hackamores? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-09-2010, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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im thinking about switching my 4 yr old mare to a hackamore because shes doing really well in a snaffle and i think she may do better in a hackamore.also im starting a colt this spring would it be o.k. if i start him out with a hackamore or do i get him used to the bit first?any success storys about hackamores?my horses do fine with bits but ive heard good things about hackamores but ive never seen them at the local shows exepct maybe a couple.

its horse show time in tennessee!!!!!!!
what im not paranoid!!! ....whos asking???
proud to be a southerner!!!
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-09-2010, 08:22 PM
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All ours mares ride in short shanked mechanical hacks with the soft fleeced noseband and do well. However, I don't like starting youngsters in them because although you CAN straight rein if need be, you really shouldn't, especially on a horse that doesn't understand. I rode Jynxy in one briefly because it was to cold for bits (we've sinced convinced Shay-las mom to let us keep them in the house, thank god) and she got the idea, but I had to use a lot more pressure and it wasn't giving me the result I wanted at all. They're really made for neck rein trained horses.

I do love them on the trail. They're gentle, but they have that bit extra if you have a horse that tends to like to go. I ride my Arab mare in one on the trail because it's much easier to stop her then in a snaffle if we go for a gallop. I can do it in a snaffle, but she listens immediately to the hack and it saves her mouth.

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-09-2010, 08:22 PM
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When you say hackamore are you talking about a traditional bosal hackamore?
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-09-2010, 10:59 PM
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^^ Thats what I am wondering. Are you talking about a mechanical hack or a bosal hackamore?

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post #5 of 11 Old 01-10-2010, 01:24 AM
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If you're talking about a mechanical hackamore, they are not gentle unless you have really soft hands. Allow me to re-post something from another topic;
Originally Posted by dressagexlee View Post
  • It utilizes three means of pressure, the most prelevent being downward acting poll pressure (which tells the horse, "Head down."), front-to-back force on the nose (which tells him, "Head in.") then the conflicting upward acting chin leverage (which says, "Head up.").
  • It works completely off of a curb "bit", meaning that you are constantly using leverage and poll pressure without escape. I've actually seen people attach a secondary "snaffle" rein to the joining part of the hackamore "bit". However, I'm not sure of the effect exactly of doing this, but I'd assume it works completely by putting pressure on the hard part of the nose, which is not good.
  • In the care of a rider that doesn't have soft hands, these conflicting aids often cause a horse to evade by curling his head into a low and deep position (meaning that he lowers his head so that he is overbending, and sucks behind the vertical), locking up the lumbar spine and thus eventually producing some of the problems that surface from LDR ("low, deep, and round", a practice similar to rollkur/hyperflexion, but less extreme).

I don't know anything about other types of hackamores, but I often seen people underestimate the force of the mechanical hackamore, or bitless bridles in general. Just because it doesn't have a mouthpiece doesn't mean it is gentle and can't be harsh. Harsh is in the hands of the rider, but a mechanical hackamore is not something I'd consider for a young horse, or a rider that isn't gentle or giving with the hands.

sing mε a blazing northεrn sky.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-10-2010, 01:57 AM
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I would never start a baby in a mechanical hackemore; there can be too much confusion because they were not designe for individual pressure like a snaffle bit is. They can get confused by the chinstrap pressure, as well as the extra pressure on their poll, and nose...alittle too overwhelming for a baby in my opinion.

If you want to start out bitless, go with a rope halter, as you can give individual rein pressure, and not confuse him, especially if you have worked with bending to each side prior to ever getting on; it's a good idea to do that anyway as then you know you have your 'power steering' in place. I start out all of my babies in a rope halter, and I like the results. It's extremely important to do your ground work though, first, otherwise you might not like the results of anything you try.

Depending on what you show in, you won't be allowed to use a mechanical hackemore in the showring (pleasure, trail, equitation, etc); gaming, you can can generally show in anything.

If you are talking about a bosal hackemore, this is usually a transition from snaffle, when he already knows rein cues, because even this can be a little more confusing to a horse, because one rein cues aren't as easily deciphered, especially right away in the beginning. Now if you work with him on the ground with the bosal prior to getting on him, teaching him, especially, to yield to your rein cues, like you would when you're on him, then this would be acceptable to start him in.

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Last edited by mom2pride; 01-10-2010 at 02:06 AM.
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-10-2010, 02:10 AM
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Here is a clip that I have posted before. The Bosal Hackamore is not an easy piece of equipment to use correctly. Most people are better off using more conventional methods.

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post #8 of 11 Old 01-10-2010, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
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i was taking about mechanical.i dont really know that much about bosal hackamores.ill try to start my horse in a rope halter.

its horse show time in tennessee!!!!!!!
what im not paranoid!!! ....whos asking???
proud to be a southerner!!!
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-10-2010, 06:44 PM
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If she does really good in snaffle why to switch her to the mechanical hackamore? I agree with everyone else. If you want something more gentle better go with a sidepull.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-10-2010, 06:49 PM
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Yes, that is also a good point.

If it 'ain't broke, don't fix it.

sing mε a blazing northεrn sky.
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