Hackamore vs. Bosal | Head-to-Head Comparison Between Them

The hackamore was introduced in America by the Spanish. This is the most evolved piece of equipment for human horses that ever existed. A hackamore is a kind of bridle that can help your horses who resist bit training.

Hackamore vs. Bosal

This hackamore is also great for transitioning neck reining from single-reining. Hackamore comes in handy if your horse has an injury or facing any dental problems.

The bosal is a special nosepiece that works on light touch along with promoting flexibility within the horse’s neck. This word comes from the Spanish word the “muzzle”. In western training and system, this braided rawhide noseband is used.

Hackamore or Bosal both helps to develop communication between you and your horses. Therefore, which equipment can become more effective for your horse between hackamore vs bosal? Here, I’ll try my best to tell you about both of these pieces of equipment. Let’s start in!

What Is Hackamore?

What is Hackamore

The hackamore is one type of animal rein having no bit. A special noseband is attached to it that works on the horse’s face, nose, and chin pressure point. It is used to direct the horses. Hackamores guide the way of the horse according to the rider’s wish.

In general, a hackamore has four parts. They are:

The Hanger Or Headstall: It is the part that goes upon the horse head therewith to keep the hackamore it goes behind the ears.

The Mecate Reins: Mecate reins are traditionally made from horsehair. Some may also make from nylon or various synthetic materials.

The Bosal: It goes just about the horse’s nose and ties beneath their chin with an ankle tie.

The Fiador: It is the throatlatch that retains the bosal in the right place.

Some Advantages of Using A Hackamore

To Guide And Control Your Horse

A hackamore is used to guide a horse. It is a bitless bridle. It leads the way of the horse as its riders wish. By using pressure and release hackamore works. This pressure is applied when the rider wants to move their horse in a certain way. The pressure is released when the horse behaves what is asked. Thus you can guide and control your horses.

Helps The Horses To Dedicate Their Rider’s Habits

Hackamore encourages the rider to reveal a soft and supple hand. In every discipline riding with this habit is necessary. Therefore when you are using a hackamore you are learning how you can adjust to your horse. Thus the horse dedicates to the rider’s habit in a bit.

Good For Riding And Training

For horses of all ages, this hackamore cable is used during their riding and training. Especially for the riding and training of the young horse hackamore is used.

Useful For Sensitive Horses

The sensitive horses and the horses having dental issues, hackamores are also used. For horses with tongue damage, fractured jaw and other physical problems in their mouth hackamores can become a great option for them.

Because a hackamore applies direct pressure on the outer side of the horse’s face. On the other hand, a regular bridle applies pressure on the inner side of the mouth.

Lessening Behavioral Problems

By using hackamore you can lessen some behavioral problems of your horse like excessive salivation, head shaking, etc. Rearing may also be promoted by using a hackamore.

Various In Types

There are various types of hackamores. So you can select one among them according to your choice when you needed. Types of hackamores are:

  • The bosal hackamore,
  • The side pull hackamore
  • The mechanical hackamore, etc.

Hackamores Come In Different Sizes

Hackamores are made in different diameters. There is some rider who prefer loose and low hackamore for their horse. While other riders want to fit it more snugly.

Trainers first start with a wide diameter. While the horse makes betterment in its training then the trainer transition it to gradually smaller diameters.

How To Fit A Hackamore?

How To Fit A Hackamore

It is also rigorous to fit the hackamore to your animal’s head according to the structure. For adjusting hackamore you may follow some simple guidelines.

At first, adjust the hackamore as it remains evenly on the nose between the middle corner of the eye and the base of the nostril. You should tie the mecate to the bosal with just enough wraps. You have to wrap as if two fingers should fit between the mecate knot and the chin.

What Is Bosal?

The bosal is an equipment piece that a horse put on his head for riding. Especially it is the noseband of braided rawhide that is used in a hackamore.  This noseband yet looks the same as it was a hundred years ago.

What is bosal

Working on soft touch and raising the pliability of the horse’s neck is the total purpose of the bosal. In the bosal no direct reining is uses. For instance, here a mecate rein is adjoined with the bosal. This mecate can form a loop encircling the horse’s neck.

A piece of rope or a fiador is used for keeping the bosal on horse heads perfectly. This fiador can counteract the bosal from moving.

The Benefits of The Bosal

Develop The Connection Between Horse And Rider

Bosal can make a connection between a horse and its rider. By applying a squeeze to the nose and facial muscles of the horse’s rider can develop their connection. When you use it correctly then you show its effectiveness.

