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  • Hackamores?

    The gelding I just got will go in a bit or hackamore. I tried him in a bit and hackamore, and he plays incessantly with the bit when I use a bit in his mouth, but is quiet for the hackamore. But it seemed like there was no steering whatsoever with the hackamore. I will be using the bit for schooling in the ring most likely, but wouldn't mind getting a hackamore for trails if there is one that offers better steering.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    The first place to start is: What kind of hackamore are you using?

    I have plenty of stearing with my english mechanical hackamore, as well as enough whoa.... and this is on my 17.3 Percheron.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    • #3
      I use the Little S Hack and really like it. I've seen a lot of endurance horses in them. That one might be worth a try.


      • #4
        My gelding is the same way, but he throws his head all over the place with a bit. He's happy as a clam in the Herm Sprenger short shank hack from Dover. But for bending and turning, I do find I need to cross my hand just slightly past the wither to get a good response.


        • #5
          I've used both "Little S" and an "English" Hackamore. I and the horses are happier with the English hackamore. It's designed in such a way that the curb chain will sit lower than the chain on a little S. It hangs down where a curb chain of a pelham or kimberwicke bit sits. This appears to be a better position for the curb chain then the higher placement that many types of hackamore have. Less chance of rubbing holes in your horse's chin and my horses accept the curb chain pressure better and give to it nicely. I also found that putting a nice english bit type of curb chain onto the hackamore works best. As opposed to a western curb chanin or the awful chains that come on the Little S hackamore. The nicer english style curb chain is wide and flat if attached correctly.

          I find that I can steer and bend my horse laterally with this short shanked hackamore. Unfortunately, most of those sold are cheaply constructed, just chromed metal, with cheap nosebands. I located a good quality aluminum shanked hackamore from http://www.american-flex.com/headstalls.htm. You'll see the set up with the nicer chain.



          • #6
            What about Dr.Cook's hackamore? http://www.bitlessbridle.org/

            Or, what hackamore can I use for my Arab mare with a large bump on the right side just above her mouth line? I do not see how I can use "regular" hackamore without touching the bump. I do not like using rope halter to ride her because she'd push all the time and would not flex. I miss riding with very light hands.
            Will get a dream horse!
            More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for the replies! I don't really know much about hackamores, but I looked it up and the one he had been ridden in was a longer shanked, western type hackamore (with the braided leather noseband). An "english" hackamore would provide better steering, then? I don't need it for stop or anything, he is FAR from being a runaway, but he just flops his tongue all over the place with a bit.

              He is very respectful of a bit (plain smooth snaffle), and will flex at the poll and everything when out on the trails, has plenty of woah, but his tongue is just all over the place, and I don't want to flash-band his mouth shut when we are on a 3+ hour ride because he gets his tongue over the bit. I noticed when I used the hackamore his mouth was nice and quiet, so if I can find one I can direct rein with and have decent steering, I would love to get it.

              Thanks again for all the help!


              • #8
                I totally sympathize with you about needing to find a hackamore. My QH used to be like yours until we started using rope halter. He is now very quiet and easy to work with. No sloppering around - no froth. I no longer feel his mouth working which is blissful.
                Will get a dream horse!
                More riding, swimming, and rowing, less posting


                • #9
                  I think for many horses the english hackamore does have a lot more steering than the long-shanked western ones. I haven't used one of those (western) for years, but I remember having a lot of trouble steering some horses who went fine in bits/other hacks. I haven't had any trouble like that with my english one.

                  I think a lot of it is experimentation...the different hacks all have pros and cons, and it's just about finding which one your horse prefers. You can pick up a cheap english one for about $25 at a lot of tack shops--it's not something I'd use long term because it is pretty poor quality, but it will work well enough to try out without spending a ton of cash.

                  Chicamuxen, thanks for that link. That site has some nice things on it!
                  exploring the relationship between horse and human


                  • #10
                    My mare goes in the bigger western mech hack, much to my chagrin! She's been in quite a few of the smaller hackamores, and even a sidepull and a bosal, and she made it QUITE CLEAR she preferred the hackamore with the big shanks! I think it has something to do with the shanks hang off her face with the western one, whereas the shorter shanked hacks are more directly on the side of her face, which she doesn't like. She feels the shanks brush against the sides of her face, then gets irritated and tries to bite them!

