What gloves, bosal, and helmet should I buy? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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What gloves, bosal, and helmet should I buy?

Ok so I need to buy a pair of gloves, a bosal, and a helmet. I'm in Hawaii so gloves that are cooler are preferred but I want the palm to have a good grip for groundwork. I have no idea how to go about buying a bosal so any tips would help. Helmets.. I just want to buy the prettiest one lol but I know I should buy a good one. So please help me out here cause I really don't know what to get. I'm working with my 3yo Arabian so there will be a lot of groundwork and training to ride and I don't want to die yet lol. Also if you can just tell me the type and brand you use and why you like it, that would be awesome too!
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post #2 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 05:08 PM
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Are you looking to buy just the bosal, or the entire setup with the mecate and hanger?

As for gloves, I like my Ariat Heritage gloves for schooling in hot weather. It's tough to suggest helmets, as everyone has a different head shape, but for schooling in cool weather, look into the Tipperary Sportage.
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post #3 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 05:14 PM
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Don't buy a bosal unless you can afford a good handmade one. The rawhide braiding is fine and won't skin up your horse. It will have a rawhide core. Cheap ones will skin up your horse, are stiff and rough. They have a wire core. How can you tell if the core is wire? The wire has a direction. If the bosal is laid flat, it may not lay flat, but look to see that from the middle of the nose it forms an even shape on both sides. With wire, no matter how much you pull on it, you can't correct it. This results in uneven pressure.
smrobs and boots like this.
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post #4 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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I'm looking for the entire setup. We don't have a lot of tack shops here that carry much so if you guys could tell me where online I could get one that would be great! and because we don't have much to choose from I can't check one out to see if I like it or not. What type do you guys like? and I'm pretty sure I can afford a good one.

