View Full Version : All about Hackamores

Oct. 9, 2009, 06:30 PM
So, pretty much what the title says...I want to know all about hackamores! I've been riding Tiger Lily bareback in a halter and leadrope since I don't have a saddle, and I've come to realize that she is waaaaaay softer and easier when ridden in her halter. My trainer said I should try her in a hackamore, to see if she likes it. BUT, I know NOTHING about them, and figured I would come to you guys for help. :)

So, any recommendations, experiences, ect. please share!

Oct. 9, 2009, 06:49 PM
I have ridden two of my horses and completely changed someone's pony with a hackamore-- pre hackamore, ponys head was in your lap upside down, post hackamore, looks happy, softly round, jumps his fences with incredible bascule and doesn't pull rails anymore! My hackamore I got out of a western catalog, and just used a flash strap for the "curb" part of it. I would definitely recommend them

Oct. 9, 2009, 08:52 PM
in my personal experience, i did not like the hackamore. (but this is for my horse-who is pretty strange! =P )
the hackamore is VERY affective, as in for some horses you must use like no hand, because it puts pressure in three areas (top of head, nose, and someone help me with the other place...im having a brain fart)
it is always worth a try though! they also have bitless bridles, since from what you said about riding her in a halter!! (WOW-i need a horse likee that~!)

Oct. 9, 2009, 10:22 PM
I was thinking about a bitless bridle as well, but pretty much anyone with experience using either a bitless or a hackamore would be great. I do know there are different types of hackamores, some way more severe than others.

Tiger Lily has been going in a regular old D-ring, be she was SO much easier to get soft and through (granted, it was only at the walk today, since I didn't have a sports bra, lol) with the halter. But, a halter with a leadrope tied to it just doesn't quite do it as far as looks and finesse goes. And, hopefully, once I find a saddle and can start really riding, and maybe jumping, I'm going to need something more, since when she gets excited she pulls and leans on her forehand.

Oct. 9, 2009, 10:43 PM
I don't mind it. Some horses just work better bitless.

In case this was part of your query. The "bit" is basically a wide padded leather piece across the nose, a smaller leather piece under the chin. They are both attached to the top part of a lever of sorts. The reins go on the bottom of the lever. When you apply pressure via the reins the leather parts move together, and applies pressure on the nose of the horse as well as under the chin in a similar fashion the chin-chain of a pelham would.

A lot of horses work very nicely in this bit, but it works for breaks mainly. You might find that your horse (as with any leverage bit) responds a little less well to steering aids from the hand. If your horse doesn't learn to respond to leg and weightshifts this could become a problem if you try to do the jumpers and aim for tight turns in a jump off.
A combination bit could be useful here. It can come prefabricated or you can simply construct a double bridle consisting of a snaffle or bridoon part along with the hackamore instead of a pelham. The hack part to be used as breaks and the snaffle part for turns. It doesn't have to be a snaffle, cold be double broken, waterford, whatever you choose to put in there.

I've even seen a secondset of reins attached to the top part of the lever in cases where tight turns are desired and the horse has an allergy or just don't work out at all in a regular bit.

My advice is to try to borrow a hackamore and try it out a few times, alt buy a basic hackamore and go from there. if you decide later on that you need a regular bit for turns you can get that part of the bridle then.

Oct. 10, 2009, 03:22 AM
bits be it bitted or not ar only as severe as the hands that use them
but hackamores are a severe bitless part of the bridle as they work on the nose chin and pole
doesnt take much for a rider to break there nose
perhaps one should look at this thread


then look at this thread and read link 4 as link 4 tells you all about bits and bridles with working diagrams to include the hackamore the read all other links at the top in page 1 as its all relevent


Oct. 12, 2009, 12:13 AM
I ride my TB mare in an english jumping hackamore. It has fairly short shanks on the side in comparison to some of the western types. It has a leather fleece lined noseband and a leather curb strap. I actually put a halter fleece on the nose band so it won't rub my girl's nose. I take my jumping/hunter lessons with it and also trail ride her with it. I think it's been over 3 years since she has had a bit in her mouth. She loves it. Where she used to get irritated if you took a feel with a bit(her last bit was a mullen mouth Happy Mouth bit), she would get pi**y and flip her head around. With the hackamore, she doesn't do any fussing if I have to take a feel of her to rate her pace. Here is a picture of her last winter at a clinic
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3006/3055070003_080b32915e.jpg Here we are last year's Halloween costume http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3065/2965966171_0532823611.jpg Here's a pic of her giving an opinion about stopping for lunch on the trail. http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3230/2965810439_09714140a9.jpg Tried to get pictures that gave a close view of the hackamore.

Oct. 12, 2009, 06:39 PM
I have a horse that LOVES hackamores! the jumping hackamore that simbalism mentioned is also what I use and I don't think that it is that harsh as long as you understand how to use it. I have also tried the bitless bridle and did not like it at all!! I felt like it was very difficult to use because the reins cross underneath the chin so essentially you have the right side of the face in your left hand and vice versa, it was just too complicated for me :)

Oct. 12, 2009, 10:30 PM
I ride my lease horse in a hackamore 1/2 the time (the english jumping hackamore that Simbalism described). His owner/trainer has trained him to go really well in it since she has had him. He goes in a bit for shows and I flat him in the bit, but he loves to school over fences in the hackamore. Alternating the hackamore and the bit seems to keep his mouth more sensitive and responsive.

Oct. 13, 2009, 06:51 AM
I snagged a used Herm Sprenger English Hackamore (http://ep.yimg.com/ca/I/yhst-49786587298677_2072_18591320) a few weeks ago off Bits and Barter. What a deal!

While I had the same one as Simbalism does for my Perchern, the fleece was wearing out and the leather was not of good quality. I didn't like the ones with a chain curb. So when I spotted the HS, I jumped on it.

It's nicely padded over the nose, soft leather and very adjustable for any size nose. I get just enough control, yet it's still gentle.