There's this girl on youtube that made a rant video about how bosals are so cruel and hackamores are not
I'm thinking about starting my horse bit less and I wanna know the truth. Also do y'all know any good English hackamores at a fair price??! Posted via Mobile Device
English Hackamores look different to the Hackamores that girl uses. English ones are usually padded and if used wrong can cause a lot more damage. Bosals aren't cruel unless you get one to small for your horse so it's always rubbing. I've never used them but I've seen riders use them for hours and have no problems. Also, Hackamores can be quite expensive, not sure on exact price, but not cheap.
Bosals are no more cruel than the hands that use them, just like everything else in the horse world. Not the best choice if you are heavy handed, but a good tool to have, provided you are capable. I haven't read through this thread entirely- just found it last night, but it may answer some of your questions. The Hackamore Horse
I have used a mechanical hackamore on a gelding I used to ride because he was missing the majority of his tongue. It worked well, but it did use leverage, so full contact was uncomfortable for him.
Edit: Just want to add, I don't think you should use a bosal without some guidance- they need to be fitted, different materials are better, and they are easy to misuse. Don't invest unless you are light handed, and your horse responds nicely to your cues, and check in with an expert! I'm wanting to get into riding with one as well.
While there are some torturous options in the bitless world like this
The general rule of thumb is that tack is only as harsh as the hands on the reins. IME, anyone who says "This piece of tack is cruel" simply doesn't know how to use it properly.
If you don't have good hands, you can skin a horse's nose and jaw up with a bosal, you can bruise/bloody their mouth with a snaffle. Anything can be used to cause pain if it's used incorrectly.
However, used correctly, a snaffle is no harsher than a halter and that's no harsher than a double bridle or spade bit. After all, a good horse shouldn't wait to respond to pressure, they should respond to the movement of the tack. IMHO, that's why good western horses are ridden on loose reins. You don't have to pull on them to get a response, you simply have to pick up enough slack in the reins for them to feel the bit shift in their mouth.
You can use a bosal, but unless you are under instruction from someone experienced in using them properly, you likely won't achieve the level of responsiveness seen in good young bridle horses. There is a proper way to use them to achieve and maintain a soft and supple horse. As EquineObsessed said, there are trade secrets to fitting them and using them correctly. If it's not fitted or used correctly, then it's no different than riding in a very stiff, and very expensive, rope halter.
If you listen to everyone and their "theories"….you will make yourself crazy. There will always be someone who thinks that everything…including swatting a fly…is cruel. It is all in the hands. Whatever you decide to use.
Omigosh. I had to turn the video off... People are crazy....
Here is the thing, as said above. You can do a ton of damage with a bozal, you can scar the nose, you can scar the poll... Oh wait... You can do that with hackamore too... In fact, you can do just as much damage with either device. Oh wait... You can break teeth and damage the mouth with a bit, rip the lips and bruise the roof of the mouth... OH gosh...
You can do so much damage to any animal using any man made device... at any time.
The trick is knowing how to use it, using it properly and wait for it.... COMMON SENSE!
Sorry... I'm stuck in the snow w/ nothing to do and I'm cranky...