How to Choose the Right Texas-Style Hackamore for Your Horse

Have you been wanting to try a hackamore on your horse but don’t know which one to choose? When you choose the right hackamore(s) for the horse or horses you’re riding, it can benefit horses of all ages and training levels says Dennis Moreland of Dennis Moreland Tack.

Texas-style hackamores came about when cowboys combined characteristics of the vaquero style hackamore (bosal) from the west with the sidepull style hackamore from the east, both having been used in North America since the 1700s. 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 in various ways.

Texas-style hackamores have a noseband, a headstall with fiador and a hackamore rein. The nosebands are made of rope in various degrees of 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 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. Hackamore reins are also generally made of rope and come in a variety of textures and degrees of stiffness. Leather hackamore reins can also be used.

The hackamores I make range from having extremely soft nosebands all the way to very stiff nosebands. Several of my hackamores are made with hand braided rawhide covering the noseband.

single rope texas-style hackamore with rawhide noseband

The Single Rope Hackamore with Rawhide Nose (pictured) is a good all-around hackamore that can be used for everything from starting colts to loping show horses. The rawhide noseband also makes it 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 under the chin to give the reins sidepull action. This makes it easy for colts to understand directional pulls.

My Soft 4 Plait Loping Hackamore, although made for loping in the warm-up pen, is comfortable to a horse and can be used for everything from trail to pleasure riding. The soft rope the noseband is made of applies a very mild signal. It can be used to help stressed or tense horses relax, but only if the horse will consistently respond to a very mild signal on its nose.

The Hard 3 Plait Flat Hackamore gives a strong signal. The weight of the heel knot causes it to fall instantly when the rein pressure is released, and this releases the pressure of the noseband providing an instant reward for a proper response.

I make hackamores that range from giving a very mild signal to those giving a strong signal. If you have questions about any of the hackamores call me at 817-312-5305 or email [email protected]. My Texas-style hackamores are available with your choice of 7 handmade hackamore reins which are tied to your hackamore before shipping.

We’re a full line handmade tack manufacturer and we’re here to help you!