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BaileyTW
Jun. 4, 2008, 07:31 AM
The gelding I just got will go in a bit or hackamore. I tried him in a bit and hackamore, and he plays incessantly with the bit when I use a bit in his mouth, but is quiet for the hackamore. But it seemed like there was no steering whatsoever with the hackamore. I will be using the bit for schooling in the ring most likely, but wouldn't mind getting a hackamore for trails if there is one that offers better steering.

Any suggestions?

ChocoMare
Jun. 4, 2008, 07:46 AM
The first place to start is: What kind of hackamore are you using?

I have plenty of stearing with my english mechanical hackamore, as well as enough whoa.... and this is on my 17.3 Percheron.

Auventera Two
Jun. 4, 2008, 09:16 AM
I use the Little S Hack and really like it. I've seen a lot of endurance horses in them. That one might be worth a try.

Fiat Lux
Jun. 4, 2008, 09:57 AM
My gelding is the same way, but he throws his head all over the place with a bit. He's happy as a clam in the Herm Sprenger short shank hack from Dover. But for bending and turning, I do find I need to cross my hand just slightly past the wither to get a good response.

chicamuxen1
Jun. 4, 2008, 11:04 AM
I've used both "Little S" and an "English" Hackamore. I and the horses are happier with the English hackamore. It's designed in such a way that the curb chain will sit lower than the chain on a little S. It hangs down where a curb chain of a pelham or kimberwicke bit sits. This appears to be a better position for the curb chain then the higher placement that many types of hackamore have. Less chance of rubbing holes in your horse's chin and my horses accept the curb chain pressure better and give to it nicely. I also found that putting a nice english bit type of curb chain onto the hackamore works best. As opposed to a western curb chanin or the awful chains that come on the Little S hackamore. The nicer english style curb chain is wide and flat if attached correctly.

I find that I can steer and bend my horse laterally with this short shanked hackamore. Unfortunately, most of those sold are cheaply constructed, just chromed metal, with cheap nosebands. I located a good quality aluminum shanked hackamore from http://www.american-flex.com/headstalls.htm. You'll see the set up with the nicer chain.

Bonnie

Prieta
Jun. 4, 2008, 12:17 PM
What about Dr.Cook's hackamore? http://www.bitlessbridle.org/

Or, what hackamore can I use for my Arab mare with a large bump on the right side just above her mouth line? I do not see how I can use "regular" hackamore without touching the bump. I do not like using rope halter to ride her because she'd push all the time and would not flex. I miss riding with very light hands.

BaileyTW
Jun. 4, 2008, 12:47 PM
Thanks for the replies! I don't really know much about hackamores, but I looked it up and the one he had been ridden in was a longer shanked, western type hackamore (with the braided leather noseband). An "english" hackamore would provide better steering, then? I don't need it for stop or anything, he is FAR from being a runaway, but he just flops his tongue all over the place with a bit.

He is very respectful of a bit (plain smooth snaffle), and will flex at the poll and everything when out on the trails, has plenty of woah, but his tongue is just all over the place, and I don't want to flash-band his mouth shut when we are on a 3+ hour ride because he gets his tongue over the bit. I noticed when I used the hackamore his mouth was nice and quiet, so if I can find one I can direct rein with and have decent steering, I would love to get it.

Thanks again for all the help!

Prieta
Jun. 4, 2008, 01:15 PM
I totally sympathize with you about needing to find a hackamore. My QH used to be like yours until we started using rope halter. He is now very quiet and easy to work with. No sloppering around - no froth. I no longer feel his mouth working which is blissful.

CosMonster
Jun. 4, 2008, 01:20 PM
I think for many horses the english hackamore does have a lot more steering than the long-shanked western ones. I haven't used one of those (western) for years, but I remember having a lot of trouble steering some horses who went fine in bits/other hacks. I haven't had any trouble like that with my english one.

I think a lot of it is experimentation...the different hacks all have pros and cons, and it's just about finding which one your horse prefers. You can pick up a cheap english one for about $25 at a lot of tack shops--it's not something I'd use long term because it is pretty poor quality, but it will work well enough to try out without spending a ton of cash.

