“Don’t hang on his head!” were the words shouted across the arena by Buck, my mentor as I tried desperately as a teenager to learn horse training from the master. It’s a natural instinct to pull on the reins when you feel unstable. The problem is that the horsey brain takes that as a sign to resist and the longer you apply pressure, the more he ignores you. A tug of war between a two hundred pound man and twelve hundred pound horse can only go one way!
The traditional rules for the use of the hackamore were taught to me this way: no steady pull, only pull and slack, no use of both reins, only one rein, release as soon as the horse gives.
These are a part of a formula for producing a balanced light mouthed horse. As time goes on I hope to enlarge on these basics to help clarify this type of horsemanship. Welcome to riding in lightness with balance and signal, the Cowboy School of Equitation.