When it comes to riding a horse, utilizing a bit is typical fare. But a little is no the only method to send message to your horse through the reins. West riders have been using hackamores—a kind of bitless bridles—for many years.

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Although bits are most typically used in the assorted western disciplines, hackamores have the right to be a great choice because that a long trail ride, once you want your steed to be able to eat and drink there is no a little bit in his mouth. In general, some equines just go far better in hackamores too, like to it is in ridden there is no a bit.

Two kinds of simple hackamores are accessible on the market: the bosal and the mechanical.



Bosal Hackamore

Although this hackamore is typically referred to merely as a “bosal,” it is technically just the nosepiece that goes by that name. The bosal nosepiece is commonly made from braided rawhide, and has a teardrop shape. A big knot at the bottom that the bosal go under the horse’s chin and attaches to the reins. A mecate rope is also often attached to the bosal, and is commonly made that horsehair. The mecate is different from the reins, and can be provided as a lead rope.

A bosal, once properly fitted, works by putting pressure in the horse’s nose and also jaw when the reins space used. As soon as the reins space not engaged, the bosal rests in a neutral position.

California vaqueros very first used bosals earlier in the 1800s when working cattle on horseback. This hackamore is still provided by riders that train in the old vaquero style, and also many west riders who choose the feel of speak in a bosal. Part western competitive events also feature bosals.

Mechanical Hackamore

The mechanically hackamore earn its surname because, uneven the bosal, it provides a metal, mechanically nosepiece. Mechanically hackamores come in various styles, with every little thing from level leather to spanned bicycle chains because that nosebands. This hackmores likewise feature metal shanks that work-related to save the horse’s sleep down, in addition to a curb chain under the chin. The shanks deserve to vary in length from short to an extremely long, and have reins attached.


By Olgalady (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Mechanical hackamores work by putting push on the horse’s nose and also jaw when the reins are used. As soon as the reins space relaxed, the mechanically hackamore need to rest on the horse’s confront in a neutral position.

The mechanical hackamore came right into use in the U.S. Amongst western riders back in the 1930s. The is commonly seen on steeds used for trail riding, and also in part western competitions.

Hackamores don’t usage a bit, but that doesn’t do them any type of less major in the dorn hands. If you space going come ride in a hackamore, you should know just how to use it in a way that won’t hurt her horse. A hefty handed rider have the right to do a many of damage to a horse’s nose with a hackamore. Before you move your bit for a hackamore, make sure you know just how to ride through light hands.

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When effectively used, a hackamore can provide a steed plenty of liberty to drink and graze follow me the trail, or to just relax top top a quick trail journey close to home. If you’d prefer to move from a bit to a hackamore, get aid from an skilled horseperson who can help you acquire just the appropriate fit for her horse.