Useful For Sensitive Horses

Particularly the bosal is very useful for young and sensitive horses. The reason is as their mouth is sensitive so they can use a bosal in their training. Its use may help them to save their mouth from any kind of injury.

Helps To Travel Rider’s Desired Direction

The bosals use neck-reining. These neck reins help the horses gently to travel in their rider’s desired direction. If you put the mecate on the right side of the horse’s neck it gently goes right. And when your desired direction is left then put the mecate on the left side of their neck.

Different Size Of Bosals

Usually bosal length varies from horse to horse. The normal range is 10 inches to 12 inches. Measure the peak of the heel knot from inwardly the nose button. For small horses and ponies, a 10-inch will fit. While average horses need 11 inches. Most larger-headed horses need 12 inches to fit.

How To Fit A Bosal

To get more advantages from a bosal you must look at its proper fitting. Wrap the mecate rope about the bosal going clockwise. Close by enwrapping it against the knot as you can.

You can make a second wrap in the same way around the bosal. And as the last wrap going the same direction. Pull the loop up close athwart the prior one under to the bosal’s tie or ball.

Differences Between Hackamore And Bosal

Hackamore and bosal both are bitless bridles for horses. This article will describe each of these bridles. Here you get the answer to some queries regarding hackamore vs bosal.


In a structural aspect, the hackamore is the equipment of the entire piece. Conversely, bosal is such a special nosepiece that is used on a hackamore or a unit part of tack.

According To Historical Context

Though new horsemen try to use the words interchangeably hackamore and bosal, consecutive hackamore men lower on this. In the historic aspects, bosal denominates nosepieces in diameter of ¼- to 3/8-inch. And all other sizes starting to ½-inch and uphill are known as hackamores.

To Communicate With Horse

A hackamore uses leverage with regard to communicating directions towards the horse. But a bosal use only nose pressure for this purpose. 


For horses and younger horses in training hackamores are inevitable. Mechanical hackamore or traditional hackamore both bridles support by applying pressure to the noseband more than the bit. This noseband where reins are attached you should use regularly as a riding tool. This is a major tool for your horse in their training.

You may use the bosal in space of the cord halter for groundwork with your horse. They are often used on horses to train how to neck rein.

Co-Relation Between a Bosal And a Hackamore

Traditionally the hackamore is used in the advancement of a horse’s training. The hackamore is planned to indicate indirect pressure and release on the horse. While direct pressure is used with a snaffle bit.

Bosal is the noseband that is used within a hackamore setup. When it is used with a hanger and mecate can become a part of a hackamore. Mecate means the traditional bridles used on a bosal. They are made of hand-braided horsehair generally comes from a horse’s tail.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type Of Hackamore Should I Use?

The side pull is a radical type of hackamore. They tell your horses where they have to go by using pressure without leverage.  The side pulls are best used upon fairly well-trained horses with reasonably expert riders. Because they do not grant a lot of corrective power or stopping.

When Hackamores Or Bosal Become Bad?

Hackamores or bosals are not inherently bad for horses. In comparison, they become less severe and less cruel than bits when you use them correctly.

But when they are used inappropriately or given to harsh hands they can hurt your horses. So one should never be maintained constant pressure when using a hackamore or bosal.

Which Are Better Bits Or Hackamore?

Bit or bitless both can be good. It depends on how you used them. A hackamore may become good for some horses on the other hand a snaffle bit performs work best with others. There’s no sound reply to which is better.

But assuredly hackamore is a vital piece of tack. Because due to its weight it offers more signal earlier on direct contact. For instance, it gives the horses more opportunity of doing the right thing.

Are There Some Tips While Choosing Bosal Or Hackamore?

  • For ensuring proper fit before buying always measure your horse.
  • You should avoid overly hard hackamore. Because they could hurt your horse.
  • For long-lasting you may select high-quality ones.


Now we know about both the pieces of equipment. Unquestionably, both of them can improve the relation of understanding between you and your horse.

By using hackamore or bosal you may make your horses more confident and mature. If they habituate with a hackamore or a bosal they can easily habituate with your guideline.

At the time when they are below the saddle then the use of a hackamore makes them more comfortable. Bosal and side pull give extra communication manner during training, for example, exerting arc to the nose and jaw. Now the choice is yours which is appropriate for your dear horse between Hackamore vs bosal.

Next: Get a bit for horse that won’t stop.

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