Hi guys! I'm pretty new to the forums here, and just wanted to see how many English riders out there ride with hackamores! I've ridden in a hackamore almost the whole time I've been riding, which is around 10 years or so. I started out Western, then turned to English to be a more well rounded rider. I found that I got A LOT of criticism for riding English in a hackamore, and I'm wondering if anyone else has any ideas as to why they would oppose hackamores so much? Do you ride in a hackamore or a bit? Which do you prefer? And why?
I used one on my horse for a while, he learned to curl and run through it (or should I say, I didn't learn how to ride him up and out in it while slowing him down) so changed out of it into a bit. My other horses have gone well in bits (and I showed hunters for many years and hacks aren't "allowed" in hunters).
My preference depends on the discipline (fine for jumpers not hunters) and what the horse prefers and goes well in.
Old video of me and my horse doing the little 1.10's when he was a greenie. Shows some nice moments in the hack and you can start seeing the moments where he wants to get low and curled (and me getting jumped out of the tack) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhvv5...6A6CQ&index=52
I ride my gelding in a kombi hackamore and I will never ever ride him in anything else! I had him for 6 years before we thought to try a hackamore as he would get dull to anything and would end up having issues with a bit after a few months and we'd have to try something else. He's been in the hackamore for 2 years now and he is so much more relaxed and happy. Works for us!
My pony goes around happily in one the majority of the time. But also being a pony and a mare she sometimes needs a reality check so I'll switch her back to a bit. She's currently in a loose ring happy mouth until ice stops falling from the roof of the indoor.
I use a combination hackamore (I have a couple different ones). I tried to use a plain hackamore for a little while but found that I didn't have enough braking power. I still hack with that occasionally and I use it when I go out for walks, but otherwise I use the combination ones.
There's a girl at our barn who switched to a hackamore because her horse had a slow healing wound at the corner of his mouth and wearing a bit was intolerable. The wound healed but he liked the hackamore so much she never went back to a bit. She and the trainer Macgyvered the hackamore onto an Irish bridle so it looks a little unconventional but the horse goes really well this way. They show in the jumpers.
Recently, a new horse came into my barn and I was the person who got to hack and jump him around a bit. Very easy going on the flat, but once it came to jumping, he would grab the bit, pull down as hard as he could, and haul! Apparently, he'd been used in a lesson program and probably had his mouth yanked on a lot. We had him in a French link, (which most horses seem to go fine in), but my trainer decided to switch him to a hackamore to see what would happen. Once the hackamore was on, I hacked him around for a minute then jumped him over the same course and the difference was amazing! No pulling and diving, just a pleasant horse that was happy to lope along to the next jump.
My friend's mare also goes really well in a hackamore. I guess some horses just like it. It also seems like some sale horses that come into our barn with a history of having their mouths pulled on, tend to enjoy being ridden in a hackamore.