View Full Version : Hackamores
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:05 PM
Jumpers, tell me about your hackamores. I'm currently reschooling a horse who has a lot of anxiety about his mouth, and I'm wondering if taking the bit out of the equation wouldn't help tremendously. I've been trying him in just a halter to see how he responds, and so far it has been working wonders.
So, what kind of hackamore do you use, what classes do you compete in, and why did you decide to try it?
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:09 PM
When dinosaurs roamed the earth I used a hackamore on my sensitive guy and it worked very well. For a time. Then he figured out that if he rolkured himself he could get under it and there was nothing I could do until he felt like listening. I never competed in it - just schooling at home. We went back to a big fat rubber D ring and he was very happy. I do think he benefited from the break though.
Apr. 26, 2010, 08:24 PM
My daughter had/has a little TB mare who was uber-sensitive and hot-hot-hot! She liked to invert and run to the jumps. She needed the kid to hold her face or she jumped flat, but she really avoided a harsh bit and to make things worse, she liked to pull.
Started off in a thin D snaffle then switched to a Kineton noseband, then she went okay in a rubber gag, then a happy mouth mullen three ring gag. She had varying degrees of success for a while with each of those bits. Finally, when she had run through those, I got a "beetle" hackamore for her to try. I also bought a Mikmar combo bit in case the hack didn't work.
The beetle hackamore seems to be a fairly common western hack. It it has short shanks and comes with a rope nose that was really too harsh for our gal. I covered it with a sheepskin halter fuzzy. The kid tried her in a leather chin strap, but ultimately needed a chain.
I think the hackamore was what that mare needed. The kid could hold her face just enough for the mare to feel comfortable and it gave the kid more 'whoa' than any of the other bits we tried. I think they topped out at 3'3" jumpers before the kid had a growth spurt and the mare had an injury.
Apr. 26, 2010, 11:43 PM
Give it a shot! I rode my jumper in a Sprenger long shank hack for months until he, like LCW's guy, figured out that rollkeuring himself was a way to evade it.
Now he's sorted himself enough that I can ride in a Sprenger Ultra KK- a super mild copper mouth loose ring. But at the time the hackamore was a good way to get around his bit anxiety. If he hadn't discovered that I had no upward leverage in it, we'd still be using it.
Apr. 26, 2010, 11:59 PM
My TB mare really hated most any bit when you had to take contact. The one that she will tolerate somewhat is a Happy Mouth Mullen mouth. I use the Herm Sprenger on her when we need to use our good bridle and have a similar hackamore that has the fleece on the inside of the nose band for our schooling bridle. We don't really show any more, but I take my riding lessons( with some low level jumping) and clinic using the hackamore as well as trail ride and foxhunt/hunter pace and dabble in dressage. My mare has not had a bit in her mouth for about 4.5 years. She is happy, doesn't get irritated if you need to take a "feel". Here is a pic of her in the Sprenger hack.
A pic of my friend riding her thru a gymnastic/pole exercise
Here is a picture of her at a clinic we took in February
Apr. 27, 2010, 11:49 PM
Mare with difficult mouth and temper,would get behind the bit. Tried a hackmore for a few months (just for showing) and schooled her in a mild bit (silicone/happy mouth). Then I combined the hackmore with a normal bit for shows. Ended up with a two ring pessoa. Showed in the 4'3"-4'6" divisions. Hackmores are ok for complicated mouths but only for a while since there is only so much you can do with a horse by just holding his nose...You kind of point and shoot with a hackmore... not much schooling or, of course, collecting in one. Try jumping at home with it first and then combine it with a mild bit (Shutterfly had something like that) It looks like a severe contraption, but actually it's not.
Here's a video of her: