Thursday, April 29, 2010

Horse Training - Hackamores and Bosals

This is the second part of a reader question on my outfit and in particularly the Hackamore he saw on one of my horses in an earlier video. That Hackamore is an old Ropers Tie Down with a metal O ring as opposed to a Bosal or Hackamore knot. I am using nylon split reins and a Fiador. It hangs light on my horse and he responds well to it.

I have long been a fan of Hackamores and Bosals, starting my horses in Bosals, moving to a snaffle bit, then a curb bit, then usually full circle back to a Hackamore. Rawhide Hackamore with flat grass reins shown at LEFT. Quarter inch noseband Hackamore with flat nylon reins shown BELOW. Both available from Craig Cameron.

A Bosal is plaited or braided rawhide fashioned into a nose band with an anchor know below the chin of a horse when the bosal is placed on the horse’s nose. A Mecate (sometimes called a McCarthy due to Gringo mispronunciation of Spanish) is a long rope usually made out of horse hair, but sometimes braided nylon rope, that is about 22 feet long and tied to the Bosal just above the anchor knot in a manner that provides for a one piece roper reins, and allows a tail of abut 7 feet to use as a get down for leading the horse on the ground or tying to a tie rail.

A Hackamore is very similar to a Bosal with the nose piece being made out of nylon rope, a leather band, or a rawhide covered rope. The Hackamore can use a Mecate rope for reins or braided nylon split reins. These split reins can be made of rounded or flat rope, flat nylon or even grass. Bosal with Hanger (headstall) and Fiador shown at LEFT.

A Mechanical Hackamore can also have a rope or rawhide noseband, but is usually more closely associated with a plastic covered wire or chain noseband. The Mechanical Hackamore also uses a curb chain (under the chin) has four to seven inch shanks to connect the reins to, which are usually leather split reins. This type of Hackamore can be very severe as the shanks provide a lot of leverage and effect a nut cracker type movement onto the horse’s nose and jaw. The Mechanical Hackamore is not for beginners and should be very carefully used,….. if at all I my opinion. Type of Mechanical Hackamore shown BELOW.

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