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Choosing a Bosal Diameter

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If you are just starting this journey, a 5/8ths bosal with a 5/8ths mane mecate used as a 5/8ths stand alone hackamore is the foundation. This measurement is taken on the bars of the gear, not the nose button. This investment will serve you for decades with a little care (NO TEETH, NO OIL and keeping the rawhide clean).

This is true for responsive horses. All horses are sensitive to one degree or another. They can feel a fly biting, after all.

If you are dealing with a more challenging horse or a large one, a 3/4 could be used for a few months before changing to 5/8ths. The old way was to use the 3/4 to give weight and breadth when starting all horses helping them with their future head/neck set. However, finances today don't often allow more than three bosals for the whole process.

Why the 5/8ths? The 5/8ths hackamore spreads the pressure of the signal from your hand telegraphed by the mecate over a larger surface area on the horse's face. This is obviously more comfortable for the horse.

A well-fitted bosal that conforms to the face means that there is not as much opportunity for wobble, abrasion and discomfort. Your horse or mule can enjoy time with you and learn without pain.

Changing the balance point to the hindquarters for all work takes time as does developing the neck/headset. Some folks never proceed out of the 5/8ths and are perfectly content. For others, who are continually advancing in their horsemanship, the 5/8ths is retained to be used for review/remedial sessions and a "vacation."

When a horse can do everything immediately, efficiently and gracefully with a degree of speed, it would be time to evaluate to see if you and your horse are ready to move to the half inch. This stage concentrates the pressure signal in a smaller area on the face so the horse must respond quickly or it can be uncomfortable for him. The education and skill development has been laid in the 5/8ths and progresses in the half inch toward refinement and then the two rein and the bridle. Each level is more refined and is executed with increased speed and takes several years depending upon your situation, your experience and your horse's talent.


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