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How to Select a Bosal

When selecting a bosal or hackamore, the most important thing is a close fit over as much of the nose as possible (not tight or pinching, but close).

California Classics' Heritage Hackamore, made of Central Coast Ranch Rawhide with roo buttons shapes well. Note the comfortable fit without pinching. When adjusted and shaped, the Heritage Hackamore minimizes the potential for wobbling, rubbing and twisting on the horse's face. A comfortable horse is a more willing partner.
A formed fit does two things. First, it spreads the weight of the hackamore over the greatest possible surface.

When a bosal fits with a gap on either side of the nose all the weight is concentrated on just the bony portion of the nose. This is just covered by thin skin. At least two pounds worth of hackamore is carried by the nose even when not active. If all the weight is concentrated on that small surface, it will quickly become sore.

It takes time to make contact rather than the form fitted bosal with nearly immediate contact with the horse eliciting a more precise, faster response from the young horse.

Next, a loose fit can allow excessive movement and very often will allow the bars of the bosal to rub the thin skin covering the jawbone. This is not considerate of the horse’s comfort.

NOTE: A leather bosal will skin one just as easily as rawhide.

As far as an all roo or other leather bosal goes, it just comes down to how it is made. If we are talking about a 5/8" bosal, the core needs to be almost a 1/2" in diameter since the average thickness of roo is only .040." This generally means using either a stiff rawhide core or a softer core made from 8 strands, which will be more expensive to make. A well-braided rawhide body will be just about as smooth as roo, and it should stay that way over time. If pulled into place and tightly braided, is should serve you for years. Roo, if not well cared for, will tend to harden and the edges will curl up making it rough.

I do prefer a roo nose button simply because it is easier to shape and leather buttons over a rawhide body are very traditional in this part of CA.


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