True definition of the Hackamore.
   

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True definition of the Hackamore.

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  • How to set up a hackamore bridle
  • Mechanical bosal

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    12-26-2011, 07:47 PM
  #1
Green Broke
True definition of the Hackamore.

I have noticed that people(not just on here) call anything that is not a bit and that is placed on the nose of a horse is considered a hackamore. I am slightly frustrated by this as this is not true and makes it hard to explain things sometimes. I am not trying to offend anyone or go on a crazy rant. I thought it might be helpful to explain what a hackamore really is.

The word hackamore came from the spanish word "jaquima". The hackamore is the whole setup, mecate, headstall/hanger, bosal and fiador if you choose to use one. Same as you call a bridle including bit, reins and headstall.(see first illustration below)

A hackamore does NOT include (and I don't give a sh*t what the tack store on the internet calls it) A mechanical hackamore, that crazy bear trap device that is a basically an oversized mouth shutter,(second pic below) all those barrel racer bits with a rope nose band on it(third pic below), a bitless bridle(I just recently seen these) or even a rope halter.

If it does not have a rawhide braided bosal with a rawhide core, mecate reins(even if they are the synthetic ones that are not horse hair)a headstall/hanger and like I said above a fiador(optional) it is not a hackamore.

I realize there is a huge trend to go "au naturale".... but nothing is truely natural. If your horse doesn't ride well in the bit it doesn't mean that riding without one is going to always going to be the fix. There are horses that are naturals at riding in a hackamore or a halter and those that are not. Riding in this type of setup is actually harder than riding in a bit. You have to have the respect to keep him from running through it. It takes a light hand and clear mind to keep a horse good in one. They were not made to be rode in for the entirety of a horses life, merely to get him through the tough years when his mouth is changing, to preserve his soft mouth and progress him into the bridle. You can make a horse hard in the face faster in a hackamore than in a bit. The soft tissue that the hackamore rests on is just as soft as the tissue in his mouth, but toughens faster. Once he learns that he can run through it...your done. Riding a horse in a hackamore is kinda like playing Poker...it's about bluff.

If you would like a basic understanding of the hackamore, I would love to recommend "Hackamore Reinsman" by Ed Connell. It has been the bible for hackamores since the fifties and still is. This book needs to be read several times and carefully and even at that it doesn't explain it all. A basic guide, as nothing beats riding with a true horseman.
     
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    12-26-2011, 08:45 PM
  #2
Teen Forum Moderator
That is very very interesting! I had always thought of a bosal as being the entire bosal set up, as well as being specifically the part around the nose.

What should a mechanical "hackamore" really be called then? It's so confusing to me to have all these shanked sorts of hackamores be referred to as hackamores and then have all these sidepull sort of things be called hackamores too! There's such a difference in harshness between the, really, two groups that I really feel like they should be called two different things...

I completely agree with your sentiment though. I used to ride my mare bitless because of some health issues she has that I wasn't experienced enough to work around yet, and I often found myself being so much harsher with her because she just wasn't listening to the bitless (crossunder style side-pull) noseband I had on her. It wasn't really my fault, I have very light hands, but the noseband just didn't have the finesse she needed. I schooled her and schooled her in it, trying to get her lighter but there was a point where she just couldn't get any lighter.
I've since switched her to a sidepull with knots in it for when she's giving lessons but when we go anywhere she might get hot, a bit goes in.

I think it's much crueler to have to get harsh with a horse due to a lack of effective communication than it is to have a bit in the horse's mouth. A horse knows when its rider is frustrated and when every ride ends in frustration, how happy can that horse possibly be? Horses are designed to thrive in a herd situation and when this supposed herd leader (the human) is getting really miffed at them all the time, that can't possibly be a bonding experience.
I mean, now I ride my mare in a ported long-shanked pelham which looks crazy harsh, but really, since I stay off of it and she responds to it, I'm actually much gentler with it than I ever was able to be in the side pull. We haven't had one really terrible ride in at least 2 months, since she started in that bit, and I can see her getting more and more excited about going out. It's obvious to me that each ride that ends happy is building our relationship up more and more.
People seem to think that going bitless will encourage a good relationship when soft and forgiving hands, interesting rides, and a relaxed rider who leads thoughtfully and well are really all a horse needs to have a good relationship with their person.

