About hackamores (I saw a question from somebody here about using them) - I ride either in a rope halter, either in a soft sidepull. I don't feel my horse needs the leverage, so I don't use a hackamore, but most of my barnmates use simple English hackamores and LG bridles. The rope halter is nice, but I find easier to learn proper contact and use of outer rein with a sidepull. But in trails I use my rope halter or sometimes just a cordeo, no headstall at all, and I haven't had any problems when encountering deer and moose - Snickers is quite a bold one when it comes to scary things. He'd rather investigate them than run from them.