Self Carriage With The Hackamore
 By Sylly   •   25th Mar 2010   •   7,091 views   •   2 comments
With a powerful animal like the horse, it seems almost impossible to control them with a piece of leather, but it is. As ineffectual as it may seem it is a excellent form of communication between you and your horse. It is often a alternate for young horses mouths that are tender and constantly changing. It can help develop self carriage that is needed in many equestrian sports. Hackamores can increase sensitivity and performance. Good results require a rider with basic horsemanship skills, a willing horse and understanding of how a hackamore works.

A hackamore is made of three pieces of equipment: the bosal, the hanger and the mecate. The bosal noseband is oval or teardrop shaped. It is made of rawhide, rope, or leather. The hanger is the leather headstall used to hold the bosal in position.A mecate is a single line of rope, made of horsehair or something like it.The mecate is used to adjust the bosal, making it tighter or looser on the horses face. However, a bosal that is to small shouldn't be used. The bosal should fit to where it doesnt flop around on the horses face but doesn't put unessasary pressure either. It should fit like a comfty hat. When the bosal is in the proper position, it will rest on the nasal bump that is just below the midpoint of the eyes and nostrils. The hackamore applies pressure to the sensitive areas around the horse’s nose, the sides of the face and the underside of the jaw by means of a subtle side-to-side rocking motion.

To make the hackamore experience good for your horse, there are rules that need to be followed:

1. Never pull steadily. Remember that no matter how hard you pull, your horse can pull harder. In the end, you will lose the battle.
2. Never use equal pressure on both reins simultaneously. Since the reins are joined together, using them evenly puts the bosal against the horse’s face. Consequently, the horse will lock up against the bosal. Use the reins independently so that your horse will be light in your hands.
3. When your horse responds correctly to the hackamore, reward him by releasing pressure.

Introduce your horse to the hackamore in stages, first getting him accustomed to it on the ground. Tie the mecate reins and lead to the saddle. Then turn your horse loose in a round pen, and ask him to walk, trot and lope both ways. After a few laps he’ll learn how to steady his head and carry the bosal comfortably—the first step he’ll take to developing self-carriage.

The bosal is a wonderful tool. When used correct it promotes self-carriage and increases sensitivity and responsiveness, qualities that are needed to developing a horse’s athletic ability and helping him reach his full potential.
Horse News More In This Category:  Horse Training      Horse News More From This Author:  Sylly
I like both Bosals and English hackamores! My horse loves them, but they are almost never allowed in shows! IT IS TOO BAD though! Anyways, nice article!
  Mar 25, 2010  •  5,203 views
thanks. they are allowed in western pleasure classes for 3 years olds.
  Mar 26, 2010  •  5,201 views
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