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I just got my horse a hackamore online...it 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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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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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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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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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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if my hands are fine on the nylon halter will my horse feel the same thing with the hackamore:Angel:
There will be pressure on his chin from the curbchain/strap on the mechanical hackamore.
 
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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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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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I just got my horse a hackamore online...it 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.

Some more information would be helpful.


How old is your horse?
How long have you had him?


Have you ever had his teeth evaluate/floated by a qualified dentist?


Have you ever worked with a trainer or taken lessons?


What bits have you tried so far?



Personally, I feel that ANY horse should be trained well enough to understand and accept a bit. It still might not be their favorite, but I want them to respect what I have asked them to do. It's just good training.


Sometimes, hackamores have their place. Personally, a mechanical hackamore is probably never going to be on the hackamore list, LOL. The shanks are usually very very long ("harsh") and it does not work well for direct reining at all (confusing signals).



My go-to for a hackamore is a Little S Hackamore.



But again, some more information about your horse would be helpful.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Some more information would be helpful.


How old is your horse?
How long have you had him?


Have you ever had his teeth evaluate/floated by a qualified dentist?


Have you ever worked with a trainer or taken lessons?


What bits have you tried so far?



Personally, I feel that ANY horse should be trained well enough to understand and accept a bit. It still might not be their favorite, but I want them to respect what I have asked them to do. It's just good training.


Sometimes, hackamores have their place. Personally, a mechanical hackamore is probably never going to be on the hackamore list, LOL. The shanks are usually very very long ("harsh") and it does not work well for direct reining at all (confusing signals).



My go-to for a hackamore is a Little S Hackamore.



But again, some more information about your horse would be helpful.
he is 12-15 more on the 12 side.
I have had him for 9 months

I'm not sure. but they will be this year.

I have taken lessons on him

I have used a western port bit, shanked snaffle bit, and an o ringed 2 part snaffle

It's not that he doesn't listen to them he justs doesn't like having it in his mouth. He'll listen if I use one. I don't like it either to...
 

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I've had horses that were awful in any bit but went really well in hackamores.

Unless you're needing a bit to compete then I really don't think it matters what you're using as long as the horse is safe and happy in it.

You don't mention what type of hackamore you're using but this is me preferred type for all round riding. Its the Stubben version of the English Hackamore, similar action but its got more refinement in its style.

If the shanks are a problem and you want something that's more like a halter but with a purpose designed fit then buy one of the bitless bridles on the market.
I like the Micklem version
 

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Generally speaking, I don’t know why people choose a mechanical “hackamore” over a traditional rawhide hackamore. Especially those who are actively trying to achieve more contact and more feel between the rider and a more sensitive horse.

With a traditional hackamore, you custom / correctly fit the gear to the horse. There are different lengths of bars, different diameters, lengths of the nosebands; all make a difference on how a hackamore fits and functions. If the hackamore is too tight there isn’t enough signal, and if it fits too loose the signal is delayed and sloppy.

How can a commercially made mechanical “hackamore“ fit each horse correctly? They don't form to the horse's head.

Obviously we’ve all seen people use the mechanical “hackamore” exclusively as a leverage tool, communicating through pain / intimidation. That’s not the crowd I’m confused about using this tool. It’s those who want to rely on feel or education to get a response, but choose this tack in particular to achieve it.
 

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Can you stop from any gait with your seat and no rein or do you need the rein to aid you to stop?
 

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How can a commercially made mechanical “hackamore“ fit each horse correctly? They don't form to the horse's head.
My mechanical hackamore is adjustable both on the noseband as well as the curb strap. Both pieces are flexible leather. They absolutely form to the horse's head. The only pieces that are completely not adjustable, of course, are the metal pieces. But you can absolutely adjust how far up on the horse's face it needs to be by means of the cheek pieces, where the shanks are set horizontally (closer to where the noseband sits or closer to where the curb strap sits), and how tight you want the curb strap.

I have personally never ridden in a traditional hackamore, and without having hands-on knowledge about them, have always seen them as stiff and abrasive, perhaps difficult to give sideways cues without moving the whole thing. But I could be wrong because I don't have experience with them. Perhaps you are thinking the same way with mechanical hackamores.
 

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If you need rein aid to stop the horse then don't be so sure about how soft your hands are. Adding this device increases the pressure over a halter and rein combo. If you are using it as an aid to stop your horse then that hole in training needs to be addressed.
 

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Generally speaking, I don’t know why people choose a mechanical “hackamore” over a traditional rawhide hackamore. Especially those who are actively trying to achieve more contact and more feel between the rider and a more sensitive horse.

With a traditional hackamore, you custom / correctly fit the gear to the horse. There are different lengths of bars, different diameters, lengths of the nosebands; all make a difference on how a hackamore fits and functions. If the hackamore is too tight there isn’t enough signal, and if it fits too loose the signal is delayed and sloppy.

How can a commercially made mechanical “hackamore“ fit each horse correctly? They don't form to the horse's head.

Obviously we’ve all seen people use the mechanical “hackamore” exclusively as a leverage tool, communicating through pain / intimidation. That’s not the crowd I’m confused about using this tool. It’s those who want to rely on feel or education to get a response, but choose this tack in particular to achieve it.

I don't think the average rider knows how to use a rawhide bosal properly......I know I don't. I always assumed it was part of a training system.......to eventually move the horse up to a spade bit. I have also been told a horse could just simply blow right through a rawhide hackamore, which was why I thought it was part of a whole training process? Doesn't it go something like bosal, bosalito with bit, spade? Or are you just simply use the bosal by itself as an end-game?

A mechanical hack......to me anyway, is just a curb bit without a mouthpiece. I've had no trouble switching a horse that rides in a curb to a mechanical hackamore. I don't think there is anything wrong with a mechanical hackamore as long as you realize it is basically a curb bit.

I don't know much about bosals and wouldn't be inclined to try one without a lot of research and instruction. I always considered them a specialty piece of equipment part of a particular training system.
 
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