Should I try a hackamore with him? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-14-2010, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Should I try a hackamore with him?

My Mustang that I've owned for several years has severe problems with the bit. I didn't really start doing serious training with him until this year, so he is about 7 now, and in the process of training him I found that he absolutely cannot stand the bit.
I started him in a knotted rope halter with an attached lead that I simply tied to the other end to the other side to make reins. I rode like that for months, and when I tried to teach him to ride in a bit...let's just say that nothing worked out very well. You can rub the bit all over his face- same with the headstall- but the minute the bit touches his lower lip he panics and throws his head up. You can bridle him, but it usually takes an hour to do it and he will rear several times in the process. I started trying to get him to take the bit back in July.

My father and I had his teeth checked and the vet said nothing was wrong with his mouth. I've tried putting honey on the bit, I've worked with him everyday, I've left it on him for a few hours to graze with the bridle on after a two hour fight, and my father and I even had a trainer try to help us with the bit issue. The trainer didn't help much, and all it really did was make him get to where he's difficult to catch at times when he used to drop his head right into his halter.
I'm the only one who has ever ridden him, and I know I'm not heavy handed. 99% of the time I'm getting told at my lessons to actually be stronger with my hands, as I'm actually almost too light handed!

I was hoping though that a bosal style hackamore would be what my Mustang needs. I don't want to use a mechanical hackamore as those almost look painful. All I would be doing with this guy is trail riding, seeing as he would never be able to handle a rodeo because he is untrusting of other people beyond me and my father.

I was thinking maybe something along the lines of the 'indian style' one on the right? It says it works similar to a rope halter, but only a little bit stronger, and all I want is something to give me a little extra control than what a rope halter can give you :
Mecates & Bosals
Or would the one on the left, the 'full rigged' be better? And how would I go about fitting him for a hackamore?

Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-14-2010, 01:51 PM
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i started using a hackamore on my Tb 2 months ago and he loves it !! worth a try
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post #3 of 8 Old 12-14-2010, 03:05 PM
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In your situation, I would go with either a sidepull or an indian bosal. Since you say that you only recently started working with him, I assume he is not finished. The traditional bosal is meant for neck reining only, and if your guys isn't solid in that I'd go with one of my suggestions. A much cheaper way fr you to get an indian bosal is to buy a rope one, like this (Indian Bosal - Yacht Rope - Bitless Bridle - Hackamore on (item 280571970233 end time 04-Jan-11 19:56:50 EST)), specifically one that has metal rings for the cross-under straps to slide through (instead of rope loops) because there's less friction that way. The rawhide one you posted seems unnecessarily stiff and harsh to me.
Because you say he goes well in just a halter you might try a sidepull (Google Image Result for first though, just avoid the cord nosebands as they ca be very vey harsh and rub off hair or even skin in severe cases.
Best of luck in your bitless journey. Have fun! will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
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post #4 of 8 Old 12-14-2010, 03:37 PM
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My mare has the same problem. I can usually bridle her after a struggle that only lasts a few minutes, but she throws a fit and ignores and basically acts like she's dying. I measured her mouth just to make sure the bit wasn't the wrong size and that was a fight to even get a piece of string in her mouth. Her previous owner rode her for the past year in a rope halter, which I'm not a fan of because it slides all over her face. But she sticks her face right into her halter when I catch her.

I'm also not the biggest fan of hackamores. I did find these:Side Pull Attachment. I am going to order one soon, I think. I like my headstall too much to just use a rope halter, plus it slides around more than I'd like.

ETA: The bit I have for her now is a simple O-ring snaffle.
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post #5 of 8 Old 12-14-2010, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Just a quick edit: I started working with him back in Feb. but I didn't try bridling him until July. I remember those first days very well- ah, the fun of lunging to regain respect! (Not, lol) I'll look into a softer styled indian bosal or a sidepull then.
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post #6 of 8 Old 12-14-2010, 03:44 PM
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Why don't you get some help and teach him to lower his head and open his mouth? If I had to guess I would say you went about bridleing him wrong and banged his mouth with the bit. It's nothing that can't be overcome and it needs to be.

There's nothing like the Rockies in the springtime... Nothing like the freedom in the air... And there ain't nothing better than draggin calves to the fire and there's nothing like the smell of burning hair. -Brenn Hill
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post #7 of 8 Old 12-14-2010, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kevinshorses View Post
Why don't you get some help and teach him to lower his head and open his mouth? If I had to guess I would say you went about bridleing him wrong and banged his mouth with the bit. It's nothing that can't be overcome and it needs to be.
Trust me, I did that too. He lowers his head the moment the bridle is raisedto his face, and you put gentle pressure on his tongue and he opens right up. I spent three weeks with him simply on lowering his heac and opening his mouth before I even attempted to bridle him again.The moment that bit comes close to his mouth and touches his lip or even his whiskers he throws his head up and backs away from you. If he is in cross ties, then he panics when he run out of room to back up in and trys to rear. He will also rear when you try to bridle him in an effort to escape.

There is just something about the bit that he hates, and personally, I'd like to avoid more fights with him. I've already been wacked in the head by a swinging bridle from him rearing twice along with getting hit by his head when he tries to avoid the bit by throwing his head sideways. He never did any of this until I introduced the bit.
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post #8 of 8 Old 12-16-2010, 05:26 PM
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i had a mare that hated her mouth messed with and HATED a bit i had a dr brstiol full cheek that came with her the lady said "o she loves this bit." ugh i call bull on that cus i roder her for two weeks in this bit before she reared up and fliped over on me and a week later did the same thing to my aunt. i was lucky i got away with a big bruse that took up my whole inner thigh my aunt got her foot broke.the horse did act a little weard with the bit in but i figured she still wasnt used to new thing like now she had cows and tractors and other equiptment arround her. i now wont ride a horse in a bit unless i have to. i can undre stand some people saying dont let the horse get away with that make him do what you want him to do but the bit thing was not a fight i wanted with my mare so i put her in a hack one with really light controle because she did awsome in a halter and i just didnt want a fight any more (with her and all horses you have to pick your battles) she ended up being one of the best horses i had and a year earler i was ready to send her ass to auction. if you know some one that rides in a hackomore just barrow a hack from and see if it works for him if it does then i would spend the money on. mine was just a simple beatal hack cost like 20 or 30 bucks and the mare LOVED it
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