View Full Version : Hackamore

Dec. 2, 2009, 01:05 PM
My horse doesn't like to drink with a bit in his mouth. I have been using a Zilco bridle where I can clip off the bit to let him drink, but that requires that I dismount and mount again.

I would like to just be able to aim him at the water and let him drink, and then go on. So I am considering a hackamore.

I ride him on a loose rein all but at the beginning where he can be a bit hot. I don't want a jaw-breaking longshank hackamore. We may not use "bitless bridles" according to the rules here, so it has to be a mechanical hackamore.

What would be the recommendation?

Dec. 2, 2009, 01:30 PM
A short-shanked mechanical English Hackamore is a great choice http://www.doversaddlery.com/product.asp?pn=X1-0109&ids=843532005

I ride my Percheron in one and she's just fine. ;)

Eddy's Mom
Dec. 2, 2009, 01:51 PM
We use s-hacks on our endurance horses:


Painted Horse
Dec. 2, 2009, 09:24 PM
The little S hackamore like EddiesMom suggest works great for me. That's all my hot gelding has used for the past 10 years.

You can buy the bit itself from most equine supply houses for about $35-$40.

Dec. 3, 2009, 09:30 PM
I use a cheaper version of the Sprenger one Chocomare posted. My boy can get very strong at times but I've always been able to get him listening when using that hackamore.

Dec. 4, 2009, 11:31 AM
here's a short shank english hack for little $$$

Dec. 4, 2009, 12:51 PM
Another vote for the English hackamore - I'd tried multiple bits and bitless bridles over the years with my old boy, and kicked myself when I finally got one of these and he went beautifully in it - wish I'd got one years :rolleyes:

If you get a cheaper one, you might want to pad the noseband with sheepskin - did that to mine to make it a bit kinder.

Dec. 4, 2009, 12:53 PM
I suggest the Little S or the English hackamore, as folks have posted. Not a ton of leverage, nice introduction to mech hacks, and both are tolerable if you NEED to ride with a bit of contact for a little while. I'd definitely suggest a curb strap instead of a curb chain, though.

Dec. 4, 2009, 06:38 PM
You may also want to look at a "side pull" bridle. It is a bitless option that works with pressure on the bridge of the nose. I ride a big Hannovarian in lessons in one and have also hacked in it and feel it provides just as much control as a bit even through spooks.

Dec. 8, 2009, 09:35 AM
i used it on my arabian mare to control her but she get used of it.

Dec. 8, 2009, 12:22 PM
Here's my favorite hackamore:
These were made in England from cast aluminum, shipped to an endurance vendor in USA who sold groups to other tack vendors. I added the hooks for an english curb chain after I found that a curb strap was actually more inclined to rub the chin of a mare who pulled. A nice wide well made english curb chain has smoother edges than the straps!

Bonnie S.

Dec. 8, 2009, 07:17 PM
I too use a hackamore on my lil Arab mare. I got a "Jim Warner" style from Country Supply.
and use a synthetic bridle and reins. I love the easy cleanup and maintenance. I also put a fuzzy cover on the rope nose.

Dec. 9, 2009, 09:40 AM
I also use an English hack on my 1/2 arab mare. She can be a little hot sometimes but goes great in it. I have use it for years with her. Even at a gallop with a big group of horses, I can bring her back to a walk and let the others gallop on, if I wish.

Dec. 11, 2009, 10:56 PM
I changed from a bit to the little "S" hack...he stopped pulling and is incredibly responsive and happy....got mine @ runningbear.com

Dec. 12, 2009, 01:47 AM
a lot of arabian horses don't response to hackamore.

Dec. 20, 2009, 04:41 PM
a lot of arabian horses don't response to hackamore.

In about 20 yrs, I've never seen ANY horse not respond to a hackamore. To an uneducated rider...yes
To a hack/ I've not seen it.

Doesn't mean it won't happen, just that a hack CAN be harsh or gentle, and an Arab cannot be man handled. they resent it, and will respond to an even, quiet, and consistent hand. We've had several, and some were said to be too jumpy/spooky/crazy....ALL responded to a hack, and I've ridden every one calmly and smoothly, on trails, in competition, and in trials.

Our Quarter horses, and our big ole draft/cross all ride in hacks or bosals.
I'm lazy and don't like to fool with a bit for this, and a bit for that, and really don't go for all the "bling" crud I see.

I'm also VERY consistent with my training and discipline. Calm, consistent, and caring, works with every horse I've known and worked.

Dec. 22, 2009, 11:15 AM
I have used an S hack with very good success. It is an interesting bit. It is kinda like a snaffle, kinda like a hack. You can isolate the shoulder and turn like a snaffle, and you can also neck rein. It can also have a bit of nose pressure, and a bit of under the chin pressure.

You can get them from JeffersEquine.com

I have a piece of real sheep skin on the braided nose bands. I attach it with dental floss, yes really. But I do that with my braided nose band on my Sliester hackamore too. Which I have used lots too, more than the S hack.

I have used both bits on quiet trails ride to LOTS of competition 50 milers, and all the training to complete the 50 milers.

I have used a side pull with NOT very good success at all. Heck, if you pay for shipping (in advance) I would send it to you for free (or anybody for that matter). It has been barely used. Got it from Jeffers. Excellent condition.

PM me if you are interested.

Dec. 23, 2009, 03:05 PM
I can see that Jeffers carries both Little S hackamores and Little S Arabian hackamores. What is the difference?

Dec. 23, 2009, 04:43 PM
Mostly just size. Arabian are a bit shorter/narroer nose and less shank


Golden Pony
Dec. 23, 2009, 09:05 PM
OK - so the million dollar question is : How do you use a hackamore? I really am interested in transitioning. Have always ridden all my horses in a simple snaffle (from full cheek to oval, depending on what they needed). What do I need to know about how to go from using a snaffle to using a hackamore?

Golden Pony
Dec. 23, 2009, 09:07 PM
PS - I did use a Dr. Cook's bitless bridle a few years ago and stopped using it because I felt i was constantly fighting to keep the sidepulls even and loose enough when not cueing.

Dec. 30, 2009, 04:50 PM
I guess the difference between using a snaffle and using a hack, is that you you just bump softly and you don't have to "saw" back and forth to get attention. It seems that as soon as I pick up the rein, the weight of the rein gets her attention and she knows that a command or request is coming. You don't use constant pressure on the reins. They must be fairly loose and even.

In my case, only a VERY light hand is needed, and I really do use my legs more than hands.

( I do ride an Arabian mare, so she really does like the cues to be subtle and lite.) :winkgrin:
She is also trained to neck rein, so a lot of it is just lay the rein on her neck and press with my lower leg.

That said, you have a LOT of stopping power, and few horses will run through the hack, nor can one get the "bit in their teeth" so to speak, and pull against it.

Steve in So. Calif.

Painted Horse
Dec. 31, 2009, 09:38 AM
Just put it on and go for a ride. I'd tend to keep the horse in a more controlled enviroment for the first ride until you see how he responds. Meaning most horses do just fine at the walk/trot. You just want to get the horse used to it before you let him get spooked of something and become a run away. I don't like expermenting with horses that are in high excitement mode.

I find if the horse gets a little strong and having trouble getting my Whoa, I just saw the reins a little and he'll wake up and know what I want.

The transition is not a big deal.

Dec. 31, 2009, 09:45 AM
Make sure the hackamore is in good shape. My daughter was riding her Appy in a bosal when the bottom of it came off and she was left with a neck rope along a river at the bottom of a canyon. A few exciting moments, even though Spot was 28 at the time!:lol: