Cowboyway Home Page

Menu    What Is    Newsletter    Top

Cowboyway Home Page

Sign up for our free newsletter

 Disclosures / Privacy Policy / Photo Of The Day

What Is A Horse Bosal?

A bosal is a piece of equipment put on a horse's head for riding.

When a bosal is used with a hanger and mecate, it becomes part of a hackamore.

The three main parts of a hackamore are:

Below: A hackamore.

A horse bosal with the parts labeled

Typically, a hackamore is used for training and as the horse progresses he or she will usually move out of the hackamore and into a bit. Although every horse trainer has their own way of doing things, it is common for an unbroke horse to be started in a snaffle bit, then moved into a snaffle and a hackamore together.

The horse then usually graduates to a hackamore alone. When the horse reaches an advanced stage in the hackamore, it will often then be ridden in both a hackamore and a curb bit, then ultimately ridden in a curb bit alone.

However, the above description doesn't have to be the case: Some horses are ridden in a hackamore, either entirely or for certain activities, their entire life.

From Etsy

From Etsy. Article continues below.

Bosal Construction and Diameters

Bosals are commonly made from rawhide braided over a core also made of rawhide. You can sometimes find a bosal with a metal core, but most professionals despise these as being too rigid and wouldn't consider using this type.

Bosals have a large knot at the back, behind the horse's chin. The knot provides weight so that when a rider touches the mecate the shift in weight is noticeable to the horse.

Bosals come in a variety of diameters, with the largest diameters usually used on the greenest (most inexperienced) horses and the smaller diameters on more advanced horses.

"Hackamore" vs. "Mechanical Hackamore"

To most horse people a true hackamore is made up of a hanger, a mecate, and a bosal.

However, there is another piece of equipment that is also often called a hackamore. This other hackamore, though, is more correctly referred to as a "mechanical hackamore."

A mechanical hackamore is also put on a horse's head for riding. It is considered a piece of equipment best used on a broke horse, not a horse in training.

A mechanical hackamore works off of leverage, whereas a bosal does not, so a mechanical hackamore can exert more force upon a horse by the rider, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

There is a popular type of mechanical hackamore called a Little S hackamore that offers less leverage than a typical mechanical hackamore and is therefore popular with a lot of riders. You can read more about it here: Little S Hackamores.

When talking to other horse people and the term "hackamore" comes up, you may need to listen closely or even ask a few questions to find out exactly which piece of equipment they are referring to.

Below: A mechanical hackamore.

Mechanical hackamore

What Is / Are...

You Might Also Like


Find Us On:

CowboyWay Facebook   CowboyWay Pinterest   CowboyWay Gab
CowboyWay USA.Life   CowboyWay MeWe

Disclosures / Privacy Policy

Some images and/or other content on this website are copyright © their respective owners.
All other material copyright © 1999 - 2021 by - All Rights Reserved

CowboyWay Home

Horses For Sale / Classifieds

Cowboy eBay / Amazon

Saddles For Sale

How To / What Is

Horse Names

Horse Gestation Table

Horse Facts/Trivia

Cowboy Dictionary

Cowboy Music

Cowboy Quotes

John Wayne Quotes and Sound Clips






Is Bronc Riding Cruel?

Rodeo News


Coupon Codes



Pin It!



Privacy Policy

Contact CowboyWay

Find Us On:

CowboyWay Facebook   CowboyWay Pinterest   CowboyWay Gab CowboyWay USA.Life   CowboyWay MeWe