OLD SCHOOL: Brad Lund's Matlock Rose Combination Hackamore
What he’s feeling: I go to this bit when I’ve got a horse that wants to get a little behind the bridle in the box. I want to keep his nose out there a bit and give him some balance. Sometimes ex-reiners have the tendency to get behind the bridle, and if I put a straight hackamore on them, they can get heavier than I’d like in their front end.
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How it works: These are old, old bits. I’ve even had it re-done a time or two. It’s part hackamore, with a light correction mouthpiece. When I engage the bridle reins, the hackamore part works first, and then the mouthpiece takes a hold if I pull. It looks like a big-time contraption, but it’s not severe at all.
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How to use it: I don’t use these bits on a daily basis. Before this futurity, I only rode him in it once. I liked what I felt, so I had the confidence to show him in it. The key to this bit is to adjust it properly. I keep the curb pretty loose—where I can fit three fingers in it—to give me some swing and play in the shanks. I don’t want the mouthpiece too tight in the horse’s mouth, and I like the noseband of the hackamore at an angle higher up on the nose.
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