Tried this Hackamore?

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Tried this Hackamore?

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    04-22-2013, 01:54 PM
Tried this Hackamore?

I've been riding my OTTB in a snaffle but would like to move to bitless. Has anyone used the Gentle Control Hackamore?

Gentle Control Hackamore:A New Revolutionary Hackamore!

Looks like something that might work well for him since he is a bit "dead" in the mouth from years of racing. This would move the pressure points and allow me to go bitless. Seems like the biggest thing with this would be to make sure I've got light hands.

Any opinions?
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    04-22-2013, 04:24 PM
They aren't new. They've been sold for years as an Easy Stop and they are brutal. That metal or plastic contraption digs into the horse's jaw between the bones. Try shoving your thumb upward just behind your jawbone and this is basically how that hackamore works. Try to envision the more you pull the harder it levers under the jaw. Think of how the horse might react. I don't think it's worth finding out. You might want to try the english hackamore with a wide sheepskin noseband and curb chain. The shanks aren't real long and most horses do well in this.
    04-22-2013, 04:50 PM
Green Broke
I don't know about that particular one you mentioned however I use the English style hackamore as described by Saddlebag with a leather curb strap rather than the chain one (for trail riding). The horses go very well in it although it's not the best if you want to do a lot of direct reining. I was thinking of trying the one shown on this site; it looks relatively inoffensive and would work better for direct reining than my other hackamore:
    04-22-2013, 06:18 PM
The quick stop (or easy stop) hackamore looked more brutal to me. It's got shanks on it so you are getting 3:1 or higher pressure on their jaw.

Riding an OTTB I do need good stopping power. I didn't want to go to a quick stop because it seemed to easy to put a lot of pressure on it. The Gentle Control seemed like it was a little more gentle on the horse since it doesn't have shanks.

That being said, I will look at some other options as well. I'd rather not ride with a bit but I'd also like the stopping power should I need it. I'll check out the English hack you mentioned.
    04-22-2013, 06:41 PM
Super Moderator
They're designed for neck reining and if your horse isn't trained for that I can't see how its going to work for you - and to be quite honest it really doesn't look as if it would be that gentle anyway
There are quite a few sidepull bitless bridles on the market now that are worth looking at and if you needed a bit more power - not sure what his 'whoa' is like I'm going to stick my neck on the chopping block for the second time in the past few days and suggest you try an English hackamore - the shanks are shorter and it has a sheepskin padded noseband (that you can easily add thicker sheepskin too) and a wide leather strap rather than a curb chain.
You can direct rein in them despite what people say provided you educate your horse to leg cues and light pressure to turn - not hauling on the rein - they were designed for use by the European market - we do not neck rein over there. I've never had an English horse confused by them and the silver medallist in the Olympic showjumping rides his horse in one - you wouldn't want to risk confusion at that level
What I will say is if you find yourself having to use undue force to 'whoa' your horse then you shouldn't use one and better to go back to basic groundwork
    04-22-2013, 07:22 PM
His whoa is good most of the time. However, being a OTTB, he has gotten spooked a time or two and took off. He does stop but it take some serious pulling. It's only happened a couple of times in the years I've ridden him but I want to make sure I have something on him that will get him stopped should it happen. The rest of the time he stops without problem.

I'm going to look into the english hackamore and see if someone around me has one I can borrow for a couple of rides. Hopefully that same person can instruct me a little in moving from a bit to a hackamore. :)
    04-23-2013, 05:18 PM
Super Moderator
Try the LG bridle or, if you can't get it, a cheaper alternative is the Flower Hackamore (search ebay for this). You can place the reins in various positions and use it either as a gentle sidepull, or add some leverage and use as a hackamore. I've ridden numerous horses in it and they tend to respond very well to its pressure. Also, at least the LG bridle (LG Zaum for German, as it is a German product, might give you more search results) is more visually appealing to me than the classic English hackamore. :)

Another alternative is the little S hackamore. I use one now on my gelding (both direct and indirect reining) and it works just like the LG. I've heard people saying that the little S doesn't have enough "woah!", then again - even the strongest bit won't have it, if the horse really has a GO...
    04-23-2013, 06:37 PM
Thanks for the help guys. I guess what I'm looking for is what will be best for my horse and I both. I want to go bitless. I like the idea of bitless. I've been riding him in an egg butt snaffle. He does pretty well in it but is herd sour so if I'm trying to get him to leave the other riders I have to pull pretty hard to get him to go. He has a lot of get up and go but he will stay in a nice easy trot for me but I have to keep into the bit a little. If he's really hot he'll get frustrated with me getting into his bit often but doesn't try anything nasty like bucking or rearing. He will toss his head. I know that a lot of this can easily be worked out by going back to basics but I'd like to do the basics bitless. So what would give me some control, good direction, and be more easily accepted by my OTTB? It's a lot to ask I know. And if anyone has any tips on switching him to bitless I would appreciate it. Most of the people in my area are "Good ol boys" and ride the John Wayne way. Which is great for them and works for a lot of people. I just want to try a new way.
    04-23-2013, 07:08 PM
Super Moderator
When you try a bitless bridle - any of them - try it out from the ground first. Work on light responses and suppleness, and be sure to fit it right on your horse - although "bitless" seems kinder than having to be harsh with a bit, it can actually be very hard on many sensitive points on the horses' head, and especially, when poorly fitted. Just a few days ago I observed a sensitive horse panic when he got put on a hackamore for the first time, the rider hopped on right away and didn't pay attention that the nosepiece was actually too low. That hurt the horse and he went on a bucking spree not long after, refusing to move forwards. As soon as the hackamore was put on properly, he relaxed instantly.

When all seems good from the ground, start riding, but at first make sure your aids are light and the horse feels right with it in the arena, and only then hit the trails - a good idea would be to stick with slow work and small groups for the first few rides, until you are fully confident of the horses' responsiveness.
jaydee likes this.
    04-23-2013, 11:50 PM
Thanks for the insight. Working from the ground first is a great idea. I've also read of the importance of not getting the hackamore too low on the nose where it can cause pain and possibly break the nose.

I'm going to try a hackamore my FIL has and also the Gentle Control Hack since a friend has one. I'm also going to try him in a French Link snaffle and see if he likes that better than the eggbutt. If he doesn't like bitless I'd like to get him in a bit he likes better at least.

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