You are here:

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training/Bitless/Hackamore Recommendations?

Advertisement


Question
Hello,

I just wanted to ask a question about bitless bridles/ hackamores and what would you recommend is the safest one to use?
I'm a bit bothered because I heard that some of them are just as harsh if not more so than a bit and if I have an accident jumping or just a fall off and tangle/yank on the reins it might really injure my horse or break a bone in her face/nose.  Is this something that can happen with these types of bridles or have I been hearing stories?

MY BACKGROUND INFO- I'm from the UK and have always rode English with the bit. I don't know anyone who rides bitless and I know little about it really. But I have been riding my 21year old horse in a headcollar and she really likes it, I've had her a long time and I just want her to be happy. Though sometimes It takes longer for me to stop her at gallop/canter. I wanted to get a proper bitless/bridle or hackamore that gives me a little bit more control than the headcollar (incase there is an emergency and I need to stop quickly) but is still lightweight and comfortable for my horse.

thankyou for your time

Answer
Hello D,

Honestly, either of them can be just as harsh in harsh hands, although I've never heard of any stories regarding a bitless bridle breaking a horse's nasal bones. My assumption would be that unless your reins get caught on something attached to a wall, it should not cause any kind of bone fracture or breakage. No matter what, if you were to fall off and get caught up on the reins on your way to the ground, it's still going to hurt your horse because it would be the sudden drop of your weight pulling down on her head. It will still pull her off balance; however, even in a halter, there is the added benefit of not pulling on a bit. I would like to think that you wouldn't cause any kind of break in the facial bones.  

I personally, I would just keep her in the head collar. If you're able to stop her at the canter/gallop with it, I would just keep working with her to improve her response time. But that is just me. When I switched my mare to bitless, I just rode her in a rope halter. As far as a bitless bridle, I have heard good things about the Advantage Bitless bridle. Check out this website too. It has quite a few bitless bridle options to choose from as well as some information about them.

http://www.bitlessbridle.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1&zenid=1acef3ed573

I hope this helps you out & Good Luck!

Brittney

Horses - Behavior Issues, Breaking and Training

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Brittney Alexander

Expertise

I can answer any question about English riding (pleasure and equitation), Western pleasure, transitioning into bitless riding, behavior, what to look for/how to buy a horse, & schooling issues. I can also answer questions about leasing contracts, as well as dealing with issues with boarders, barn managers, barn staff. Trying to find jobs with horses, or exercise riding jobs? I can answer questions about that too.

Experience

14 years total experience 4 years of initial professional training (as a rider) 7 years experience as an exercise rider 3 years experience as a trainer Currently working as a full time stable hand/groom & assistant barn manager I'm still learning everyday as working with horses is a learning experience everyday.

Education/Credentials
Veterinary Assistant Certified

Awards and Honors
Consistently place in the top 3 in any event.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.