How should a bosal fit?
Coming off from another thread...
I've used a bosal to start 2 youngsters, and thought of it as sort of "one size fits all":oops::oops: -- like a stiff halter-- which is probably why I didn't stick with it for too long. One horse I kept in it for a year at least; the other for only a short time, because she liked to wad food in her cheek, which made a lump, which was uncomfortable with the bosal.
So how IS it supposed to fit? Does anyone think the bitless "pull alongs" and similar tack is an improvement over what is, I guess, pretty old-fashioned tack?
Although what Mr.nobody says is generally true the subtleties to the Bosal are many and the adjustment is for the horse you are riding and the training level of that horse.
An example of different setups would be the diameter and flatness of the nose piece,
The length of the Bosal.
The diameter of the lower part of the Bosal.
The size and weight of the heel knot.
The diameter and weave of the macate reins.
The coarseness of the weave of the rawhide on the different parts of the Bosal.
The material used other than rawhide.
Bosals have lost favor in the modern world because there was so much to know about them.
They are very,very old in design.
There advantage was that before the days of dentistry the horse could be ridden and the mouth that the Spanish revered could also be protected.
Many people that I know will set up a coarser Bosal with more slack to it for the first rides to create more "Bump" and "Release" with the horse that is getting use to the Hackamore.
Later after the cues are refined some the setup is changed.
It is a wonderful training tool and one of the original bit-less setups.
The National Reined Cow Horse Association keeps the tradition alive by offering competition between horses that are ridden in a legal Hackamore.
I think the newer-style side-pull type bitless bridles wouldn't be so "simple." Depend more on the rider's skills?
Much of it depends on the horse and their comfort level around their head and face.
Later as the Hackamore is more familiar to them the bump becomes less then a nudge and the cue is refined to a very high level.
It is really fun to see what the horse is willing to do for you in this kind of head gear.
Some horses will get very soft in a Hackamore.
Quick note: I like to start with a softer Bosal(have a Latigo one I really like), and gradually move to stiffer one.
Lay down your guns
In most cases the "Cue" or "Signal" starts out with more and proceeds to less as understanding is built.
This is all very subjective in nature and the amount is always a part of the "Read" of the situation.
The horse must "Feel" the cue and then lighten the cue to the level that is desired by the handler.
The challenge is to read where to start and know where you want to end.
This is a fundamental problem with much training as the handler puts some form of pressure on the horse and it is not enough so he "UPS" the pressure until the desired result is achieved.
The "UPPING" of the cue becomes the norm and before you know it you are always adding to get the result instead of subtracting.
I always want to get more with less....(Tom Dorrance).
My guns are still loaded.
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