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Old 05-16-2013, 12:12 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 45
Default different shapes of nosebuttons

I would like to ask what you think what difference different shapes of nosebuttons make for the horse, i.e., round, flat, bulged. I already have four hackamores of different diameters, length and flex, but all have round nosebuttons. I know it would be best to try the different types myself, but I cannot afford to by all possible variations at once. I would appreciate it very much if you would share your experience with me so I can decide what shape to order and try next.

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Old 05-20-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
Join Date: Sep 2012
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This could actually turn out to be a really great discussion, I have debated this a number of times with people. I have also done a bit of research into this as well. From what I have seen most of the older hackamores were not bulged, the swelled nose began to show up more frequently around 1960 by a specific braider who has since been copied extensively. Some say the swelled or bulged nose came about as a way to introduce some fancy braiding from South America. It allows the braider some options that he wouldn't otherwise have with just a standard rounded nose button. If the reason why the swelled nose came about was just to allow fancier braiding, did it lose the functionality? Or was it created with the intention of improving the function?

This leads to the real discussion about in the way in which you use the hackamore. A swelled nose button will lay differently on a horses face than what I will call a standard round nose button. I have found the rounded nose buttons conform better to a horses face. But others argue that the horses face is not round it is shaped more like a trapezoid / \ and the swell helps fill in the gaps on the sides of the face. In reality each horse has a different structured face and a swelled nose may work well on some and not on others. A swelled nose will create pressure points in different areas. I prefer the standard round nose button because I try to work my hackamore horse by lifting my reins upward, this changes the balance point of the heel knot, and the horse feels the movement of the nose button. This movement is usually a lateral (side to side) movement of the button on the bridge of the horses nose. When you are changing the balance point you are really shifting the pressure from one point to another. I have found that if you use a swelled nose, the pressure movement is quicker an almost a slight leverage because it acts similar to a nerve knot. The swell will put pressure on the horses nose quicker than a standard round nose button. Of course this is all bearing that the hackamores are equal, and properly fitted on the same horse. However because each horse has a different shape to it's face having both can be beneficial, I have a horse with a shorter nose that works better with a swelled nose button hackamore. But on the majority of my horses I prefer a standard round nose button to lay flat on the horses nose.

The important thing is, is the hackamore comfortable for the horse. Can he go all day in the hackamore and not be pestered or bothered by the way it sits on his face, or if it bounces around. What is he feeling when he is standing still and how are you communicating your signals to him? Just a few of my thoughts
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Old 08-04-2013, 04:42 PM   #3
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Location: Maui, HI
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Originally Posted by Baquero View Post
This could actually turn out to be a really great discussion, I have debated this a number of times with people. I have also done a bit of research into this as well. From what I have seen most of the older hackamores were not bulged,
Great discussion indeed. I've made friends with Len Yule of Oklahoma. he intends to write a book on the jaqima someday. He expanded my mind in regard to bosals quite a bit. He suggested a double cheek pencil bosal, (Which is really great), multiple small buttons in a series instead of one big nosebutton, and a cotton bosal - braided not twisted rope. I made my own cotton bosal according to his directions and really like it. Will loan it out to a friend and probably make another.

The fancy double pencil bosal with multiple button noseband is photographed in my personal file/gallery. The cotton bosal I braided I will try to attach a photo or two here...

It is 8 strand braided cotton cord over a core with soft leather knots for noseband and sidebuttons. Cotton breaking rein tied on as reins with no lead. It works great, and as Len says, "if you get him going well in a cotton bosal, a rawhide one will be like power steering".

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Old 03-08-2014, 11:41 AM   #4
Len Yule
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Sasakwa,OK
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Gretchen thanks for the great boost! I have just joined this forum , so I will try to add some thoughts to this conversation. I have been a professional jaquima man for 51 years. I have been braiding for most of that time , & also build saddles. Thanks to Chuck Stormes for all his help in saddle making instruction for over 45 years. I used to use stiff bosals with tapered nose buttons( swelled toward the center) I now use soft hackamores with straight nose buttons , multiple small braided knots( from 13 to17 either small pineapple or gaucho knots) , or no nose button at all ( on cotton or hemp bosals). The reason for a nose button is to destribute the pressure over a larger area , making it easier on a horse's nose , reducing pain & resistance. A tapered nose button is stiff at the center , which keeps it from flexing to fit the colt's nose. All pressure is concentrated on the nose bone , unless the ends of the nose button swell out pretty large, which gives a 3 point contact. The old fashioned straight nose button gives full soft contact from end to end , as do the multiple knot & no nose button types. I have also braided 3 bosals with no nose button that goes from a round cheek to a FLAT nose section. I have to braid another of those , because every time I braid one it gets bought ! These are 16 strands braided over a special core that is a flat triple fold in the center, then split into 4 strings on each end & braided round. A straight nose button can be made shorter than a swelled nose button , because being more flexible , the ends lay farther around on the face. Luis Ortega made most of his nose buttons 7 1/2" long they were all swelled . That length would just clear the horse's eye with the cavessada. A straight nose button will clear the eye on most horses at 7" length. Super soft cores are another key ingredient , but let's save that for another time.
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