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 The Beginning Rider
 best hackamore
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TripleB
Beginning Rider



65 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2006 :  7:01:11 PM  Show Profile  Visit TripleB's Homepage Send TripleB a Private Message
It's me again...
We have a horse that has always been ridden in a hackamore, she has had a bit in but hates it (I think she was roughed up with one, or doesn't know any better) She does OK in the machanical hackamore that we somehow ended up with, but she tosses her head and fights it if we are not super careful with it. I rode her in the round pen with a halter and lead ropes when we first got her and she was much calmer. But we didn't want to risk not having any whoa. She tries hard but is very sensitive. What would you think we should try on her, that would be easier on her and let us have some whoa? Would a bitless bridle work? or would she likely have to be circled to stop in that?
Thanks again guys!

Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2006 :  8:23:26 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
No bit or bridle goes you whoa, training does that. If you want to go with bitless you will have to reschool her to be light. A mech. hack isn't the best for that but you could use a Sidepull which is safer then a halter because it is made for riding, not leading. A Bitless Bridle(THE Bitless Bridle) can work but no matter what you use she needs schooling to be light to the bridle.

For bits since she doesn't know bits and is not light to the bridle you would need a snaffle and school her to be light to it. What bit did you try before?
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TripleB
Beginning Rider



65 Posts

Posted - 02/15/2006 :  9:05:05 PM  Show Profile  Visit TripleB's Homepage Send TripleB a Private Message
She is pretty light on turning, but with the whoa she shakes her head alot.
I am not sure what bit they tried on her, I just know she flipped out when he touched her mouth with it, like she knew what was up and wasn't doin it. They did get it on her and she did fine once it was in, but it took two guys to get it on her the first time. After that the guy that was working with her could get it in her, but she never did it willingly. I had no desire to work her up like that again, it took awhile for her to give me her head for the hackamore, she is completly submissive for it now. But overreacts to correction from it. I will lay the rein on her neck and she will turn w/o hack pressure, but have to be very light when I want her to whoa, or she flips out. She looks like a toddler not wanting medicene.
She is getting better all the time, she is teaching us patience.

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Red Hawk
Clinician



USA
5092 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2006 :  10:57:40 AM  Show Profile Send Red Hawk a Private Message
Have you had her mouth checked for sores on the tongue or gums? Could the bit be hitting a tooth that's bad in her mouth? This could account for a lot of her aversion to having a bit put in her mouth. Just last fall, I saw a mare that at one time or another her tongue had been almost cut in two. The injury was old but she could hardly tolerate a conventional curb bit. They put her in a mullen mouth curb bit, which gives lots of room for the tongue under the bit, and she was a much happier camper.

I ride in a mechanical hackamore off & on, too. One thing to remember with one is that they are better for stopping your horse than for turning, bending, and flexing. They are just not made for that. When you ride with one, you have to have VERYlight hands and be able to ride from your legs, seat, and balance. My horses are trained this way, and when I ride with a mechanical hackamore, I very rarely ever have to make actual contact with the horse's head through the reins.

Here's something you can try and how I train my horses to "whoa"; Start by walking your horse in an arena or round pen or something similar. Sit deep in your saddle, relax your legs, and say whoa without moving the reins. If the horse keeps moving forward, after a step or two after saying whoa, use the reins to stop the horse. Try this, again. Walk off, say whoa, then after a step or two that the horse may not stop lift the reins, and then make bit contact if the horse doesn't stop. Once the horse has stopped after doing this, don't let her take the first step forward until you tell her she can. Everytime she steps forward after you have stopped her in this manner, just continue making bit contact until she will wait on you to tell her to move (I usually start teaching my horses this from the ground with a halter & lead). After a few training sessions of doing this, the horse should start thinking that if she stops when you sit deep in your saddle and say whoa, then you will not apply bit pressure through the reins. If done correctly, most horses will eventually stop and not move off as soon as you say whoa and maybe raise the reins just a hair off their neck without making bit contact. The key is that the horse MUST come to a complete stop every time you do this and not move forward until you say she can. Otherwise, she will no longer listen to your verbal cue and everything you've taught her will be undone.

