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Have you personally known a horse with a broken nose from a Mechanical Hackamore

  • Yes I have known a horse with a broken nose from a M.H.

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I rode my horse for 32 years in a hackamore braided and flat noseband.
Never ever heard of anyone breaking a horse's nose with one.
I suppose it would be possiable if it wasn't used correctly and fitted right by the wrong person..........
Sad if that happened
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm just curious, I use a M. Hack on my 11 year old QH. I was out riding and was pretty much ambushed by a lady that went off on me because I use one! Now my gelding is the softest horse I've ever ridden. He cannot stand to have a bit in his mouth and will resort to constant head tossing. He gets so upset that it could become dangerous if I insisted that he wear any kind of bit. His teeth are checked and floated every year so it's not his mouth.

I've always ridden him in one and only have to use the lightest of pressure on him. He stops as soon as I put my weight on my pockets, turns on leg pressure alone ect. I only use the lightest of cues from the reins. I have tried using a bosal with him but he starts the head tossing again. I don't know if he can't stand change but I am perfectly happy keeping him in what he feels comfortable in.

This woman tried to accuse me of being cruel for using one! She also informed me that I am doing nerve damage to my horse and that the M.H. Could break his nose. I asked her if she had ever seen a horse with a broken nose or nerve damage from a M.H. She said yes, several..... I proceeded to show her how I worked with my horse, told her that ANY bit, hack, or even a bosal could cause pain and damage to a horse in un educated or abusive hands. Thanked her for her opinion and went on my way. Yet she continued trying to explain to me how harsh my choice "could" be. She was what I consider a fanatic and in the end I told her to mind her own business.

It did make wonder if the nose breaking part were true though?

Not trying to start a debate about the use of the MH just wanted to see if anyone had actually been witness to a horse with a broken nose from one?
 

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What was she using or suggesting you use? I find it hard to believe she's seen lots of broken noses, it's just not that common of a tool.
I myself don't use a mechanical hackamore, I'm a traditional bosal type hackamore rider, I'm a student of vaquero horsemanship.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
She was using a kimberwicke bit. I was not going to argue with her all day about how I choose to ride my horse! I've been riding since I was 8 and I'm now in my 40's and have never witnessed a horse with a broken nose from one. Im a trail/western pleasure type girl so I admittedly don't know everything but then again I haven't met anyone yet that does!
 

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I've been riding in Mechanical hacks for five years, and although I wouldn't let a beginner or anyone who is not adjusted to riding in one use it anywhere near my horse (which is why Indie has a snaffle bridle for friends and the kids, and the one with my hack on it that only I use ;) ), I wouldn't call them cruel. I've seen some horses become quite relaxed in hacks and I have never had a bad experience,injuries, or any sort of "trauma" come from them. It does have long shanks, and generally sits on a sensitive part of the nose so I wouldn't want someone who doesn't know how to ride properly using one.

Any bit can be cruel, some are potentially stronger than others. But I don't see my soft flat nosed, loose rigged hack doing any damage in my quiet hands.

Sides, there is always going to be someone who doesn't like a certain piece of tack you have. I've had people downright say my western saddle was cruel because it wasn't English, and yes I've had people bash my hackamore just because of what it is and not of how it is used or adjusted.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been riding in Mechanical hacks for five years, and although I wouldn't let a beginner or anyone who is not adjusted to riding in one use it anywhere near my horse (which is why Indie has a snaffle bridle for friends and the kids, and the one with my hack on it that only I use ;) ), I wouldn't call them cruel. I've seen some horses become quite relaxed in hacks and I have never had a bad experience,injuries, or any sort of "trauma" come from them. It does have long shanks, and generally sits on a sensitive part of the nose so I wouldn't want someone who doesn't know how to ride properly using one.

Any bit can be cruel, some are potentially stronger than others. But I don't see my soft flat nosed, loose rigged hack doing any damage in my quiet hands.

Sides, there is always going to be someone who doesn't like a certain piece of tack you have. I've had people downright say my western saddle was cruel because it wasn't English, and yes I've had people bash my hackamore just because of what it is and not of how it is used or adjusted.

I totally agree! Since Cowboy fights anything else I stick with what causes the least amount of stress for both of us! Im the only one that rides him. He was not very well treated before I got him and came with some pretty deep trust issues. Thank goodness we have an awesome little mare that the kids can ride!

Thanks for the replies! I thought she was blowing smoke when she said that.Next time something like that happens I'll just walk away. Some people think the only right way is their way. Thank goodness they have been few and far between!
 

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M. Hacks are not the demon tool so many would like for you to believe. Unlike some bits, whose very presence in the mouth are made to be uncomfortable (chains, twisted wire, combos) mechanical hacks don't have to be bad.

I had a horse whose tongue had been cut almost off, somehow. I don't want to know how that happened. It was long before I owned him. Just thinking about it makes me cringe. I could use no bits on him as they would get stuck in the deep groove in his tongue. I used a mech. hack on him with great results. It had pretty short shanks and was used very carefully.

Unlike all the stories you hear, I have never heard of a problem with a mechanical hack. I have seen bad scars on noses of horses from a bosal used badly, though.
 

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I've heard about one horses nose being broken by a mechanical hackamore near where I live, but I didn't see it happen, so I don't know the full story behind it, I have seen said horse though and I know the person who did it, so I know it's not just a story.

I used to ride my old girl in a mechanical hackamore though, showjumped her in it and everything, she was much happier and easier to stop (before then it was world war III horse style :lol: )
I got bashed about it, by a lady who was constantly kicking AND pulling on her horse who then refused every jump and when it did actually go over it was not a pretty sight, so I told her that I appreciated her concern but my horse was a lot happier than hers so please fix her own techniques before she bashes mine.
 
