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Old 01-28-2013, 09:09 PM   #1
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Default What makes a hackamore horse?

This is strictly opinion, but what do you think makes a "hackamore horse?"
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:55 AM   #2
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Nothern Germany
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Well, for sure an interesting question. I'm not at all qualified in this matter but from my Greenhorn perspective it is summed up in the words Dave Stamey is using in one of his songs: "with a lift of a rein and a touch of a knee". Sure, this is the goal not just for a hackamore horse. But, I have that dream that I can get my horses and myself that soft, responsive and willing to get whatever job it takes with only a touch or a lift. From my point of view, this is one of the many aspects what feel is about. If we (my mount and I) together have reached a level where that kind of harmony and soft flow in a hackamore outfit is a consistent, 'no big deal' thing, I'd dare to call my horse a true hackamore horse. But, as I said, it's just the dumb idea of a greenhorn about what a hackamore horse is all about. Hope, you don't mind.

Hope the read about the thoughts of others about this topic too.

Ride tall. - Holger
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:58 PM   #3
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Nothern Germany
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While thinking about what makes a hackamore horse I was asking myself whether there is any as such. You may wonder why I raise that question. But, I consider the hackamore stage as the first one on a horse's way to be a bridle horse at some time. And, in MHO, a horse is a hackamore horse when it carries softness and suppleness in a hackamore rigging through whatever the job might require. But, wouldn't that mean that, once you get to that point, your horse is ready than to advance into the Double Rein stage? I.e., if it gets to be a hackamore horse it becomes a novice horse in the double rein. Unless you stop at the hackamore stage. Brings me to another question: would you think that one should ride a horse in a hackamore for its entire life? Would it be possible to maintain the horse's feel for the hackamore all way through? I have read somewhere that a horse will get to a point where it'll loose some of its feel for a hackamore if you continue to ride in it without advancing to the double rein. And I have not heard of anyone riding horses only in a hackamore for their entire life.
Looking forward to hear about your thoughts on this.

Have a good one. -Holger
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:28 AM   #4
Steve C
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: "Hampshire Station" Merriwa, NSW Australia
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There are many people that ride their horses in a hackamore for their entire riding life, for various reasons, not saying that I agree with them, but that is the decision they have made.

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Old 02-23-2013, 08:56 AM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2013
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There are probably a lot of reasons to keep a horse in the hackamore. I have one that will likely not advance to a bridle, at least not in the traditional sense.

My own personal reason for keeping one of my horses in the hackamore is that he is very happy there. He is 11 and I unfortunately didn't know much about putting polish and lightness on a horse when I did most of his training. I did the best I could but I have learned an awful lot in the last 7 years. He is mostly my train horse but I also show him in Hunter Pleasure at the local shows and will go to some Morgan shows this year. He is probably the only horse out there that receives the majority of his schooling for the hunter pleasure discipline in a hackamore.

But I find it really helps me to promote self carriage in him and makes my job in the arena that much easier.

I also know some folks that prefer the hackamore for their working horses. They are as light and responsive as they need to be and you never have to worry about things getting too fast for a bridle. I've also heard from folks that ride in rough snaggy terrain that they prefer a bosal for that country so you don't snag a bridle rein on the brush.

The beauty about all of this is if you are doing for the horse, I don't think there is any right or wrong answer. Hopefully you are doing what the horse needs most.
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