Introducing a Hackamore ~ please help!

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by Luck be a Lady, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. Luck be a Lady

    Luck be a Lady Full Member

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    I was wondering if anybody could give me some tips on the best way to intoduce a hackamore to my mare.:confused:

    I have had trouble finding a bit she likes but she has settled in a happymouth straight bar for the time being :eek: - she has settled with a bit before then decided she doesn't like it.:flaming:

    She is sensitive to my aids and will slow down/stop when asked. I just dont want to put one on and her thinking i now have no control.:no:

    I like the idea of a hackamore as it is an alternative than getting her more upset by swapping and changing her bit around.

    I have her teeth checked regularly so this is not a problem, i just want her to be happy and comfortable. She is a happy mare and is always willing to please aslong as she is comfortable!:rolleyez:
     






  2. sher327

    sher327 Senior Member+

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    what is it she does to let you know she is unhappy with the bit? It may not be so much she is unhappy with the bit but has found a way to work around it. I have used a hackamore before, I'm not against them if used correctly but I believe a bit is the best option.

    If your horse takes the bit willingly but then develops problems it could be anything from your hands to attitude or lack of training and willingness to accept the bit.

    IMO, if you are concerned about not having control I would work on the bit issue and forget the hack. Control to me is having a good working relationship with the horse whether it is in a bridle,halter or hack so switching really doesn't solve the underlying issues with resistance.

    I completely understand your concerns, I have a horse who was ridden by a heavy handed child for years and he is resistant to bit contact on his mouth and his teeth are fine as well. We chose a bit we knew was a good gentle bit if used correctly and we have stuck with it. There is still some resistance when engaged but it is getting better and since he is neck reined and works off the seat and leg we rarely pick up the reins with him anyways :)

    Good luck, if you decide to use a hack, just remember to introduce it like you would any other tool and do so in a safe confined environment in case she does not respond to it. A hack requires a horse to willingly give his head and not nose out on you because if they resist or pig root with one on it is quite easy for them to get away from it and take away any control you may have had ;)
     
  3. Mountaingirl89

    Mountaingirl89 Senior Member

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    I rode my mare her first year under saddle in a Pareli hackamore (just a rope halter with reins and a lead rope attached). I liked useing it so much I really considered not switching to the bit, but as I wanted to do dressage that wouldn't work. However I still use the hackamore for trail riding and some western stuff and she is still very sensitive to it.
    I would suggest putting both the hackamore and bridle on at the same time using the hackamore and have the bridle in case you need it. start out in a small area at first then when you feel secure take her out to wherever you normally ride. Remember that you can always use a pully rein to stop her it you really need to, however she sounds like she will be fine.
    Have fun!
     
  4. skysthelimit

    skysthelimit Senior Member+

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    um...hackies give you 'woah' and skimp on the turning...if she stops, maybe you need not the hack. I think we need more info. good luck!
     
  5. cd_horton

    cd_horton Senior Member+

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    To be quite honest when we think or feel a horse doesnt like a bit, it is more often than not a case of stiffness in the body, the horses body is stiff and therefore we get an undesired result to the bit. I would go back to a snaffle and work on getting the 5 body parts soft, supple and responsive....Neck, Poll, Shouldler, Rib Cage and Hindquarters. A horse that is soft and supple will perform in any bit.
     
  6. lucky_pine

    lucky_pine Senior Member+

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    Good advice, I 100% agree.
     
  7. Luck be a Lady

    Luck be a Lady Full Member

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    Thanks for you help guys.

    She loves her work, is very responsive and stops with very little effort. I have trained her well but i just get the feeling she isn't happy. I have tried her in steel and happy mouth. She has had a plain eggbutt snaffle, loosering snaffle, loosering french link, fixed french link etc. She settled well in the fixed french link but then started shaking her head about and avoiding contact. I have had my instuctor ride her and i heve regular lessons, i have been told that i am a soft rider so i don't think i am holding her. She generally needs very little contact.

    It is just so weird, one minute we are doing really well and making some good progress and then the next day she acts like she has never had this bit in before.

    I have to admit, she seems happy for the moment in her loosering straightbar happymouth but i dont know how long it is going to last for!!!
     

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