Choose the Right Texas Style Hackamore for your Horse

Texas style hackamores came about centuries ago when cowboys combined characteristics of the vaquero style hackamore (with bosal) from the west, with the sidepull style hackamore from the east. They are especially useful on young horses that are transitioning from deciduous (baby) teeth to permanent teeth, but horses of any age can be ridden in a hackamore.

The vaquero style hackamore functions by applying pressure on the nose and jaw when the rein, called a mecate, is pulled. Because of the weight of the heel knot, this pressure is quickly released when the horse gives to the pull or when the rider releases pressure on the mecate. The eastern style hackamore has reins attached to each side of the nose thereby allowing a direct rein (plow rein) aid without a snaffle. Texas hackamores combine the properties of both the pull and release of the vaquero style hackamore with the sidepull aid of the eastern style hackamore.

Texas style hackamores have a noseband, a headstall with fiador and a hackamore rein. Each style noseband is made of rope with a specific stiffness. A stiffer rope gives the horse a stronger signal than a softer rope. This variety makes it easy to find a hackamore that will work well on almost any horse. Some of my hackamores are available with rawhide braid covering the rope noseband. The rawhide increases the strength of the signal. The fiador helps to stabilize the headstall and will prevent it from accidentally being pulled off. My hackamore reins are also made of rope and come in a variety of textures and degrees of stiffness.

The Single Rope Hackamore with Rawhide Nose is an all-around hackamore that works well for starting colts. Not too much and not too little; it applies enough pressure on the nose to get a response from most horses when the rein is pulled, but not so much pressure that it worries horses. Because the rawhide braid on the noseband gives a stronger signal than my rope hackamore without rawhide, this is also a good transition hackamore when you need more than a rope hackamore but aren’t ready for a bit.

My Grass Hackamore with Reins is made entirely from a single piece of rope. The nose button is covered in hand braided rawhide and spliced wide at the bottom to give sidepull action. This is also a good hackamore for starting colts as it helps them to understand the direct rein pull.

My Soft 4 Plait Loping Hackamore is made for loping in the warm-up pen at shows. It can also be used for pleasure riding on horses that respond to very light pressure on the nose. The soft rope the noseband is made of applies a mild signal. This can be a useful hackamore to help stressed or tense horses relax.

The Hard 3 Plait Flat Hackamore is made of stiff rope and it gives a strong signal. This hackamore is designed for use on older horses that aren’t sensitive to pressure on the nose.

I make hackamores that give an extremely mild signal, all the way through, to those that give a strong signal. Call 817-312-5305 or write to me at if you’d like to visit about your hackamore needs. My hackamores are available with your choice of 7 handmade hackamore reins. The rein you choose will be tied to your hackamore before its shipped.

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