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Old 01-19-2013, 07:00 PM   #1
Cattleman
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Default Hackamore headset

I was at an arena today working one of my horses, there was another man who was working some young colts. I stopped to let my horse cool down and watched him as he rode these horses. He had two young horses in the snaffle, being in an arena he was doing a good job of making them show horses. His horses had a good break at the poll. There was a woman riding her horse in a hackamore and the horse was giving her a little trouble. He offered to help her and began to ride them, it appeared he rode this horse the same way he rode his other horses in the snaffle. He set the hackamore in the lowered position to get a good headset on them and was driving the horse with his legs. He got off the horse and recommended to the lady that she put her horse back in a snaffle. Because the hackamore limited her ability to work the horses shoulders. I started to think about this thread and wondered, how do you get your horses to find "neutral" in the hackamore with a break at the poll? I have heard that in the initial rides you bump them a few times. Just wondered what you do to get your horses to have a good hackamore headset?
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:05 AM   #2
Maria
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Hi!
Thatīs some thing that i would like to know also..as i just started with hackamore and im green .. would be grateful for information.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:55 PM   #3
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" Because the hackamore limited her ability to work the horses shoulders. "
Was that what he said, or what you say.?
There is the very popular talk of working this part and that part of a horse, and isolating these various parts and controlling them, so you have complete control of the whole horse.
I am not convinced this is true, or necessary. I say work the whole horse, because he is a lot more than a collection of parts.
The other idea is that of "capturing" their head, and then driving them up with your legs. I practiced this myself for quite a while. It can lead to a lot of trouble, and create a lot of problems, especially with a young horse. The tendency in trying to get a horse "supple", is to twist them into a knot.
Seems to me, a horse naturally will give a little nod in answer to the balance of the hackamore. The traditional hackamore horse had a tuck. But to tuck in the hackamore, and then drive with your legs, is not appropriate to hackamore training, I do not think.
A little tuck, then a release, yes. Eventually, a more advance horse will learn to carry himself. But I believe the base of the neck needs to rise, and not drop, and the throatlatch should remain open a little. Ride your horse straight. Even side passing and leg yielding, the horse is pretty straight. Keep the spine perpendicular to the ground, there will not be a problem with a horse "dropping his shoulder". Maybe
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:15 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
" Because the hackamore limited her ability to work the horses shoulders. "
Was that what he said, or what you say.?
That was what he said
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy View Post
The other idea is that of "capturing" their head, and then driving them up with your legs. I practiced this myself for quite a while. It can lead to a lot of trouble, and create a lot of problems, especially with a young horse. The tendency in trying to get a horse "supple", is to twist them into a knot.
Seems to me, a horse naturally will give a little nod in answer to the balance of the hackamore. The traditional hackamore horse had a tuck. But to tuck in the hackamore, and then drive with your legs, is not appropriate to hackamore training, I do not think.
A little tuck, then a release, yes. Eventually, a more advance horse will learn to carry himself. But I believe the base of the neck needs to rise, and not drop, and the throatlatch should remain open a little. Ride your horse straight. Even side passing and leg yielding, the horse is pretty straight. Keep the spine perpendicular to the ground, there will not be a problem with a horse "dropping his shoulder". Maybe
It is possible to work a horses shoulders in both a hackamore and a snaffle. I didn't ask him why he felt this way. But I assume it was because he was riding his hackamore the same way he rode the snaffle and wasn't helping the horse find the balance. He was working more off of pressure from the bars of the hackamore, than the balance of the hackamore itself.

As far as the hackamore headset, do you "check" them at the start to get them into that position. Or how do you help your horses find that neutral? When I ride in the hackamore I usually give a few bumps at the beginning until they find the center of the hackamore and then I was told that you treat the hackamore like an eye of a needle and you lead the horses through the eye.
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
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I was working cows with a notable clinician and this one person, who was the trainer at this facility and is a very accomplished horsewoman, had her horse in the hackamore. This horse used to be a working cow horse before she got it and then a young woman bought it then went off to college and the trainer got it from the girl. The horse was decently accomplished in the working cow horse competitions before it was "retired" (about 10yrs old I guess). Anyway this clinician ended up having the trainer put the horse back in a snaffle on the 2nd day and for the remainder of the clinic because of similar reasons as aforementioned - the horse couldn't get the shoulders turned around as well and also the hind end.
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Old 01-22-2013, 08:46 PM   #6
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Well, I don't know what we are talking about when we say we are working the shoulder.
Snaffle or hackamore, I think the important thing is position. The horse learns to work from good position. And you use the hackamore differently than a snaffle to position a horse. But it should be the same position. I think. Modern working cowhorse training is focused on snaffle bit training. So the clinics are usually geared that way. No time to teach the hackamore. That horse you mention may be a good cowhorse the way it was trained, but still clueless in a hackamore. Maybe. Anyway, I don't know why she wouldn't be able to position the horse to turn around, or use its hind end, in a hackamore. Especially if that horse was shown in a bridle at some point.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
Cody Deering
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Default Hackamore Headset

This is one example, i was dallied off and the horse rounded up a little to hold the critter i had on the end of my rope..
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #8
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Default i agree Jimmy

The horse in picture above is not a horse in motion but it could show something similar to what we are talking about.
IMO The Hackamore horse trained traditionally gets its head set as a matter of course. They do not get it because a person "worked so hard at it" They get the head set because the understand that they are 'FREE TO MOVE" inside of the hackamore,, if that makes sense.
The Horse is taught from the first lesson to never go past the Pull of the hackamore, the doubling process assures this.
You operate within the release,, not to loose, not to tight.
more later,,,, gotta run
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Old 01-25-2013, 01:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody Deering View Post
They get the head set because the understand that they are 'FREE TO MOVE" inside of the hackamore,, if that makes sense.
The Horse is taught from the first lesson to never go past the Pull of the hackamore, the doubling process assures this.
You operate within the release,, not to loose, not to tight.
more later,,,, gotta run
So to get the rounded, collected headset, do you help the horse find the neutral of the hackamore by checking them at the beginning?
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:52 PM   #10
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Cattleman, You could check them a little but IMO this is not where the main understanding comes from because most of the time i don't do much checking. Again this is just one opinion among many. I mentioned they get this as a matter of course, meaning from the day to day riding. You might ask for a turn or a circle and that horse might nose out a little at first, he is just trying to figure out where to be, he is just not clear yet and the reins are not yet hooked to the feet fully.
People talk about bumping a hackamore horse,, i say they do enough bumping on their own. so you just pull a little slack out of the rein and maybe that horse starts to resist a little, well don't pull harder or bump him.
He is going up into that hackamore and he might nose out and that IS his bump. You have to hold your reins in a live kind of way, in other words you know when to hold firm if they are going to go up into it and you know when to just let them float a little and go easy on them.
Not every horse will have big issues with understanding this anyway. A colt that you start yourself can be a lot easier then some horse that has been ridden with bad hands, so those type are the ones that really get to pushing. i ride both kinds, a lot. nothing is better then just starting from the beginning and building a good foundation.
So before long they are right in the center and you are riding on a float.
You set it up so that the horse Bumps himself not you bumping him IMO
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