"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses"
--Robert Browning

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don't walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Author Unknown
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TripleB
Beginning Rider



65 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2006 :  3:10:30 PM  Show Profile  Visit TripleB's Homepage Send TripleB a Private Message
Thank you RH, I will work on that, it is a great idea since she works better if I talk to her alot, it's like she needs reasured that I am up there. As far as her mouth goes, she will not let us in there at all, I really think she has been abused somehow before we got her, and when the guys forced her to take the bit it re-enforced her fear of the bit. So I think it backtracked her progress. I am going to work hard with her on trust and then go from there. But the voice commands and seat cues are definatly on my to do list. She never runs away but turns circles when scared and with my hubby has even tried to buck,(funny thing is she barely gets off the ground)She doesn't like his saddle, he had to start using mine.

Thanks again everyone, I'll keep ya updated on my progress!

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Stormie
Clinician

1630 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2006 :  8:37:58 PM  Show Profile  Visit Stormie's Homepage Send Stormie a Private Message
Well they didn't intro her to the bit correctly or it wouldn't have been a problem about getting it on her.

First you should talk to your vet about this. Since she is acting out in the hackamore it could still be a mouth problem. It could also be a jaw or nose problem. Do you have a photo of her with the hackamore on? Horses have a nerve that runs under the lower jaw. If the hackamore is hitting that it's going to be just like someone hitting a nerve on you, it hurts!

If it isn't a pain issue then it's a training issue. From the sounds of it they didn't know how to intro the bit so maybe they didn't complete the rest of her training either. A mech. hack is a poor choice for training a young horse and if that is what they did she would have had a hard time learning to give and be light to the bridle. That would cause the head tossing now.

If you rule out pain issues she should learn to have stuff around her head. Just Start out by teaching her to give her head with a halter. Left, right and down. Then sack her head out with things, including a headstall with a bit on it. Teach her to lower her head when asked and to open her mouth. You can start out with a lead rope to get her use to putting something into her mouth. You don't have to with the idea that you are going to use a bit on her but it's much easy to work with a horse that has learned to have their head messed with and trust you enough to let you do things like put something into their mouth.

There are some good mech hacks and depending on the one you have no a different choice might fit her face better if that is the problem. But control will help solve your problems. start out with teaching her to give her head with the halter and then with the hackamore but remember that a mech hack is really for neck reining, finished horses not for a lot of direct reining. It can be confusing and painful for a horse to learn to give with a mech. hack or to direct rein with one. So you need to be careful in how you do it. Whoa will come much easier if she knows to give to the bridle and the head tossing should go away.
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TripleB
Beginning Rider



65 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2006 :  8:57:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit TripleB's Homepage Send TripleB a Private Message
Stormie,Thanks again! She accually neck reins decent for as little as she was probably ever ridden, she is 10 and your right I don't think she was trained properly at all! and we are not the people to do it, just don't know much about it. I've been told she just needs ridden alot and she'll get it. I think she was always ridden in a hack until the people right before us, they forced her, then we did too.(stupid,stupid) She does great giving to the halter, she has been lead around alot! she gives to it better than the hack. We are trying to sell her, but are being picky on who buys her, we don't want her to go straight into another beginner home...But we are gonna keep riding her tell she gets great or sells whichever, she gets less nervous all ther time, like she is learning that we aren't gonna hurt her. It is a learning process for us all here!

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TripleB
Beginning Rider



65 Posts

Posted - 02/16/2006 :  9:31:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit TripleB's Homepage Send TripleB a Private Message
Here is a pic of her in the hack. And I know she probably shouldn't have the halter on her, but we saddle her outside because she hates the small barn, and I don't like not having her tied while I saddle her... If there is a safer better way, I am all ears! I need all the advise I can get, I don't like to do something if I am not doing it right! Thanks!


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