The English Hackamore consists of a stainless steel shank of moderate length, which the horse reins are attached to at the bottom. The noseband is attached directly to the shank and applies pressure to the front of the horse’s nose and poll when the horse reins are used. There is also a chin strap going under the jaw which acts to hold the shanks in place. The noseband part of the English Hackamore should sit slightly lower on the horses’ face then a cavesson noseband would taking care that it is not so low that it interferes with the horses breathing or sensitive nasal structures. Horses with very sensitive noses may benefit from having the noseband padded out which will help soften the nose pressure.
The German Hackamore has longer shanks than the English Hackamore giving it far more leverage on the poll and nose when the horse reins are used. The noseband comprises a metal chain covered in tough rubber which produces a serious amount of nose pressure when the horse reins are used. The horse noseband chain continues under the horse’s jaw but is usually not covered in rubber loop.
The German Hackamore is a bit for experienced riders due to its very strong action which comes into play very easily.
Fitting A Hackamore
The Hackamore bit should be positioned ever so slightly lower on the horse’s nose than a cavesson would, however, the noseband must rest on the hard bridge of the horse’s nose and not in any way interfere with the horses’ nostrils or soft nasal cavity. Ensure that the metal shanks do not rub on the cheekbones when the horse reins apply leverage and also that the cheekpieces of the bridle do not move towards the horses’ eyes as this is a sure indication that the hackamore is not fitted correctly. Nosebands that are wider and mostly made of different types of leather and padded are much as to make noseband softer on your horse’s nose than rope or rubber covered metal nosebands which are much sharper.