Let's talk about what makes a hackamore setup. The hackamore is comprised of three parts: the bosal, the hanger and the mecate. These three pieces together make a hackamore.
The bosal is made of braided rawhide. It can be made in a variety of plaits, quality and price ranges. For green horses the typical sizes available are 3/4" 5/8" and 1/2". The smaller sizes, 3/8" and 5/16" are generally used for more advanced horses in the two rein.
The hanger is a thin piece of leather that connects on either side of the nosepiece of the bosal, goes over the poll and sets quite close to the eye, much to the surprise of most beginners. There have been more "stylish" hangers designed that look more like bridles, but that changes the way the bosal sets and pivots on the face.
The mecate is 22-24ft in length and is tied to your bosal to make a hackamore, with reins and a tail. The mecate can also be tied to your slobber straps on your snaffle bridle set up, accomplishing the same reins and tail. The mecate can be from a variety of materials such as horse hair, alpaca hair, nylon, cotton and even yacht rope. Traditionally, and more popular, is horse hair mecate for feel. It is important to have your mecate width match your bosal width, for proper balance.
Together, these three items make the hackamore, as seen below:
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Keep an eye out for our next blog as we explain shaping the bosal and fitting it to your horse.