Hackamore ?

Mazpup

Horseless
Sep 1, 2001
1,925
0
0
London
www.expage.com
Do hackamores work in getting the horse to carry himself properly (ie. on the bit - without a bit), and higher levels of dressage? I know that many advanced horses may do this easily without a bit but can any horse be taught dressage in a hackamore?
 

tasha

i'd rather be riding.
Jul 10, 2001
4,088
0
36
Petersfield, Hants., UK
I would assume so, Mazpup, as the horse's head position is supposedly only 'on the bit' because he is stretching through his topline from use of the legs. But as so many people think yanking the mouth to cause the head to lower is the correct way to do it, I suppose it depends on who is training the horse!!
 

Showjumper

Ex Member
Dec 30, 2000
11,551
0
0
do the organisers give their resoning about why they dont alow the bitless.
This is a direct quote from the last organisation I approached and asked, "A horse that wants to get placed should happily accept a simple snaffle or double bridle. Riding in a bitless suggests the horse has problems with it's mouth, in which case it shouldn't be shown."

can any horse be taught dressage in a hackamore?
Of course - you just have to teach it to use it's back end (ie work properly) instead of yanking it's neck in with a bit.
 

Mazpup

Horseless
Sep 1, 2001
1,925
0
0
London
www.expage.com
Was just wondering, as to get a horse 'on the bit' the bit is often used to encourage the horse to relax his jaw, allowing him to round his neck. Of course, all this has to be accompanied by all teh other work through the horses hindquarters and back.
 

CityGirl

NR Addict!
Aug 27, 2002
2,185
0
0
45
New York City
Visit site
Acutually have to disagree a bit about the dressage & hackamore. By the time you're getting to high levels of dressge, you're asking for such fine-tuned commands, that a hackamore probably wouldn't provide the level of responsiveness necesary to achieve those commands
 

Jay.o

New Member
Aug 15, 2002
5,494
0
0
Berkshire
Visit site
why should a horse accept the bit easily. ??? grrr. you have never had a bit in dollys mouth so its not that she has a problem with the bit just personal training methods. (which i want to do now lol)

grrr. these rules. i dont like the one about colour of jods either. how is a blue pair going to make you ride worse than a beige pair ???? grrr. showing rules. lol
 

Showjumper

Ex Member
Dec 30, 2000
11,551
0
0
you have never had a bit in dollys mouth so its not that she has a problem with the bit just personal training methods
That's what I tried to get across and I was told that I was doing it all wrong :rolleyes: The BHS are so wonderfully useless and unhelpful
 

Esther.D

Moderator
Jan 3, 2003
8,576
0
36
42
Shetland!
maenoferren.mysite.freeserve.com
Who thinks up all these rules? I can't compete my shetlands nationally (rules may have changed now, this was a couple of years ago) because they are 'too small'. But yet I had won enough local events to qualify for nationals so surely if I can qualify with little ones then I can at least have a stab at the nationals. The daft thing is that there is no rule stopping them competing internationally...its just no-one in the UK can qualify to go international with them as they can't enter the nationals....:rolleyes:

Sorry just an off-topic private rant :D

I think they are secretly scared - a shetland pair from the Netherlands won the international pony pairs (or was it teams?) a couple of years ago :D

Good Luck with getting around the rules;)
 

Showjumper

Ex Member
Dec 30, 2000
11,551
0
0
I intend to keep starting petitions, sending letters, turning up at shows in the bitless, and generally insisting on not putting a bit in her mouth...hehehe should be fun! :D
 

Jay.o

New Member
Aug 15, 2002
5,494
0
0
Berkshire
Visit site
ooh, be revelious ! lol
im sure the competitors wouldnt have a problem with someone in the class going bitless but just the judges. why should we stick to old fashioned rules and the same methods of training ??? times have changed and so should the training. nothing against bits at all but people shoudl be open minded !

dad still hard to convince but ordering one today hopefully ! lol

esther - so they arent too small for international but they are for national. and you cant compete international until you do national ?? i would love to meet the people that amke up these rules !
 

Waikato Valuta

New Member
Aug 8, 2002
2,762
0
0
Australia
www.dreamwriters.org
jUmPingIsLifE a pony i ride sometimes has a hackamore just like that.

