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Thinking of trying a short shank hackamore.

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  • Thinking of trying a short shank hackamore.

    Hi all! I have a 13 year old TB that I trail ride. He is a high strung horse and a strong puller. We rode for a few years in a Kimberwick and it had good stopping power. He then became more and more resistant to being bridled. A vet confirmed he had zero mouth issues upon examination so I thought he was telling me he was ready for a gentler bit. I tried a D-ring double jointed Myler bit and it became a tug of war so I tried a double jointed Kimberwick and covered the chain with padding. He mouths and chews his bit the entire time, turning his head from side to side, it almost seems from stress. I am wondering if he might go better in a Herm Sprenger short shank hackamore. http://www.smartpakequine.com/herm-s...ore-7096p.aspx I have never used a hackamore but realize I want a short shank as a long shank can be quite severe. My question is if any of you have had a strong horse go well in a short shank hackamore? This may sound stupid also but he direct reins, not neck reins. Does it work the same with a hackamore?
    "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

  • #2
    I have a very forward part arab and she goes wonderfuly in her hackamore. She stops much better in it than any bit that I tried. Check around as there are cheaper versions of the one you are looking at to try out, If it works, you can always buy the better one. My mare mostly direct reins with her hack, but will also neck rein

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    • #3
      The Herm Sprenger looks like a pricey version of an English Hackamore. http://www.smartpakequine.com/mobile/product/4412

      I would try the cheaper version and see how that works for you. I wouldn't mind trying one on my guy. I bought a homemade bitless bridle and I won't use it if we are with a group. There's no power steering/brakes with it.

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      • #4
        I'm not a huge fan of the mechanical short shank hackamores. I prefer the "Little S" style http://www.trail-rite.com/catalog/pr...products_id=85

        the mechanical hackamores, like the one you posted, are just REALLY heavy, and even though they're "short" shanks, they're still pretty long.

        They're definitely not designed for direct reining, but I've seen people add a strap to connect the rein loops of the shanks to make them move together, and it seems to help direct rein a bit better. It's possible to direct rein, but neck reining is ideal.

        But I used to use the Little S style hackamore on a gelding I used to trail ride, when he was getting over a headshyness issue. His owner rode him in the mechanical hackamore, and he'd toss his head and buck like the dickens. In the Little S he was happy as a clam with a great stop and go. The one I had had a flat biothane nose strap and curp strap, instead of the rope, so the pressure was evenly dispersed. It was also lime green, haha! I wish I hadn't sold it, my new pony would probably go well in one..
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        • #5
          I'm a big fan of the mechanical hackamore for trail riding. Every OTTB I've owned (many) has gone well in one. Short or long shanks depends on the horse... if you have one who really gets strong, you might *need* the greater leverage of the longer shanks to be effective with braking, or the horse might be more obedient if he feels *less* pressure. Ditto re: choice of chain or leather curb strap. The horse I have right now is very happy in a long-shank, flat leather nose with leather curb strap - he doesn't care about the shank length, but he was absolutely offended by a flat curb chain and would pull harder in protest.

          I don't find steering to be a big issue for anyone except the beginner rider who is still learning to use eyes/body/legs before reins. It's never taken me more than a few minutes to get a horse familiar with direct reining in a hackamore by starting with a very wide opening rein to make the point.
          Patience pays.

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          • #6
            Forgot to add... the HS hackmore the OP linked is nicely made, but the edges of the nose padding are fairly stiff. I can only use that one on a horse with a very wide face so no poking occurs. The cheaper version backed with fleece is the same in terms of function and you can just quickly hose the fleece and recondition the leather to get it really clean.

            This is the type I use most (changing out the plain chain for leather w/chain center, or plain leather: http://www.tackroominc.com/reinsman-...FSEV7AodrxEAOg
            Patience pays.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Ceylon Star View Post
              I'm not a huge fan of the mechanical short shank hackamores. I prefer the "Little S" style http://www.trail-rite.com/catalog/pr...products_id=85

              the mechanical hackamores, like the one you posted, are just REALLY heavy, and even though they're "short" shanks, they're still pretty long.

              They're definitely not designed for direct reining, but I've seen people add a strap to connect the rein loops of the shanks to make them move together, and it seems to help direct rein a bit better. It's possible to direct rein, but neck reining is ideal.

              But I used to use the Little S style hackamore on a gelding I used to trail ride, when he was getting over a headshyness issue. His owner rode him in the mechanical hackamore, and he'd toss his head and buck like the dickens. In the Little S he was happy as a clam with a great stop and go. The one I had had a flat biothane nose strap and curp strap, instead of the rope, so the pressure was evenly dispersed. It was also lime green, haha! I wish I hadn't sold it, my new pony would probably go well in one..
              This looks intriguing! I may give it a try. Thanks for the link.
              "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ceylon Star View Post
                I'm not a huge fan of the mechanical short shank hackamores. I prefer the "Little S" style http://www.trail-rite.com/catalog/pr...products_id=85

                the mechanical hackamores, like the one you posted, are just REALLY heavy, and even though they're "short" shanks, they're still pretty long.

                They're definitely not designed for direct reining, but I've seen people add a strap to connect the rein loops of the shanks to make them move together, and it seems to help direct rein a bit better. It's possible to direct rein, but neck reining is ideal.

                But I used to use the Little S style hackamore on a gelding I used to trail ride, when he was getting over a headshyness issue. His owner rode him in the mechanical hackamore, and he'd toss his head and buck like the dickens. In the Little S he was happy as a clam with a great stop and go. The one I had had a flat biothane nose strap and curp strap, instead of the rope, so the pressure was evenly dispersed. It was also lime green, haha! I wish I hadn't sold it, my new pony would probably go well in one..

                I have the cheap version linked above and it's aluminum, not remotely heavy and the shanks aren't as long as the little S. I love it and I'm hoping I can switch my other horses to hackamores...in addition to my mare loving it for trail, no more cleaning or warming up bits!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hundredacres View Post
                  I have the cheap version linked above and it's aluminum, not remotely heavy and the shanks aren't as long as the little S. I love it and I'm hoping I can switch my other horses to hackamores...in addition to my mare loving it for trail, no more cleaning or warming up bits!


                  If you want another option, call Silvers Equestrian or get on her web. She sell to endurance riders and sell Myler combo bits. These work of the nose like a hack but also have poll pressure and you don't even go to the bit unless you need it. get one with tongue relief (also called a port). Ports are more gentle than jointed snaffled by a long shot.

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                  • #10
                    I'd give it a shot. I just use a plain sidepull (it basically a glorified halter) on my Arab, but I've found most horses enjoy a bitless option.

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                    • #11
                      Yes, try an S hack. You can isolate the shoulder like you can with a snaffle, but it has no bit. Not a huge amount of whoa power, but it will do ok.

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