Chicamuxen, thanks for that link. That site has some nice things on it!

sublimequine
Jun. 4, 2008, 01:43 PM
My mare goes in the bigger western mech hack, much to my chagrin! She's been in quite a few of the smaller hackamores, and even a sidepull and a bosal, and she made it QUITE CLEAR she preferred the hackamore with the big shanks! I think it has something to do with the shanks hang off her face with the western one, whereas the shorter shanked hacks are more directly on the side of her face, which she doesn't like. She feels the shanks brush against the sides of her face, then gets irritated and tries to bite them! :lol:

I'm still playing with the idea of trying an english hack on her again as she was calmer in that than the really nice Jim Warner hack I had, but for now we'll stick to the "big hack". But for your horse, I'd definitely try the english hackamore first. :yes:

chicamuxen1
Jun. 4, 2008, 01:45 PM
Oh, nearly forgot, I bought a rope hackamore off ebay that is pretty cool, similar to the cooks bitless bridles as they cross under the chin but lower. You buy them as just the hackamore piece, made from rop, and hang it from any bridle. here is a link to something similar: http://www.horsearoundtack.com/LOOK.html It may work for the mare with the bum by hanging it below the bump or above it. My horse thought it was cool but he's a little too forward to use it when riding in company.

Bonnie

SarhasMom
Jun. 4, 2008, 05:22 PM
http://www.american-flex.com/headstalls.htm.

I went and looked at this site and their saddles are interesting. Any experience with them?

GallopingGrape
Jun. 4, 2008, 05:26 PM
Here is the english hackamore and a mechanical hackamore. Rather than trying to 'steer' him, do you know if he neck reins?

http://gallopinggrape.com/search.aspx?find=hackamore

sublimequine
Jun. 4, 2008, 06:18 PM
Here is the english hackamore and a mechanical hackamore. Rather than trying to 'steer' him, do you know if he neck reins?

http://gallopinggrape.com/search.aspx?find=hackamore

To be exact, they're BOTH mechanical hackamores. :)

Dressage_Diva333
Jun. 4, 2008, 06:24 PM
I really like this one: http://www.sportack.com/cms/index.cfm/path/94789/96913/96322/96331/96932/96518/

I do put a "fluffy" on the noseband though. For more sensitive horses, I also put a fluffy on the chain :)

BaileyTW
Jun. 4, 2008, 10:49 PM
Here is the english hackamore and a mechanical hackamore. Rather than trying to 'steer' him, do you know if he neck reins?

http://gallopinggrape.com/search.aspx?find=hackamore


He does neck rein fairly well, but I prefer to direct rein for the most part. If I need to make a decent turn, a neck rein doesn't seem to do it for him. When I am doing a course or coming up to an obstacle, I need to direct rein him.

What is the biggest difference in the "s" hackamore and the english hackamore, other than that they have a different "look"? They seem like they would function similarly.

chicamuxen1
Jun. 5, 2008, 09:11 AM
What is the biggest difference in the "s" hackamore and the english hackamore, other than that they have a different "look"? They seem like they would function similarly.

I thought I explained that in my first post. The chain on an "english" hackamore will hang further down on the horses chin. IMO, a chain or chinstrap should be down low, just above the chin in the soft groove. I also like the adjustability of the nosebands on the english hackamore. I DON'T like the narrow chain that comes on the Little S hackamores and the chain sit's too high up the jaw bones, too easy to cause rubs where you just have skin over bone.

the two hackamores are similar but I think the english hackamore is a better design, more adaptable for your horse's needs and I like using neoprene nosebands that are available for this type of hackamore.

Bonnie

ChocoMare
Jun. 5, 2008, 09:13 AM
I do not use the chain chin strap on my English hack... it's just a leather strap that's fully adjustable. To me, it works (feel wise) exactly like having a bit in their mouth.

katarine
Jun. 6, 2008, 11:43 AM
I've ridden 8 zillion miles in the Little S and love it. Never had a horse have trouble with the rope nose or the curb chain. It's not 'awful' IMO- it's a reasonable piece of chain. Never ever had a rub, a shafe, a sore. Nothing. And again, zillions of miles in Sweet Home Alabama, home of sweat and heat and humidity. The one thing I can say about the Little S is that the 'slobber bar' cable will fail... salt eats it up and it fails. I replaced mine after they failed with a piece of cord, easy.

carp
Jun. 6, 2008, 10:36 PM
Do I understand correctly: you need direct reining ability, but you don't need a lot of stopping power? It seems like you are looking for a side pull. The ones with leather nosebands instead of rope are gentler, but they're harder to find because people usually request rope for stronger brakes.

