thoughts about hackamores - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 03-30-2020, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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thoughts about hackamores

I just got my horse a hackamore hasn't come yet... It is mechanical. my horse and I hate bits. WE can turn and go with my legs, I try to keep my hands soft... I have been riding him in a nylon halter lately what is the difference besides the shanks???? any thoughts would be helpful and not just o my question on the whole thing.
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post #2 of 43 Old 03-30-2020, 09:54 AM
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I ride my 3 yo filly a lot in a bit less bridle rope halter and she loves it. In fact when I put a snaffle on her she acts offended. I had a horse a long time ago that I rode often in a mechanical and a bosal. She preferred the bosal. I plan on riding this youngster mainly in a bosal.
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post #3 of 43 Old 03-30-2020, 10:14 AM
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I had one horse that, though well trained with bits or could go in a halter, did best in a mechanical hackamore.

Give it a try!
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post #4 of 43 Old 03-30-2020, 11:45 AM
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You must take care when fitting it that it's not too low on the nose. Due to the shanks, you can't direct rein the same as you would in a halter. It's good you have good control through your legs and seat. Your stopping power is also amplified.

Otherwise, have fun.
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post #5 of 43 Old 03-30-2020, 12:39 PM
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I guess a hackamore can offer more precise communication if you needed it, and also more control.

Having said that, my daughter rode her horse in a mechanical hackamore for a while, and that horse had no problem blowing through her aids.

I have ridden my Pony with just a halter and the lead rope tied to it as reins, and he responded pretty well. I don't ride him that way for lessons or really serious riding, just hacking around.

It's good that your hands are soft, because with a mechanical hackamore you do have the possibility of really being able to hurt them, especially if the shanks are longer.

To me, if riding in the halter is working, I'd stick with that. But since you've already ordered the hackamore, go ahead and try it and see how you guys do. If you get better performance, then great! Do just be super aware of your hands.

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post #6 of 43 Old 03-30-2020, 12:43 PM
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Not sure what type of hackamore you ordered, but a typical mechanical hackamore functions a lot like a curb bit. You just have a nose-band instead of a mouthpiece. But that's not a bad thing......I like mechanical hackamores (and curb bits) a lot!

I personally like a flat leather noseband, something like this:

But a lot of people seem to do find with a rope noseband as well. I just try to keep things as mild as I can while still getting the results I want. I think the ideal bit (or hackamore) gives you the control you need while still being comfortable for the horse.

The nice thing about a hackamore like the above is that it's completely "off" when your reins are loose. So you have control when you need it, but it's similar to the nose-band of a halter when it's not engaged. You can even take off the big ugly chain and use a simpler curb strap if desired. Just whatever your horse does well with.
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post #7 of 43 Old 03-30-2020, 05:06 PM Thread Starter
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if my hands are fine on the nylon halter will my horse feel the same thing with the hackamore
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post #8 of 43 Old 03-31-2020, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Creeping_Charlie314 View Post
if my hands are fine on the nylon halter will my horse feel the same thing with the hackamore
There will be pressure on his chin from the curbchain/strap on the mechanical hackamore.
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post #9 of 43 Old 03-31-2020, 01:25 PM
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I rode with a mechanical, but with short shanks (English style). I had no trouble using a direct rein but it requires a soft touch. My horses were not youngsters and we trail ride.
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post #10 of 43 Old 03-31-2020, 03:10 PM
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I ride my mare in an English mechanical hackamore. She gets upset in a bit and will blow through aids. She is much happier in a hackamore. I ride her with little to no direct contact, mostly off of seat and neck reining, and she accepts light and brief direct contact when it's needed.

Hackamores are best for people with light hands and a horse that is otherwise responsive to gentle aids, because the leverage amplifies your direct signals. Just like any other tool, it can certainly be harmful when ill-fitted or used in a harsh manner.
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