And I'll go check out those gloves and helmets (: thanks!
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post #5 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 06:07 PM
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Heritage gloves are awesome for hot weather. Gutted I lost my pair.
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post #6 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 08:13 PM
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Can’t comment on the gloves or helmet, but Ill comment on the bosal; seems what you want is the full hackamore and not just the bosal (noseband).
If your horse has never been ridden in a bosal it should be one that is thick and reasonably stiff as you still need to be using direct rein pressure at first and the thinner ones can slip and flex and so kind of saw at a horses nose. So what you will want is one that is inch diameter on the bars, I wouldn’t recommend one less than 5/8 inch. The way you sensitise the horse on a bosal is in how you handle the reins, not in the bosal itself, the sized bosal is important depending on the stage of training the horse is at. Though people will often tell you thick stiff ones are too harsh, it’s actually the other way around at first; once the horse is soft and moving from a signal sent down the rein BEFORE the direct pull, that’s when you lighten and soften the bosal in the hackamore. You will need to get decent lateral flexion with the bosal through ground work, make sure that the horse thinks it can’t beat the hackamore EVER, as Martin Black said a hackamore is a “kind of a bluff anyway”. And make sure you know how to handle the reins as if you just transfer standard snaffle bit techniques to a bosal you will likely end up with a heavy headed horse.
What you should be looking for in a good bosal is,
1) 100% rawhide, forget cable core, nylon, rope, all that. The point is rawhide moulds to the horses face and can do so slightly differently every time it is put on the same horse, adjusted as you go, or on a different horse. They sweat into it and it softens and it shapes to their face.
2) generally speaking the more strands the better, though also more expensive.
3) on a bosal inch and probably on one 5/8 inch you will need a fiadore.
4) mecate and bosal should ideally be of the same diameter, you have about 1/8th inch wiggle room in that rule.
5) horse hair is the best for a mecate, its used in teaching neck reining, but an often overlooked point is that it nicely balances the bosal, more so than something like yacht rope. You will see things like “high quality mane hair” and “Lower quality tail hair” it’s all nonsense. The quality is in the construction, the difference between mane and tail hair comes into play as part of training the horse. Better to give the horse the benefit of the doubt and get mane hair.
6) on the headstall (bosal hanger) you should look for one that is minutely adjustable, so lots of holes up the cheek straps as you will, especially at first, be needing to adjust it up and down the horses face depending on how long you are riding the horse and how fast, hard, the work you are doing is. I have made all my own but if you buy one Id just get a hole punch and punch extra holes so you have more control in where you can place the bosal on the horses face.
There are some really good bosals on eBay if you know what to look for, though the really good ones are far between, or super expensive, 3 to 4 hundred each. There are plenty of Jose Ortiz bosals and mecates on eBay; they are good quality. Martin Black makes good ones, I have two of his and they are excellent, and probably slightly cheaper than the average Ortiz one (unless you can get a bargain on eBay). Have a look at Ortiz and Martin Black bosals and you will begin to get an idea of what a good one looks like and what an average one looks like. You also may want to think of some felt to wrap the bosal in if your horse has a particularly sensitive snout.
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post #7 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 08:45 PM
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Just want to add that by looking at Ortiz and Black’s bosals you will get an idea of what good ones look like, and compare those with the average ones; I don’t in any way, want to imply Black’s bosals are in any was average; I should have worded it better.
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post #8 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much AnrewPL! That helps a lot! You're right, I do want a full hackamore set. We're actually just starting to train my horse so probably the 3/4 inch will be good. Can you describe how to handle the reins? Or tell me what or who to watch? I don't know a lot of people who use bosals so I'm not sure if I'm doing it right. My friend who's helping me train her might know the correct way but just want to check how other people do it just in case. I'll definitely go check out those brands (:
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post #9 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 09:22 PM
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When I first got into the world of hackamores I had no clue, and was lucky to have already been taught a pretty good foundation, and already quite a lot of experience riding horses for work day in and day out, and having spent much of my time growing up on my uncle’s cattle station been on the back of a horse since I was little. And most importantly had the guy who taught me to ride properly in the first place go to with questions. I didn’t even know what a fiadore was till he told me how to make and use it. But I had no idea at first and did, in hindsight, some spectacularly stupid sh&^.
The place to start is to go out and get a book called Hackamore Reinsman. Its written by an old codger called Edd Connell and is probably the most famous book about it; unfortunately he died in about 1977 and probably took who knows what knowledge to the grave. The trouble with his book is he assumes he is writing for an audience that already has years of riding under their belt, and probably years of horse training too; which, from memory, he recommends you have before trying a hackamore. So if you have the experience to back it it’s OK to read the book, otherwise its always better to learn from someone else.
I don’t know how much money you have to throw around on stuff but the next thing, and probably the way to get a fuller understanding of it all than the Connell book (especially the ground work which he doesn’t really mention much) if you don’t have someone to teach you, is to look into Martin Black. He has a few YouTube clips up, but they are really just there to sell his DVDs etc. Which is fair enough but obviously you cant really learn from the YT clips. But if you have adequate spare loot lying around you may want to look into his DVDs (don’t know if he , no he does have a book. Ill try to remember the name of it). I haven’t ever seen more than what’s on YT and as I said have a couple of his bosals and communicated with him a few times about the bosals and getting a custom made mecate, and he seems pretty ****ed good to me, and is always great in communication.
If I tried to explain how to handle the reins here, well, it would be a book, so impractical; and besides, it’s all in the Connell book already (and better than I could tell you). What I will say though is that what you do in the hackamore on the horses back starts on the ground; and, on the horses back, can turn a horse into an incredible piece of living art in motion. So think of it as an entire system rather than just a piece of equipment you can switch in and out of what you are doing and achieve results. It’s my guess that people who have bad experiences with hackamores might think along those lines and don’t understand that it’s an holistic system for training and riding horses literally starting from the ground up.
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post #10 of 33 Old 11-06-2012, 10:00 PM
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Ed Connell's book, "Hackamore Reinsman" is the bridle horseman's bible. No one has done a better job of explaining the why's, when's, and how's of starting a horse this way.
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