter on the horse, but keep them in tune to being ridden in a halter then have them go in the simple snaffle. Ride them once or twice a week in a plain halter to make sure they keep with it.
I personally wouldn't use a mechanical hackamore on ANY horse. All of the ones I've seen may have been bitless, but they've had wicked leverage. If you think that it's what your horse needs then I wouldn't be riding them bitless in the first place. No bit doesn't equal better necessarily, especially when there's leverage involved. Why do you want to use one, other than it's what the horse is used to? If your daughter has anything other than impeccable hands then I wouldn't dare touch it. Others may have a different opinion, but I wouldn't touch it. I recently got one with a saddle I bought (the guy didn't want or need it) and it looked scary. I fully anticipate it sitting in my tack box never to be used!