Training Horses with a Loping Hackamore versus a Snaffle Bit

By Greatmats Staff Created: January, 2019 - Modified: July, 2021

By Kelly Murphy-Alley

Let's talk about the difference between starting a colt in a loping hack and bit. Don't ever put your first ride on a colt in a bit. It's invasive and scary and they're not used to it. However, once they have several rides on them, I'll try an aluminum snaffle that is comfortable, big and won't bust its mouth open.

Start with a loping hack. These just go over their nose with nothing in their mouth. It's not as invasive, but you still have control, and it's really easy to introduce to them and it works off of pressure. It's a great training tool in getting them used to your leg pressure and your feet and that's a lot of my training. I don't like to use harsh bits or a lot of gear on their head. I wan't them to be able to move freely but correctly. You can even work them from the ground with a loping hackamore.

Forward and backward training is better in the loping hack, but side to side doesn't work as well because there is not as much direct pressure. Working on right and left, you're better off with the bit.

Remember when you're starting a colt, forward motion is everything.
Kelly Murphy-Alley
Striking KMA Performance Horses
Wilmore KY