Question: “I pulled a gelding off a kill lot in OK about a year ago. He is about 10-years-old, broke, and friendly (although it took a while to gain his trust). An old injury to a hind leg keeps him from being able to do really hard work, but I think he has potential as a nice trail horse.


Under saddle, he tosses his head almost constantly with any pressure–whether he’s in a snaffle, a halter, bitless bridle, or bosal hackamore. Watching his behavior I am guessing he was trained as a roping horse and that’s it, probably with a tie-down. He just wants to get into the arena, go fast, then leave. And he sidles away as you are dismounting.


So anyway, I know we have a long way to go with this guy, and if we could solve the head-tossing issue that would help a lot. So far, he has not come off the ground in a rear, and has not tried to bolt.


I wanted to ask, do you think a hackamore is the way to go? If so, what kind would you suggest? I am a total hackamore novice, so any suggestions are welcome. I have two bosals in the tack room, one large diameter but very stiff and coursely woven, and one that is finer but pretty small diameter…I am fine with purchasing another if needed.”


Martin’s Answer: “My first thought on the head tossing would be he was not comfortable w