                    I'm still playing with the idea of trying an english hack on her again as she was calmer in that than the really nice Jim Warner hack I had, but for now we'll stick to the "big hack". But for your horse, I'd definitely try the english hackamore first.
                    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                    • #11
                      Indian Hackamores

                      Oh, nearly forgot, I bought a rope hackamore off ebay that is pretty cool, similar to the cooks bitless bridles as they cross under the chin but lower. You buy them as just the hackamore piece, made from rop, and hang it from any bridle. here is a link to something similar: http://www.horsearoundtack.com/LOOK.html It may work for the mare with the bum by hanging it below the bump or above it. My horse thought it was cool but he's a little too forward to use it when riding in company.



                      • #12
                        Originally posted by chicamuxen1 View Post
                        I went and looked at this site and their saddles are interesting. Any experience with them?
                        Bits and Barter Board


                        • #13

                          Here is the english hackamore and a mechanical hackamore. Rather than trying to 'steer' him, do you know if he neck reins?

                          The Galloping Grape
                          Warrenton, VA


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GallopingGrape View Post
                            Here is the english hackamore and a mechanical hackamore. Rather than trying to 'steer' him, do you know if he neck reins?

                            To be exact, they're BOTH mechanical hackamores.
                            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


                            • #15
                              I really like this one: http://www.sportack.com/cms/index.cf...1/96932/96518/

                              I do put a "fluffy" on the noseband though. For more sensitive horses, I also put a fluffy on the chain
                              Making Your Ambitions a Reality at Secret Ambition Stables.
                              Quality Welsh Ponies and Welsh Crosses bred for sport
                              Facebook Page.
                              Section A and Section B Welsh Ponies at stud


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by GallopingGrape View Post
                                Here is the english hackamore and a mechanical hackamore. Rather than trying to 'steer' him, do you know if he neck reins?


                                He does neck rein fairly well, but I prefer to direct rein for the most part. If I need to make a decent turn, a neck rein doesn't seem to do it for him. When I am doing a course or coming up to an obstacle, I need to direct rein him.

                                What is the biggest difference in the "s" hackamore and the english hackamore, other than that they have a different "look"? They seem like they would function similarly.


                                • #17
                                  What is the biggest difference in the "s" hackamore and the english hackamore, other than that they have a different "look"? They seem like they would function similarly.

                                  I thought I explained that in my first post. The chain on an "english" hackamore will hang further down on the horses chin. IMO, a chain or chinstrap should be down low, just above the chin in the soft groove. I also like the adjustability of the nosebands on the english hackamore. I DON'T like the narrow chain that comes on the Little S hackamores and the chain sit's too high up the jaw bones, too easy to cause rubs where you just have skin over bone.

                                  the two hackamores are similar but I think the english hackamore is a better design, more adaptable for your horse's needs and I like using neoprene nosebands that are available for this type of hackamore.



                                  • #18
                                    I do not use the chain chin strap on my English hack... it's just a leather strap that's fully adjustable. To me, it works (feel wise) exactly like having a bit in their mouth.
                                    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                                    • #19
                                      I've ridden 8 zillion miles in the Little S and love it. Never had a horse have trouble with the rope nose or the curb chain. It's not 'awful' IMO- it's a reasonable piece of chain. Never ever had a rub, a shafe, a sore. Nothing. And again, zillions of miles in Sweet Home Alabama, home of sweat and heat and humidity. The one thing I can say about the Little S is that the 'slobber bar' cable will fail... salt eats it up and it fails. I replaced mine after they failed with a piece of cord, easy.


                                      • #20
                                        Do I understand correctly: you need direct reining ability, but you don't need a lot of stopping power? It seems like you are looking for a side pull. The ones with leather nosebands instead of rope are gentler, but they're harder to find because people usually request rope for stronger brakes.