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I'm not in favor of Mechanical Hacks only because there are few riders who have the lightness of the hand that is required to properly use them. But I'm not against them as long as the rider demonstrates sensativity and they have a well rounded horse, I'm absolutely not going attack them for it. Now if I see an inexperienced or heavy handed rider, I might politely inform them of the facts and refer them to a lighter bit, but I will not cross the line.

We have a QH cutting horse mare who was started in a bit but was then switched to a M hackamore after slicing her tounge on a piece of wire before we got her. She responded well to a MH so we never switched her. If it aint broke, don't fix it is our motto.

However, I don't think I would ever recommend starting a horse in a mechanical. It's like starting a colt in a Tom Thumb or Spade. It really just isn't a good idea because if the colt were to throw a tantrum or spook, it could easily be accidentally hurt. I have had a friend who's 3 year old horse's nasal cavity collapsed because of this exact situation and he suffocated within five minutes. Could that of been prevented? Maybe. But it did happen and can happen, so I would definately consider a MH only a 'finishing' tool.



 
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I have seen bad scars on noses of horses from a bosal used badly, though.
I'm not surprised, the traditional hackamore IMO is one of the most misunderstood tools. It is designed as a signal device only. Soon as you use it like a pressure and leverage apparatus it becomes ineffective and the unknowing user will futilely resort to extreme measures of force.
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Just to clarify, we're talking about one of these guys, right?



Way easier to fracture the jaw than the nose in that, though I've never directly heard of either. Very nasty piece of equipment, though. It's got such an extreme leverage magnification ratio that the lightest contact on the reins gets amplfied 10 times on the horse's nasal and jaw bones. For one thing, it's got to be adjusted properly. Too low, and you really will break the nose, and without a whole lot of effort. But really it's more painful than it is dangerous. Frankly, even for "mechanical" style metal hackamores, there are much better choices out there. Consider the Little S:



I've ridden in a regular mech hack, but there's really no reason to, so far as I'm concerned. Any horse that will ride well in it will ride well in a better piece of equipment, to, that doesn't have the potential to do so much damage if, say, the rider unbalances during a spook and snatches the horse's face as they fall, or if the horse gets loose and steps on the reins, or if a novice with uneducated hands rides the horse....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Just to clarify, we're talking about one of these guys, right?



Way easier to fracture the jaw than the nose in that, though I've never directly heard of either. Very nasty piece of equipment, though. It's got such an extreme leverage magnification ratio that the lightest contact on the reins gets amplfied 10 times on the horse's nasal and jaw bones. For one thing, it's got to be adjusted properly. Too low, and you really will break the nose, and without a whole lot of effort. But really it's more painful than it is dangerous. Frankly, even for "mechanical" style metal hackamores, there are much better choices out there. Consider the Little S:



I've ridden in a regular mech hack, but there's really no reason to, so far as I'm concerned. Any horse that will ride well in it will ride well in a better piece of equipment, to, that doesn't have the potential to do so much damage if, say, the rider unbalances during a spook and snatches the horse's face as they fall, or if the horse gets loose and steps on the reins, or if a novice with uneducated hands rides the horse....

I did say that in the wrong hands ANY piece of equipment can has the potential to cause harm to the horse or rider. A bit can cause just as much if not more damage to the delicate structures of the mouth if the rider falls or snatches the face, reins are stepped on ect. Ect...

I see no reason to be accosted while riding by a woman that for whatever reason decided that I needed to be educated about the evils of using a mechanical hackamore. I've been a LVT for almost 20 years and a rider for most of my life. I've seen a horses mouth and tounge literally shredded by a bit, ruined by poor fitting saddles, and everything in between. Even a rope halter in the wrong hands can cause serious damage.

I did not ask this question to start a debate and you are certainly entitled to your opinion. I wanted to know how many people on this board have actually known a horse that had a broken nose from a M.H.?

Thanks to everyone for their replies! I'm really beginning to wonder if it's just an urban legend.....
 

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I just bought a 18 yr. old QH gelding last oct. and the people that owned him used a stainless steel bit that they used for their Arabs, the bit was to small so they spread the shanks apart thinking it would fit this horse D*** know wonder he refused to take that bit, I told them to keep the bit, I tried him out with the halter & leadrope and he did everything I asked, anyway I got the horse home and had the vet out to check his teeth and floated them, had to trank him 4 times and it took all 3 of us to hold his head, the vet said this horse has monsters about his mouth. This horse will be ridden in a Hackamore or halter. No Bit for him.
Some bits can do more harm than good in the wrong hands..........
 

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There are many different kinds of hackamores, some more severe than others. This is the one I have used. Not that bad, IMHO. I've seen far more destructive bits out there. As I said, the horse I used it on could not have a bit in his mouth.



Bubba, the first hackamore you showed was, indeed, one of the more severe ones. I've not seen that one used in my presence. The one you posted, the little S, has leverage on both the curb chain and pretty strong nose leverage when it "pivots" on the S shanks. I don't see that one as milder at all.
 

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I prefer the flat nosed ones.... the rounder ones look like they have a little too much bite than I like, and I wasn't pleased with how it operated on my mare. The flat nosed ones just seem to have a better comfort to them, especially when there is no pressure on the reins :)
I'm personally looking into replacing the curb chain with leather as well, to also lessen the severity of the bit. The only reason I use a hack instead of a halter is just for the peace of mind of having that extra "oomph" if things get hairy. On the trails you never know what to expect :lol:
 
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