Cypress Lodge

Cypress Lodge
Promoting Humane Training and Treatment of Horses



Rope Halters

Halter technical article


Leadropes Tech Article

Hackamores & Bitless Riding

Enduro Bitless Bridle


Training Stick

Custom Sizing & Rope Colours

LodgeRopes Nosebands

How To Order Online

Custom Work



Contact Us

Cypress Lodge Appaloosas




Hackamores & Bitless Riding




Bitless Riding

This section covers the rope items we make that are used for riding, training or both.  Scroll down for info on each design,

*Rope hackamore

*Half Bosal Riding Halter

*Half Bosal hackamore

*Enduro Bridle

……… then keep scrolling as we have added some useful or possibly useless info on some of the gear.

The Hackamore


The Lodge Ropes Hackamore consists of a Natural Horsemans Rope Halter hand tied with 100% Australian made 6mm Double Braid rope.  This halter instantly rewards your horse for yielding to pressure, a basic foundation principle of Natural Training. 

The 22 Ft mecate style rein is attached to the halter to form a single loop rein and lead rope and is made from Australian manufactured 1/2" marine Double Braid rope.  The halter end of the mecate has a mota (tassle, shoo fly) while the running end is ‘weighted’ with a correctly formed double braid back splice, then finished with a leather double laced latigo flapper. 


The quality marine rope transmits your most subtle cue or aid directly to the horse.  This rope is perfect for Natural Training and Riding applications.  Soft & smooth yet strong & tough. rot & mildew proof, high strength, low stretch, high shock absorbancy and most importantly…..UV resistant.



Your choice of size: Pony, Cob, Arabian, Full or Warmblood.  We are pleased to custom tie your Hackamore to your horses exact sizing if you can supply just 3 measurement (see custom sizing in the homepage menu) No Extra Charge for custom sizing.


Colours:  Red, Black, Purple, Pink, Electric Blue, Navy Blue, Green, Beige,  Brown, , Pink/purple fleck, Black/red fleck, Black/purple fleck, Black/blue fleck, Black/pink fleck, Black/beige fleck, White/red fleck, White/blue fleck and Beige/Brown or Pink/Purple zig zag pattern.

Price Aud$65.00 


Scroll down for more info on Rope Hackamore

Hackamore Options

The  Rope Hackamore consists of a 22ft mecate rein tied to the halter to make a single loop rein and lead rope.  The traditional Rope Hackamore has a specially tied halter with approx 4 inches extra in the chin & gullet sections of the halter. this gives the extra space required to attach the mecate rein.

Pic below Left: Hackamore halter without rein attached (custom halter has a 3.5mm wrap on the noseband).

Pic below Right: Hackamore Halter with Traditional Hackamore knot attachment of the mecate rein. 

These hackamore Halters cannot be used without the rein attached as the noseband opening would be too large.  This makes the halter not only ineffective but also dangerous as a horse could get a hoof thru the noseband while having a scratch or the halter could pull up the face and injure an eye.


Handy Hackamore

If a customer would like the benefit of a rope hackamore that can also double as a regular training halter & 22ft leadrope, LodgeRopes can tie a standard rope halter and attach the 22ft mecate rein to the chin loops below the fiador knot.  The rein can be removed and attached to the halter with a sheet bend or Reef Knot to make a halter & 22ft lead combination.

The "Handy Hackamore" is AUD$60.00


Pic below Left was sent to us by a customer, it shows the beautiful "Chooquie" in a simplified rope hackamore that can double as a halter & lead. The mecate rein is tied thru the halters chin loops.  This method still weights the halter fiador knot and allows the rider to add a wrap of the rein to adjust the halter if needed.


Pic above Right shows a simple Sheet bend that can be used to attach the mecate rein to the halter for use as a 22ft lead rope.


When ordering a LodgeRopes Rope Hackamore we will make it with the Traditional method of tying the mecate rein above the fiador knot...unless you specify the simplified attachment method of the Handy Hackamore.


As always, email if you have any questions or would like more specific details.

Half Bosal Riding Halter

The LodgeRopes Half Bosal Bitless Bridle/Riding Halter started out as a Volvo Estate station wagon and ended up being a Maserati.   We wanted to make a halter that was kinder on the sensitive nasal region of our horses, so we simply increased the surface area of the noseband by wrapping 6mm smooth double braid around the noseband of our standard halter.  The physics was simple, increase the surface area and the pressure per sq inch will decrease over this specific area.  Clean design, easy to use and safe, in other words, the Volvo Estate of halters.

The new halter was used around the Lodge for all the usual applications and it appeared to be meeting its design requirements as a softer kinder rope halter.  Shadow was saddled up and the new halter was put on for a ride.  Shadow likes new tack; he is one of those beasts that love the attention that comes with new gear.   The difference was immediate, at this point I must say Shadow was a bolter, rearer and quite a nasty piece of work when he came to us, but improved greatly through Natural Training techniques and took kindly to being ridden in a halter. 

This Half Bosal Riding Halter made Shadow more responsive to any rein cue. 

We were amazed, what was it about this halter that made such a difference? 

It had to be the coiled rope noseband, but how?? 

