I was wondering if anyone here uses/shows in a hackamore. I really want to know what made you choose a hackamore. WHat was the deciding factors. I would also like to know what height your doing in them. Would love to hear some Grand Prix riders chime in here. Thanks!
I showed my jumper in one for a while. I switched because he got a little sore/cut near where his bit was (he went in a figure-8 and it was near where that sat as well) so I put him in the hackamore.
We were doing the High Childrens/Level 4's at WEF(only used it for a short time until his cut healed). My trainer kept telling me that he wouldn't turn as well which would leave us out of the ribbons- well we won our speed class and the classic that weekend-- so I'm all for the hackamore!
I show my jumper in a hackamore. He is just moving up to the 1.45m... He is really fussy in a bit, the chiropractor explained that the way his teeth are make it a little difficult for his jaw to slide comfortably, which in turn makes it even harder with a bit. He is super about turning off your leg so I've never had any problems with him being more difficult to turn. I do flat him in a bit (which is usually less than pleasant) and will jump him up to about 3'6 in one occasionally but he also doesn't jump as well behind when he has the bit in vs the hackamore...
My husband shows his horse in a hackamore. He has a soft mouth and goes well in a happy mouth bit, too, but he jumps really, really well in the hackamore. Here is a video of him last summer riding him with a hackamore: http://www.youtube.com/futurestreet#p/u/11/cFuUTPGqWC0
Excuse the crappy quality video, but you get the idea of how well he jumps!
"A good horse and a good rider are only so in mutual trust."
I used to show my mare in a hackamore before I was able to get her to accept a bit. We showed in the 1.10m with it, if I remember correctly. My coach also used the same hackamore on one of his grand prix horses. It made the horse very responsive but in the end he ended up being too sensitive to it and wouldn't jump across oxers.
that just went best in the hackamore to show. We did everything bitting wise.
This mare was tiny 15h, and did the ch/aa many years ago. I ended up making one that did the job best, I used a shorter shanked mechanical hackamore that was over 2 inches wide and put a small chain along the inside of the noseband (think abrasive noseband) , then wrapped it with gauze, and white vetwrap to prevent the chain from being directly against the sensitive part of her nose, and create cushion. It was useful, not unattractive and worked.
The mare was compact, short back, short neck, and would get unbelievabley strong to the jumps in any bit, but was super handy. The hackmore made it so that the rounds were not a pulling match. We just operated on steady pressure, leg aids and followed through with an automatic release. It was a fun mare.
I had a rider who rode every one of his horses in a hackamore at least once. Sometimes we just wanted to see if it made the horses happier, and sometimes it did. These horses were doing everything from 1.10m to the GPs. The horses it worked out well with (none of them went poorly in it, but some were more rideable with the bit) were ones that just really preferred to be left alone before the jump. I know one horse who will jump clean in a hackamore over 1.50m+ but put a bit in his mouth and he's having rails at 1.35m. But it only seems to effect him in the ring.
I'd rather be riding!
I believe Kent Farrington rides Up Chiqui in a hackamore... I could be wrong, but I think I have a close up picture of the 2 of them at Old Salem a few years back with a hackamore.
My horse goes in a mechanical hackamore.. she loves the hackamore and jumps wonderfully in it, but it doesn't give me enough brakes, haha! Her mechanical one is not particularly strong, but gives me just enough that I can collect her when I need to.
Up Chiqui is ridden in a hackamore - saw them in Las Vegas and that was the first thing that I noticed. My daughter has a mare that goes in a mechanical hackamore. She does the Modified Juniors on her and the reason the mare is in a hackamore is because she is especially mouth sensitive. We tried different bits on her and none seemed to make her happy. She likes the mechanical hackamore and it gives my daughter that woah she needs for this mare without having to get strong with her.
I'm currently riding a World Cup horse in a hackamore, but that is due to a mouth injury. I find that she is much lighter in the hackamore, however it is difficult to adjust the frame without a bit and contact directly with the mouth. This is just my experience, being able to see ride the same mare, both in a regular snaffle and a hackamore.
I ride my horse in a hackamore, and I feel, as does my trainer, that he goes very well in it. But I have received a lot of criticism for using it! I really don't feel the criticism is merited, but a hackamore can be pretty strong. It has to be a rider that is very aware of that.
I ride my guy in a hack. He came off the track with such a hard mouth, that every bit I tried would work for the first ride or two, then as soon as a course is in front of him it was a huge battle for the bakes. I thought I would always have to ride him in harsh bits, until one day I thought to myself " I can ride him all around in his halter with no brake issues, why not try a hackamore". It was wonderful, I have noticed a lot of OTTBs go well in a hack while their mouth re-adjust to not having to fight the bit. I can now flat him in a snaffle, but occasionally throw the hack back on when he gets to be strong jumping (especially xc).
A lot of 3 day eventers use hackamores on the third day for show jumping because by then the horse's mouths can be pretty sore. So I might consider using one if your horse is prone to getting bit rubs, esp. if you were going to be at a show doing a lot of riding for a long weekend.
So maybe its something worth trying, as other posters have said some horses really like them and some don't like it as much or aren't as responsive. Good luck!
Blackberry farm - you must not be a h/j rider. We mean mechanical hackamore when we say hackamore. For us it is thought of as another bitting option. It is only western or nh people who use the term for a side-pull or bosal. If you are a nh rider, I suspect you were baiting . . .
If you do a google search for "English Hackamore" the kind of hackamore we use on my daughters mare will come up. It is a short shank and yes we did customize it for her. We took the basic hackamore and built a bridle around it. I got a customized brow band, used part of an Edgewood bridle, went to the local western shop and had a piece attached that goes around midway up to keep the hackamore from shifting while the mare is being ridden - also the mare is smart and figured out a way to take the whole thing off if she shook her head just right so the new piece I had made keeps her from being able to do this.