Hackamore V.S. Bosal V.S. Bitless Bridle

Discussion in 'The Carrot Stick' started by Tbitt, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

    The other day a friend and I were stuck in a vehicle together for hours and hours and hours and hours and… you get it….. cb*cb

    At one point we got on the subject of Bosals. I came to the relation that I have no knowledge of them. I have never rode a horse with one so I have no clue how they work.

    I have rode several horses with a Hackamore and one horse with a Bitless Bridle.

    Anyone out there like to give some direction/clarification/thoughts on the Bosal? I’d also like the comparison of how they work different then the Hackamore and the Bittless Bridle.
     
  2. Mike Zimmerman

    Mike Zimmerman New Member

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    Both the mechanical hackamore and bitless bridle work off of a restricting pressure on the head, basically on those you pull the rein and it squeezes their head. The bosal hackamore basically works off of direct pull, it doesn't collapse on the horse's head like the other two.
     

  3. lori

    lori New Member

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    Although I would argue the mechanical hack (depending on curb chain) isn't quite as squeezy as a bitless which is flat out squeezy. When I did ride a horse with a hackamore (Tbitt, you saw me barrel race that horse) it was a pretty loose curb chain and he was broke to using it more like a bosal.
     
  4. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

    Really Mike? Is that all you are going to give me?


    I am truly disappointed in you! :-
     
  5. Mike Zimmerman

    Mike Zimmerman New Member

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    Sorry, I thought I'd just keep it simple. I agree with Lori, if I could only choose between bitless or mechanical, I'd take the mechanical. At least the mechanical has some built in play before pressure is engaged.
     
  6. twistedwire

    twistedwire New Member

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    So...

    Would you rather have a bosal with bad hands or a bitless bridle with good hands?
     
  7. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    And then there's this:

    http://www.doversaddlery.com/hackamore-noseband/p/X1-0853/#ProductTabs

    (but you can make one yourself for a whole lot less);D

    Which acts more like a sidepull, so no worries about squeezing their heads (Mike is right -- the bitless bridles I've seen do have that function, and I could see where some horses might not like it at all)...and no complicated knotty things for those of us who just aren't any good at knot tying (or english riders who like to carry the reins a little less drapey than a bosal, which also sort of precludes a mech. hackamore -- another bit that I've seen horses really not like, although they had the curb adjusted not loose, so that could also have been an issue).

    I've had some decent luck with my diy version of the above -- it would be better to have a horse that's totally cool with the bit, but life isn't perfect, and this has helped out a lot. I use it in conjunction with the reins on the snaffle (bonus: Nick gets to learn the feeling of two sets of reins while at the same time having something to guide Lola without bumping her oh so sensitive little mouth, and it cost me less than $10 to make -- winning!).

    Stupid question perhaps: hey Mike, what about this "bumping" signal effect I've heard about with bosals; how does that factor in, or is this a myth?
     
  8. Mike Zimmerman

    Mike Zimmerman New Member

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    Good hands beats bad hands any way you look at it. Bad hands can hurt and dull a horse with anything on his head.*

    So I have a question, can you have good hands without having a good seat and legs?
     
  9. twistedwire

    twistedwire New Member

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    Sure, if you aren't holding the reins.

    Or your hands are rubber banded to the pommel :p
     
  10. equusteacher

    equusteacher New Member

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    Having ridden several horses in both mechanical hacks and bit-less bridles, I LOVE me a mechanical hack. You can be so much softer and get a response than you can a bit-less.

    Just my .02.
     
  11. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    So I have a question, can you have good hands without having a good seat and legs?

    No; at least not without a good seat -- some people are more capable of achieving what I'd call "good but uneducated" hands early on because they are just naturally supple. Their ability to ride off the leg may not be there too because they don't know yet, but they don't bother a horse. And sometimes a good seat can be difficult to see, as it isn't some carved in rock edifice -- Rodney Jenkins had a good seat and hands, but he could be pretty unorthodox looking. Conversely, some people who have a "picture perfect" looking seat, know how to ride a horse off their leg, but are stiff and thus they don't have good hands.
     
  12. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

    Bosal: How are they used? Is it a lift of the left rein to go left? Or laying the right rein against the neck to go Left?

    Because the reins are tied UNDER the head I am truly not sure how this works...


    Enlighten me!
     
  13. Mike Zimmerman

    Mike Zimmerman New Member

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    The bosal hackamore isn't complicated really, but it's simplicity is what makes it a challenge to use. It's not really an effective tool for controlling a horse, it's really easy to dull the horse to it. A lot of trainers call it an "elegant bluff", but the only one they're fooling is themselves. The horse has to be a willing partner so you can guide the horse with the hackamore.*

    It's not really much different than a halter, especially a rope halter. The bosal has a little more feel to it than a halter, this allows you to refine your communication. To get your horse to turn when you lead him you don't flip the lead rope to the opposite side on their neck and pull them toward you, the hackamore works the same way, through direct reining. I don't teach my horses to neck rein, it's a byproduct of direct reining one handed.
     
  14. lori

    lori New Member

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    Are all horses willing?
    What about those who are unwilling (lazy, looking to evade work) by nature? Or have a healthy sense of humor?
     
  15. Mike Zimmerman

    Mike Zimmerman New Member

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    That's the callenging part! The answer is the feet, when the feet are soft, the head will be soft too.
     
  16. highhorse

    highhorse Senior Member

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    I agree with Mike....bad hands are bad hands no matter what you have on the horses face.
     
  17. highhorse

    highhorse Senior Member

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    I try to explain that the the hackamore is not about control or controlling the face but more like funneling the movement of the horses feet.

    Each horse is different. For me the more energetic or spirited a horse is the more you must stay slow and take your time (not that Im not taking my time with all my horses) you cannot rush a horse that already wants to rush on its own.
    The ones that are less energetic or seem to have zero motivation...I have found that with those types, every little inch of go or try they give you must be met with a huge reward. If you ask for too much too soon or too often, they will quit you.

    Just goes to show that you have to know yourself and take the time to understand horses. You never stop learning. And never have any set expectations or set time frame.
     
  18. Jen Boddy

    Jen Boddy New Member

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    I'm really excited :) I switched my mare from a bitless bridle to a bosal. She seems much happier and is giving me a faster response to what I'm asking for. She's been a real pleasure to ride this spring. Lots of progress has been made. I cant give the bosal all the credit because its an accumulation of her, the bosal, myself (much improved) and a friend helping me. She seems less constricted and moving her body better.