I have tryed it on my horse and he hates it. The slightest pressure had him sliding to a stop and tosing his head around. He keept trying to turn in the oposite direction. He got a little better but I gave up and went back to the snaffle.
 

doris

New Member
Dec 18, 2001
1,316
0
0
essex
www.jen-helpinghorses.co.uk
The red hackamore certainly does look extremely severe, and I've never seen such long shanks. The noseband is definitely fitted way too low. I don't think this particular bridle is kinder on the horse. Sorry, don't wish to offend anyone, but that's my opinion, and I certainly wouldn't put it on any horse of mine.
 

shaka

New Member
Jul 22, 2003
5,339
0
0
30
Manchester
www.amyderber.com
I think the red hackamore is a german hackamore. They are actually not the most severe type of hackamore on the market. While they are strong, severe is quite a strong word to use. Hackamores can interfere with and restrict the horses breathing and airways if used incorrectly. An argument is that are the aids more or less clear in a hackamore? I personally think it is something the horse will choose to tell you. Charlie used to be ridden by me in a hackamore because he hates the bit, and responds so much better in it (I have stopped using it however as I'd like him responding to a bit for showjumping and dressage). Some horses respond better to the more 'direct' action of the bit. The hackamore puts pressure on the poll and squeezes on the nose and chin groove (English, german etc) However, as Mysy is only young, I would suggest a much more mild type of bitless bridle known as the scawbrig. It doesnt have poll pressure and is quite mild. It's almost like a side pull, which is also a very good bitless bridle for a young horse. The cross under can be good for youngsters as well as they push the horse rather then pull.

I would have to agree that Dusty's noseband is very low and will interfere with his breathing a lot more and make it stronger
 
Last edited:

Lgd

Active Member
Jan 14, 2002
4,848
5
38
54
Sunderland, UK
Visit site
Hackamores are no use for any decent level of dressage. Because of how they work they effectively pull the horse's head down however carefully you use your hands - this makes it difficult to create true connection. They are also relatively ineffective for lateral work.

I have ridden in bitless bridles and have mainly used them when horses are mouthy due to teething.

I do worry that people think bitless bridles are milder - the nose is far more sensitive than the mouth, even a correctly fitted bitless bridle will exert pressure on the nerve bundles in the nose, and permanent nerve damage is not unheard of. In the right hands they can be useful, but in my experience few people have the knowledge to use one correctly. I remember when Eddie Macken appeared with one on Boomerang (a lot of years ago) and lo and behold 90% of the riders a local SJ classes suddenly turned up in them. (The current fashion item is a Dutch gag :rolleyes: )
 

Waikato Valuta

New Member
Aug 8, 2002
2,762
0
0
Australia
www.dreamwriters.org
I dont think the nose is more sensitive than the mouth. It has a hair covering wheras the mouth is a very sensitive organ with no cover.

I imagine that a harsh bitless is less severe than a mild bit, but the nose is not nearly as sensitive as the horses mouth. some bitless bridles dont even put presure on the nose.
 

Lgd

Active Member
Jan 14, 2002
4,848
5
38
54
Sunderland, UK
Visit site
There is actually a major nerve bundle in the nose, this is why it is so sensitive - the amount of hair is no protection as there is little flesh between the skin, nerve and bone. The mouth is surprisingly poorly supplied with nerves in comparison - just think of their ability to eat thistles etc.
 

chev

Moderator
May 7, 2002
10,844
1,171
113
right here, right now
I don't do dressage at all so couldn't comment on a hackamore's suitability for advanced dressage - I will bow down to Lgd's superior knowledge there!

However, it is certainly true that a hackamore can be extremely severe - it can put tremendous pressure on the nose and also the poll. Please don't think it's like riding in a headcollar or halter. All bitless bridles of the hackamore family are designed to use pressure on the nose and poll.

My stallion was (and still is) ridden in a hackamore following an accident out on loan that left him with a near phobic reaction to bits. It's important to have an understanding of how a hackamore works before you just put one on, so I'd recommend at least one lesson for horse and rider to get used to the idea. Also bear in mind that while some horses love them and go really well in them, it's not the case that every horse does - just as some horses like snaffles and others like curbs.

A hackamore is capable of exerting a huge amount of leverage on a horse's face. Never underestimate the sensitivity of the horse's reaction to it. Think of a pressure halter, and how effective they are - and then think on to the fact that a hackamore is stronger still.

Any horse in a hackamore should still be ridden "on the bit" - you don't really need a bit for this to happen! It simply means that the horse is carrying himself correctly, engaging his quarters and working in the correct outline. My stallion even worked with a wet mouth whilst wearing his hackamore.

A hackamore must also be fitted correctly - if not, then it will interfere with the horse's breathing and can cause immense discomfort.

If you go ahead with a hackamore for Mysy, get your instructor to fit it with you and have a couple of lessons to show you how to ride with it. It's important to understand its action, as with any piece of tack.

Hope it goes well! :)
 

Waikato Valuta

New Member
Aug 8, 2002
2,762
0
0
Australia
www.dreamwriters.org
ok sorry I will have to adgree. I guess I have always had it drumed into me that the horses mouth is the most sensitive part of the horse. Even parelli says that. where are the nerve endings and can the hackamore be placed to advoid them.