What About A Hackmore? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 09:34 AM Thread Starter
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What About A Hackmore?

If a horse is used using a bit, can it use a hackmore? What are the benefits of a bit? What are the benefits of a hackmore?
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 11:28 AM
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Two pronged question unfortunately - just wanted to bookmark the thread for when I have a full keyboard.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 12:33 PM
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I think it depends on the horse thier trianing your training, I have a 10 yr mustang that I bought three years ago, when I first rode him befor I bought him I rode with a bit he was fine and easy to control when I got him home the more I rode with the bit the more frustrating he was to ride as if he was new to a bit, I call the old owners for the horses trainers number after talking to the person who broke my mustang he told me that he had only rode him with an indian styl hack so I bought an indian hack and wow big big difference!! I only ride him with an indian hack now and have no problems, he is a great trail pony and is very reliable.

But I would defenitly consider your horses behavior if my mustang was high strung and hard to control I would test out the hack you choose, be carefull because their is less control and you could find your self in a sticky situation of he realizes that.

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post #4 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 12:52 PM
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im intrested in this topic also! What are the differences between the two?

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post #5 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 01:16 PM
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What kind of bit (or hackamore) you use on a horse totally depends on the horse. Different horses perform better with different bits. There are TONS of different kinds of bits or hackamores to ride in, and each has a different function. I ride one of my horses in a medium-ported curb bit with a 5 inch shank (he doesn't like the broken action of snaffles, plus the shanks help with the "brakes" and putting his butt underneath him when stopping or turning a barrel), another with a tom thumb that has a 5 inch shank (This bit has the mouthpiece of a regular snaffle bit, but it has a shank. He's just a good ole trail horse and isn't picky with bits), and another with just a side-pull (Which is basically just a halter. He doesn't like bits. He will tolerate them, but performs so much better in just this side-pull for some reason!). If you want to try using a different bit, hackamore, or whatever on your horse, borrow one from somebody and try it. Your horse may just like it better than what he's wearing now! :]

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 06:40 PM
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I personally love using hackamores when you can. I have bridles with all sorts of bits, bitless bridles and lots of different types of hackomores, and I use all of them regularly for different purposes. I ride a Paint/TB cross gelding, and he's got quite a bit of spunk when he's not with the little kids, but we tried a bit on him and he just hated it. He leaned his head to the side, trying to get away from the bit, and sometimes just flipped his tongue over the bit and ran away. But I use a Mustang-brand braided hackamore or a rope hackamore, and he listens like a dream, I don't even need to use rein, he just moves off leg and neck-rein aids. Two little Exmoor ponies we have go in Nurtural bitless bridles, and respond perfectly, but they don't listen with bits.

That being said, my own Arab mare won't listen unless you have a bit in her mouth. She just feels secure, I guess, because I can drop the reins and she'll listen to just leg, voice and seat, but if I do that without a bit in her mouth, she won't do a thing I ask her to do.

So by all means, go for a hackamore. I reccomend bitless bridles as a first step before hackamores though, because they're just like riding with a bitted bridle, but all the presure is on the nose instead of in the mouth and on the nose, so it's easier to get used to for the horse. It's hard to explain, but that's just what I reccomend :)

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post #7 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 07:34 PM
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All my horses ride in bits. They learn to accept the bit, and if I ever had to sell one of my horses, more people will buy a horse broke to a bit than one who rides only in a hackamore. If the horse has mouth problems or something along those lines, go for the hackamore, but in my experience bits give more refined cues.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 10:27 PM
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from personal experience and from what I 've heard here and there, you have to know what you ' re doing when using a hackamore. It can hurt the horse if not use properly? Not sure, just heard it from someone.

I believe bits are better than bitless or hackamore, just because that's how I rode my whole life, that's how I broke, or known horses to be used to. You have more control, and more options.

Now, if there is some mouth issues like someone said, hackamore is probably the best way to go or bitless bridle.
But there is obviously less control so you have to be more careful or know your horse really well that you are sure he wont take advantage of it

I think bits is the best way to go, there are some really soft bits if that's what ur looking for,

Again, like people already said, it depends on what you want out of it? Does your horse has issues? Or are you just brainstorming in a new way to go with your horse?
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraciesMom View Post
If a horse is used using a bit, can it use a hackmore? What are the benefits of a bit? What are the benefits of a hackmore?
To answer your first question, sometimes. Not all horses like the way a hackamore works (it applies pressure to the poll, face, and chin to signal "stop" and "back"), very similar to the way that some horses don't like the nut cracker action of a snaffle, or the straightness of a mullen mouth. Since the way hackamores are engineered there is no real solid cue for "left" or "right", a horse that is ridden in a hackamore must also be trained to neck rein, which is generally considered a western thing, since the reins are held in one hand.

The benefits of a bit are basically refinement. Now, in western, a bit IMO doesn't provide nearly as much refinement as in English where contact is pretty much all of the time, when you reach the upper levels. In western, the higher up you go the less the mouth is used to communicate cues...anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

I don't think there are any benefits to a hackamore specifically from a riders perspective. From a horses perspective, they can be allowed to graze since there's no bit in their mouth, and theres also no funky tasting piece of metal for them to have to get used to.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-19-2010, 06:12 PM
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I always let the horse decide unless it's a situation where you show and can't use a bitless (although more and more disciplines are allowing the use of bitless).

I've used both on my horse and he does well in both. He seems to favor the bitless better and it's a lot more convenient on trail rides so he can graze as we go along and it's easier for him to eat than with the bit.

Some horses absolutely do not like or go well bitless, just like some absolutely hate the bit. Try it out and give them time to adjust to it and you'll know soon enough if it's right for your horse.

Unless it weighs a ton... it's just a horse. Draft horse motto.
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