But yeah, I completely agree with you. And I'm still fascinated by that new fact about hackamores/bosals! :)
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    12-26-2011, 09:05 PM
  #3
Started
Interesting, and thank you for explaining this! It can be very confusing to me just between English and Western, and then toss in this stuff and I am often out of my league. Are there any online resources you know of that explain the bitless bridle, sidepull, etc stuff that you know of?

I ride my boy in the arena and field in just his halter and lead, and can see how the 'bluff' comes in a bit when I have to verbally correct him for ignoring quieter requests. I imagine out on the trail or 'real life' you have to be even more confident and assured.
     
    12-26-2011, 09:10 PM
  #4
Green Broke
The mechanical hackamore is hard because I have never known it as anything else as the mechanical hackamore. However people sometimes refer to it as simply the hackamore. So as you do, I find myself calling the hackamore a bosal to specify the difference between a mechanical and a true hackamore. But in reality the bosal is a piece of the hackamore. So I guess a mechanical hackamore....is a mechanical hackamore but not a true hackamore.

You explained the bit vs. hackamore/bitless for being natural/less harsh then I can! Like you said it really depends on the horse for what is going to be less harsh. And that seems to be a hard thing for us people to understand...it is always seems easy to think what would the best for the horse but it usually ends up being the easiest for us instead.
     
    12-26-2011, 09:11 PM
  #5
Green Broke
The mechanical hackamore is hard because I have never known it as anything else as the mechanical hackamore. However people sometimes refer to it as simply the hackamore. So as you do, I find myself calling the hackamore a bosal to specify the difference between a mechanical and a true hackamore. But in reality the bosal is a piece of the hackamore. So I guess a mechanical hackamore....is a mechanical hackamore but not a true hackamore.

You explained the bit vs. hackamore/bitless for being natural/less harsh then I can! Like you said it really depends on the horse for what is going to be less harsh. And that seems to be a hard thing for us people to understand...it is always seems easy to think what would the best for the horse but it usually ends up being the easiest for us instead.
     
    12-26-2011, 09:13 PM
  #6
Trained
Jaquima = hackamore, right on! Thanks cowchick, never made the connection phonetically until now, Ha-kee-ma or hackamore. I love the hackamore, after the introduction of the snaffle then comes the jaquima to lower my young western pleasure kids necks naturally. Works better than a set of draw reins or martingale. And is a great refresher course for the trainer not to pull back on reins, only lift & bump.
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    12-26-2011, 09:13 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Double post....sorry
     
    12-26-2011, 09:19 PM
  #8
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharpie    
Interesting, and thank you for explaining this! It can be very confusing to me just between English and Western, and then toss in this stuff and I am often out of my league. Are there any online resources you know of that explain the bitless bridle, sidepull, etc stuff that you know of?

I ride my boy in the arena and field in just his halter and lead, and can see how the 'bluff' comes in a bit when I have to verbally correct him for ignoring quieter requests. I imagine out on the trail or 'real life' you have to be even more confident and assured.
I don't know of any websites that explain the difference. But if you Google Vaquero Horsemanship, Richard Caldwell or Bruce Sandifer you will come up with some good websites that explain the hackamore or vaquero style horsemanship that the hackamore was born from. They are both excellent hackmore guys.
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    12-27-2011, 12:16 AM
  #9
Banned
For clarity's sake, I use the term "bosal" to refer to the true jaquima, the generic "hackamore" for anything bitless, and then devide into the metal + curb chain mechanical hackamores and the primarily leather bitless bridles. Seems easier to do it that way than to fight common vernacular....just like how a Tom Thumb bit is a "snaffle," according to far too many.
     
    12-27-2011, 12:11 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba13    
For clarity's sake, I use the term "bosal" to refer to the true jaquima, the generic "hackamore" for anything bitless, and then devide into the metal + curb chain mechanical hackamores and the primarily leather bitless bridles. Seems easier to do it that way than to fight common vernacular....just like how a Tom Thumb bit is a "snaffle," according to far too many.
I find myself doing the same just because it seems if you say "hackamore" someone thinks of a "mechanical hackamore" which can be confusing!
     

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