The Indian Hackamore

Posted by John Brand on

The Indian Hackamore is a unique piece of equipment, and it's popularity is growing in the bitless riding world and with natural horsemanship.

This very unique and gentle bosal is called an “Indian Hackamore”. The nose is flat instead of round. The chin portion widens and narrows to fit most any size head. The action is most like riding with a halter, but with more communication and control. The ends that connect to the reins are crossed so when you pull on the right rein the pressure goes under the jaw and around to the opposite side, to bring the horse’s head around to the right. There is a breaking in period for the area under the chin, time is needed to soften up and shape the bosal to your horse’s head.

This is a simple and unique piece of equipment found in a tack room. It is a relatively unknown solution to the many problems that bits may cause. It consists only of yacht rope or rawhide much like today’s rope halters. The hackamore may be attached to any type of headstall, Western or English. Much like the rope halter and The Bitless Bridle, the Indian Hackamore works through pressure.

The ropes criss-cross under the horse’s jaw. Your direct rein tells your horse which way to go, as it would with either a snaffle bit or side-pull.

The Indian Hackamore has many advantages in training. It can be used on young horses or old horses, at any level of training. They work best on a horse that knows how to respond properly to pressure. If the horse has received adequate ground training in a rope halter, he should respond well to the Indian Hackamore. The hackamore also aids in neck reining training, as they feel the pressure on the same side as they feel the rein. The horse will learn and correspond to the pressures.

This hackamore will aid in curing many of the problems associated with bits and mechanical hackamores. These devices can cause problems such as head shaking and throwing, bit chewing, resisting the bit and more. The use of this hackamore will help solve many of these problems.

This is a great tool for a horse that just doesn’t like a bit and resists having a bridle put on. It will be a welcome relief to the horse when there is no bit going in his mouth. This makes for a happier horse and rider. The hackamore is relatively thin and not heavy. 

There is little history to be found about the Indian Hackamore, but as its name suggests, Native Americans once used it in riding their horses. The versions found today, no doubt differ but the concept is the same. They were introduced to the cowboys by Native American cowpunchers that braided them out of rawhide.

If used properly, the Indian Hackamore is a great alternative to bits and great for natural horsemanship. Check out our Indian Hackamore at!

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