2Horse
Jun. 6, 2008, 11:16 PM
The absolutely best mechanical hackamore IMO is the JIM WARNER. It gives you plenty of flex, which most don't. Also the nose floats. It does NOT drop down like other hackamores. You don't have to worry about it blocking off their airway. It is the best designed mechanical hackamore out there, hands down. Its not cheap, around $75. But well worth it. I can ride all my horses in it. My Ky Mountain mare would throw her head, and just fuss with what ever bit I tried. (yes I had her teeth looked at) She just loves the JW. She will go all day without fuss.

sublimequine
Jun. 6, 2008, 11:59 PM
The absolutely best mechanical hackamore IMO is the JIM WARNER. It gives you plenty of flex, which most don't. Also the nose floats. It does NOT drop down like other hackamores. You don't have to worry about it blocking off their airway. It is the best designed mechanical hackamore out there, hands down. Its not cheap, around $75. But well worth it. I can ride all my horses in it. My Ky Mountain mare would throw her head, and just fuss with what ever bit I tried. (yes I had her teeth looked at) She just loves the JW. She will go all day without fuss.

You know, I really liked the JW hack, but the stupid stabilizer cable/bar really just drove me NUTS. Then I finally just cut it off and used some plastic-coated cable that i could bend and such, and it was better. But ultimately, my mare just really didn't like it, for whatever reason. Probably because I spent so much money on it. She likes to spend my money.. :lol:

nettiemaria2
Jun. 7, 2008, 10:32 AM
We had to put ours in a hack. He played with the bit too - until he came up with photic headshaking. The hack that we use golly I forget the name, but you can get it at valley vet, it has shanks that turn independently and a rope nose, but we had to cover it with vet wrap, as the waxed rope was too harsh on his nose. We have a little beatle one too - but that doesn't work for him. Also, I noticed if the shanks don't curve back, then it's hard for them to eat if you go out on the trail and stop for a break.

One lesson learned rather quickly - :) - you need a headstall with a browband and a chin strap. If you try to use a one - ear, they will flip the whole headstall off sooner or later, the whole thing just goes 'plop'.

I love our hack and the change in our horse's behavior. He's more relaxed while riding, versus fussing with the bit, which I suspect caused nerve damage.
I'm training my guy in a bit - but when he's ready, I'll probably change to a hack later on.

Actually, I'm adding on here - we DO have the JW (jim whatever his last name is). That's the one that works really good on our guy.

GallopingGrape
Jun. 7, 2008, 11:23 AM
I wraped vet wrap around the rope part of the nose of the side pull and it works GREAT. Its soft and cushioning.

phantomhorse
Jun. 7, 2008, 05:51 PM
I've ridden 8 zillion miles in the Little S and love it. Never had a horse have trouble with the rope nose or the curb chain. It's not 'awful' IMO- it's a reasonable piece of chain. Never ever had a rub, a shafe, a sore. Nothing. And again, zillions of miles in Sweet Home Alabama, home of sweat and heat and humidity.

i also use an s-hack on my endurance mare and have never had any sort of rubbing issue. mine has a neoprene noseband (not the rope) and the curb chain is adjusted loosely.

are there people near you who have different hack styles that you could borrow and try out on your horse?

siseley
Jun. 15, 2008, 01:38 PM
I too use a JW on my lil mare. After her initial training with a snaffle, and after riding for a while, I tried an english hack like my wife uses. She seemed to lower her head sooner, rode quieter, and since my majority of riding is trail, I soon wanted a hack with shorter shanks and with a swivel on the shanks. Soooo... I ordered one from an on-line supplier, and owalaaaa, she loves it. I should add.... I also put a "fuzzy" on the rope nose as I felt it was not nessesary to be that rough with the rope nose made of stiff rope.

siseley
Jun. 15, 2008, 02:12 PM
http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h84/siseley/saddlebackandsis011.jpg

This is my trainer on my mare while schooling her. As you can see she seems comfortable, and the "fuzzy" keeps the rope from being too harsh.

Just my 2'C's.....
Steve

Auventera Two
Jun. 15, 2008, 03:04 PM
I've ridden 8 zillion miles in the Little S and love it. Never had a horse have trouble with the rope nose or the curb chain. It's not 'awful' IMO- it's a reasonable piece of chain. Never ever had a rub, a shafe, a sore. Nothing. And again, zillions of miles in Sweet Home Alabama, home of sweat and heat and humidity. The one thing I can say about the Little S is that the 'slobber bar' cable will fail... salt eats it up and it fails. I replaced mine after they failed with a piece of cord, easy.

