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These come in many styles, the most common is the hackamore which replaces the bit with a special kind of noseband that transfers pressure to the horse’s nose, face and chin (as opposed to its mouth). This pressure is used to train a horse to respond according to the riders commands.
The hackamore can be adapted to carry a mechanical hackamore which has shanks and a curb chain to create leverage. Just as with a bit a mechanical hackamore can be gentle or harsh depending on the rider’s hands and can cause serious injury.
Hackamores are popular with the western riding style plus endurance riding; they are occasionally seen in show jumping and eventing.
Another popular component is the bosal which is a purpose designed noseband made of braided rawhide, sometimes the word bosal is used to describe the hackamore.
The sidepull is the modern inspired version comprising a heavy noseband with side rings allowing direct pressure to be applied to the rings via reins. They are commonly used with young horses.
The English jumping cavesson comprises a heavy leather nosepiece encasing cable or rope within; it has two closely fitting side rings that enable the transmission of subtle commands. It fits a standard English headstall and looks like a normal bridle from the distance.