Can you barrel race with a hackamore?
I've been barrel racing for a while, but every horse that I have rode always wore a bit. My horse Andie rides in a bit but a week ago somebody suggested I ride her in a hackamore.
I tried one on her for the first time the other night and just walked a few patterns to see how it went. She responded very well but I couldn't turn her like I can when she has a bit in and gave her a few mixed signals before straightening things out. I'm guessing part of it has to do with the hackamore I used (Pictured below).
I was just curious to hear if hackamores work well when running speed patterns and if they have any effect on turning ect. Thanks! :)
I hate mechanical hacks like that. They are really heavy and hard pieces of equipment. My dad rides his 5 year old in one and I hate it.
If you want to go down the bitless road, try out a little s hackamore.
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That hack is not a bad hack, but I still prefer a little S over that one.
The thing about hackamore is that it's going to take away from the bend on your horse, and the lift. Good for bendy horses, but not good if they're stiff. Some like it, some hate it. Lots of people do use them though. Brittany Pozzi has Duke in something similar sometimes.
If he rides good in a bit, why would you want to switch to a hack?
Horseman's hackamores don't have bits. Or they shouldn't have bits anyways. But you can ride bitless in any event.
Another really good hack is a Jim Warner. Made for neck and direct reining. I use it in my guy.
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I always ran in a snaffle for more control. But rather than practice barrels I schooled on the flat. The better a horse gets on the flat the better the barrels go. Conditioning was done on the trails to keep the horse's mind fresh. Sometimes the schooling lasted only 10 min then off on the trails. I always seemed to accomplish more in those brief sessions than long ones so I quit them.
An s hackamore is better suited for barrel racing because it will give you the lift in the shoulder you need. I also like the stiver hackamore it also gets that lift and can be reversed if you need to get their attention. The mechanical hackamore in the picture is good for going straight as you discovered, and will give you a lot of whoa. One of my daughters trains in an s hackamore and switches to a snaffle bit when she runs at the show, my other daughter switches back and forth between the stiver hackamore and a gag bit depending on which event she is running. The best thing to do is try out different bits and see which ones work best for you and your horse.
I also suggest a little s hack.
Does he have good enough training that you could run him in a sidepull? That's basically the same as a snaffle bit as far as action and strength.
Absolutely! its what ever the horse prefers! if you can control the horse with a hack and you have enough stop, then go for it!
I barrel race in a little s hack my mare runs and responses to it very well! So yeah you can!
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