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What hackamore to buy?

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  • What hackamore to buy?

    I'm thinking about trying a hackamore on my RID mare for jumping. One of my trainers had mentioned it in the past, and I hopped on her the other day in a halter and leadrope and found her shockingly responsive. Cross country she gets quite strong, and will grab and toss with a bit - I've run her through novice in a loose ring french link, but at the end of the season last year we were playing with an eggbutt gag/running martingale combo and it was a MUCH easier ride. I think she might prefer a hackamore to that much bit, though, and if she goes nicely without the bit then we can both be happy.

    Question is: she's got a sizable head, what hackamore will fit her? She's only 15.2 but goes in a 6 inch bit, and her jumping bridle is a Devoucoux in size 3 - and the noseband is on one of the biggest holes (but the cheekpieces are pretty much too long). So her face is short but wide. I was looking at this one: http://www.smartpakequine.com/Produc...ctclassid=4412 , but one of the reviews says it runs small and they had trouble getting it on their draft cross. Not sure she needs the curb chain either (and I'd rather start mild and work my way up). And I hate the idea of fleece you can't remove - I'd rather something easier to clean. So I'm wondering if this: http://www.smartpakequine.com/Produc...ctclassid=7096 is a better choice - but the price is a bit off-putting for a piece of equipment that may not even work on her. And no, unfortunately I don't know anyone that has one I can try. Anyone own either (or both) that can give me an idea of the fit?

  • #2
    I have the cheaper one, though I did not buy it through Smart Pak. I have used it on a ton of horses and it has been fine. I also use a rolled leather curb strap for the more sensitive horses and a chain for the tougher ones. If you find you like it, and it is a bit too small on the nose, take it to a good shoe repair guy and he can make you a new nose piece that is larger. You really only need the hardware to make it work. You could even have them make the fleece removable. But really it is a very cheap investment to try, and then not bad to customize it. It would run maybe $20 here to make a new leather piece that is larger.
    Good luck.


    • #3
      If you don't like the chain, you can always get a rubber sleeve for it. http://www.applesaddlery.com/riding/...p16518016.html

      otherwise I have nothing to say.. I have never used a hackamore.


      • #4
        If you are just trying it, might as well go with the cheaper one.
        I bought that one ages ago, and it was fine, though I too replaced the chain, and even then my horse was happier in this one because it slid around less:

        With my horse, he was strong but fussy jumping, loved the hackamore to hack out but got too strong in it over fences, so for a while I rode with a bit and the hackamore above (1 set of reins on each--so I could use either/both), then ended up with a Myler combo bit.

        I think you really have to play around and see if they are going to go quietly in the hackamore or take advantage.