Colt starting: Hackamore or snaffle?

Eclectic Horseman had an article about this topic, what are your thoughts?

That’s a great article! I was just wondering about the hackamore and how it could fit into my training. In all cases, the 3 vintage riders brought it back to the quality of the rider’s hands. I am so glad to find this forum! Thanks, Emily!!


The old Californios started in the hackamore as the snaffle was not common in early California. These days think about “right tool for the right job”. The snaffle is primarily a lateral teaching device; whereas the Spanish hackamore is a vertical teaching device designed to encourage self carriage. I am able to help my colts more with a snaffle for just a few rides. When they become responsive to just a bit of pressure side to side, I move over to the hackamore for several years occasionally going back to the snaffle when needed (usually due to my mistakes).