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The Hackamore

No other piece of tack has influenced my own personal horsemanship journey in such a positive way more than the hackamore.



I was initially introduced to the hackamore by one of my first horsemanship mentors while cowboying at a large feedlot here in Alberta Canada. To be honest it wasn't the headgear on his horse that first grabbed my attention, it was what I have now come to recognize as "The Look", his horse's had. The look to me describes a partnership between the horse and rider where it appears they are both in complete synch with each other. And then even at this hackamore stage of training I could already see the softness and suppleness both laterally and vertically that I would later come to recognize as one of the characteristics of the California Bridlehorse. There was another thing I noticed, it wasn't what he was doing with the hackamore reins that impressed me, it was what he didn't need to do with the reins to maneuver his horse. I figured whatever was going on there I needed to learn more about it, so it wasn't long before there was a "Hackamore Rig" in my possession.


Once I began to ride my own horses in the hackamore it didn't take me long to realize that there was more to this vaquero style horsemanship then just changing the equipment on my horses head. Although it is "the bosal", "the hanger" and "the Mecate" that make up this tool we call "a hackamore", learning to communicate and ride well with it requires far more then just the tool itself, it also requires the person on the other end of the reins to do some changing as well.


Many years have passed since those days riding in the feedlot and somethings I had to learn in order to become proficient with the hackamore are;

  • The importance of understanding the difference between a "Cue" versus an "Aid"

  • The 6 rein aids and their purpose

  • All the lateral maneuvers and their cues and aids

  • The importance of the direction and application of your body weight

  • The importance of "feel"

  • To keep your emotions in check

  • To build and maintain a traditionally trained bridlehorse you must first become a person who can build an exceptional hackamore horse

Perhaps this is why I see so much value in using the hackamore, it has truly helped me become a better version of myself as a horseman.


If there is something about this style of horsemanship that intrigues you and you would like to learn more about it just contact us and we will do our best to get more information to you.


Next article coming soon

The Two Rein


Flattop Horsemanship also has a limited number of Bosals, Hangers and Mecate's in stock for anyone looking to start their Vaquero Horsemanship Journey

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