And my horse absolutely would NOT tolerate the rope nose. She's fine with it now that it's a flat beta strap. But she made it blatantly clear through her head tossing, snorting, rubbing, running through my hands, and teeth grinding that the rope nose was NOT gonna work. I thought she just couldn't go in a hackamore so I put her back in a bit. But since I've changed the nose out, she's been fine with it.

Each horse is different. ;)

sublimequine
Jun. 15, 2008, 03:16 PM
And my horse absolutely would NOT tolerate the rope nose. She's fine with it now that it's a flat beta strap. But she made it blatantly clear through her head tossing, snorting, rubbing, running through my hands, and teeth grinding that the rope nose was NOT gonna work. I thought she just couldn't go in a hackamore so I put her back in a bit. But since I've changed the nose out, she's been fine with it.

Each horse is different. ;)

Well said. My mare hates the stabilizer bar/cable on those hacks. It brushes against her chin, and she tries to bite it.. :lol:

BroncoHollow
Jun. 16, 2008, 06:53 PM
Have you tried a bit with a roller? May just fix the problem.

We have a horse that we mostly ride in a bosal - difference from a hackamore that uses a curb chain for pressure. If we bridel the horse, he goes in a roller, keeps him from chomping the bit, but we do sound like a mad typest going down the trail..... Just a suggestion

Megz
Jun. 16, 2008, 07:26 PM
I agree with the people who have suggested side pulls. I use a side pull with a leather noseband and it works just as well as a hackamore. I am not a fan of mechanical hackamores.

I have used nothing but a side-pull with the 4 yr old gelding I started last summer, and he goes so well, I don't know that I will ever use anything else.

katarine
Jun. 17, 2008, 10:15 AM
And my horse absolutely would NOT tolerate the rope nose. She's fine with it now that it's a flat beta strap. But she made it blatantly clear through her head tossing, snorting, rubbing, running through my hands, and teeth grinding that the rope nose was NOT gonna work. I thought she just couldn't go in a hackamore so I put her back in a bit. But since I've changed the nose out, she's been fine with it.

Each horse is different. ;)

and that's why I posted in response to the 'horrible rope nose' and 'horrible little chain' assertions.

It's NOT horrible...for every one in every situation. Tweak it to suit you but these absolute statements drive me crazy. Each of us has our own preferences (you love your treeless, I loathed the one I tried) but I'm not running around burning one on a stake declaring them horrid once and for all ;) am I?

Auventera Two
Jun. 17, 2008, 12:08 PM
Wow are you a touchie thing. :eek: :lol:

katarine
Jun. 17, 2008, 12:13 PM
Look in the mirror :)

JLD
Jun. 17, 2008, 12:22 PM
I second the bitless bridle suggestion. Our older thoroughbred gelding loves it. He chews a bti all over creation but with the bitless he's as quiet as he is in a halter. And I have found he flexs and bends no problem.

LeisureRide
Jun. 17, 2008, 01:32 PM
Sorry if I missed someone's recommendation of a short-shanked hackamore, or an english hackamore. My mare is very happy in one of these. You can use either a leather or chain chin strap. It's the only way I have 'brakes' with her when I was hunting. Riding her in the ring was a WHOLE 'nuther story! Can't show in one of those :eek:

chicamuxen1
Jun. 18, 2008, 09:40 AM
I was the person that stated that the chain tha came with the Little S hackamore that I bought was horrible. The reason for my opinion is that is is a very small diameter chain with a type of twist to the links. It can't spread pressure out over wider flat links such as those in a regular english curbchain. Even some of those don't lie flat. The narrow twisted chain does cut and rub any horse that leans into it. Yes, ideally your horse wouldn't lean on the hackamore but lets face it, a lot of horses in a competition will lean and pull early in the ride. I also wouldn't use a narrow and/or twisted chain on any bit either. It's a poor idea IMO to use something that has the potential to cut or ub holes in the horse's skin.

Oh, I also got irritated with that cable that connects the shanks.

Anyway, I like the english style hackamore, and just got a new noseband for it from www.tayloredtack.com Amanda Taylor makes just gorgeous biothane tack.

Bonnie