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Discussion Starter #1
ok. so i have an arthritic 14(15 in may) year old OTTB mare. i usually ride her in a french link snaffle, but i also ride western. we just to trail rides, mainly walk/trot/ a little cantering when she feels good.

today i tried out a western hackamore. i used an english one on her, and she fought and tossed her head with me. i tried a braided rope S hack-she did not like that one one bit! haha

so today i used this
http://www.horsetackinternational.com/images/240713m-hackamore.jpg

and she really liked it! she was very light and responsive, and wasnt fighting me like she dose with the snaffle. there wasnt much of a need to switch, i just thought we would give it a try.

i heard this can be kind of harsh due to the long shanks. i have very light, still, hands, and use my back and shoulders for stopping power. i can tell she is much more relaxed in it, but what do you guys think? constructive crit only please! i dont want to be bashed about it. thank you!
 

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If she is happy then it is good. I use a hack on my OTTB and she responds a lot better. It is different and it doesn't remind her of the track days. It is a different contact and if your horse is better with it then why not?
 

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I have the exact same mechanical hackamore as the picture. It made controling my horse far more easier than a snaffle.
 

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That's because it's harsher than a snaffle Morganshow.

Go the Distance- If she responds well to it and you have soft hands I see no issue with you using it. Some horses just prefer not to have anything in their mouth.
 

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The harshness will actually vary depending on how tight or loose the curbstrap is, how wide it is and most of all on the hands of the person controlling it. Also, the lower it is the more the more the horse will react to pressure it puts on the nose (it is very dangerous and hamful to put it too low) and if it is placed too high the horse won't respond. This type of hackamore, unlike snaffles and english hackamores, puts no pressure on the poll which is an extremly sensitive area for some horses (it sounds like that may be the case with your girl).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
wow, thank you guys so much!

and masatisan, i never knew that the hackamores put pressure on the poll. this is probably the issue with her. the curb chain is relatively loose, i can stick about 2 or 3 fingers between her chin and the chain. (its an old and connected by nylon, streched out a bit.) i have really light hands, my girl will go off leg yeilds, so the hands stay quiet. ill have to get my trainer to check the positioning, i've only ridden her once in it and i could tell she is much happier!

thank you guys so much!
 

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The harshness will actually vary depending on how tight or loose the curbstrap is, how wide it is and most of all on the hands of the person controlling it. Also, the lower it is the more the more the horse will react to pressure it puts on the nose (it is very dangerous and hamful to put it too low) and if it is placed too high the horse won't respond. This type of hackamore, unlike snaffles and english hackamores, puts no pressure on the poll which is an extremly sensitive area for some horses (it sounds like that may be the case with your girl).
I'm confused. I've always understood, and I checked this out to be sure I understood correctly, that snaffles do not put pressure on the poll . Any leverage bit, hackamores both english and mechanical are leverage "bits" and do put pressure on the poll.

Am I reading the above post incorrectly?
 

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I was confused about that too. I know that type of hack uses poll pressure. The shanks don't swivel (if they didn't you wouldn't get any pressure anywhere) and by not swiveling they pull on both the nose piece and the headstall.
 

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Cowgirl: The Fleece is the gentlest and the one I would probably recommend.

The rope nose is VERY severe and I would NOT use it unless on a very experienced horse. Imagine having that thing pulling on your face. Ouch!

The bike chain one isn't opening up for me though, brings me to the fleece one.
 

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the snaffle is a bit...that doesn't make sense. It's not a hackamore so shouldn't put pressure...Maybe I'm wrong...
 

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Snaffles do not have any leverage or poll pressure.

Some bits, for example a gag, will put pressure on the horses poll. Some bits/bridles put pressure on the sides of the horses mouth.
 

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you put the hackamore on any headstall just like switching out bits well i guess i should say the headstalls i am familiar with all unlatch on the sides so you can switch bits or whatever hackamore is all i ever use i teach my colts to take a bit but dont use them
 

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If she goes easy in it, and you know how to use it properly, I see no problem with it.
 

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Personally I feel that mechanical hackamores are too severe and I've seen some inexperienced people do a number in them. Personally I would never use one, but that is just my own believe.
 
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