It appears the coils along the noseband actually “grip” the nose, so movement at the Fiador knot is transferred to the noseband.  A very similar action to a Bosal but with soft rope in contact with the horse.  The coiled noseband looks like a traditional Bosal, hence the name Half Bosal Bitless Bridle/Riding Halter.

We had accidentally created a riding halter with improved response built in, the Maserati of halters.


Please note:

These rope riding halters are not made with magic rope, The horse will only do what it has been trained to do, but we have always felt that the halter movement around the face, when a direct rein is applied, gave a sloppy cue which results in sloppy responses.

The Half Bosal is a refinement of the standard rope halter and is meant to be used as a riding halter.  Although it can be used as a regular halter, it is more suited for a horse that has already learned to give to pressure.  A standard rope halter and a program of groundwork exercises will help develop the desired cue and response needed for bitless riding. 

Check our No Fuss Reins, made to compliment the Half Bosal Riding Halter.


Price AUD$25.00  Colours Purple, Black, Red, Blue, Hunter Green, Pink, Beige,  Brown, Black/purple fleck, Black/blue fleck, Black/red fleck, Black/pink fleck, Black/beige fleck, Pink/purple fleck, White/blue fleck, White/red fleck and  Beige/Brown or Pink/Purple zig zag pattern.    Or custom mix and match.

Half Bosal Hackamore

The LodgeRopes Half Bosal Hackamore combine our popular coiled noseband riding halter with a Parelli style western rope hackamore.

All the details on the Half Bosal are above, we have added a 22ft mecate rein tied with the traditional western wrap & tie method.  This knot allows the noseband sizing to be adjusted by adding or removing wraps of the mecate rein.

The rope is our usual all Aussie made 100% polyester marine double braid,  soft &  smooth, tough & strong, low stretch and UV resistant.

Standard sizes pony, cob, arab, full, warmblood or draught or fully custom made to your horses measurements at no extra charge.

Full range of colours,  mix and match colours if you wish…no worries

Price AUD$72.00

LodgeRopes Enduro & Reins

This  Enduro Bitless bridle is designed especially for endurance & sports riding.  The bridle has a coiled noseband, similar to our popular 1/2 bosal riding halter, to reduce slip and movement on the face and improve responsiveness.  At the same time, produce the minimum amount of pressure on the nasal area.  The coiled noseband has minimum contact, allowing air movement and cooling.   Bridle has a throat latch and the poll strap is shortened to reduce any chance of getting caught up, all with the sport rider in mind.

We dont perscribe to the one size fits all attitude of some makers,  But this bridle can be adjusted to be used on a range of horses and can be made in pony, cob, full and warmblood sizes. The coiled noseband has a knotted chin piece that can be adjusted to suit your horse.  This is the real benefit of this design.  You set the noseband size so that it provides a nice comfortable fit for you horse.  The knotted chin piece only comes into effect if the horse tries to run thru the bridle, when it then makes contact with the jaw.  This pressure is released immediately the horse comes back online.  Riders using this type of setup have told us that a horse quickly learns to respond to the more subtle cues and communication improves.


Here is an email we recently got from an ebay customer (thank you for the kind words, paul, they were appreciated)

hi guys

I tried out the enduro today on my young stallion who i am in the process of starting and WOW is about the only word that does it justice the respose was absolutly fenominal to say te least within ten minutes we were out in the big paddock like an old trail horse no head shaking ears forward the lot  wonderful product highly recomend to anyone . we shall be doing more buisiness in the near future for sure .  


once again a huge thank you


Please note: At LodgeRopes we dont believe that tack solves problems, training solves problems.  The results this customer experienced has a lot to do with the good work they did with the stallion, our bridle just opened up communication.  Dont buy this item if you expect the bitless bridle to cure every  problem known to man & horse, as claimed by some bitless bridle makers........BUT it will give you the chance to remove the bit, establish clear & concise cues to request a desired response and provide a comfortable bridle with minimum pressure.


The bridle is custom made from 100% Aussie 6mm Marine Double Braid.

The Reins are 9ft long single loop rein (our sports rein)100% Aussie 1/2" marine Double Braid.   We have fitted solid brass snaps to the reins. 

 Mix and match any of these colours!!!          

Price AUD$65.00  Black, Red, Blue,  Pink, Purple, Hunter Green,  Brown, Beige, White / red fleck, Black/ blue fleck, Black / purple fleck, Black / red fleck, Black / pink fleck, Black/beige fleck, Pink /purple fleck and Beige/Brown or Pink/Purple zig zag pattern.

The 2nd & 3rd pics show custom versions, email anytime if you would like any specific modifications with reins or to add a matching leadrope to have a mecate style hackamore version..


Lodge Logic on Hackamores

The hackamore is a riding tradition, the word itself is an anglicized version of the Spanish ‘jaquima’, meaning tied halter.   A Hackamore consists of a ‘mecate’ rein that is connected to a halter (or bosal) to provide a set of reins and a lead rope.  The mecate reins are traditionally made from horsehair but can be rough on the hands, the Lodge Hackamore is soft and smooth on the hands.   The quality marine grade double braid rope used is not cheap, in fact it is darn expensive and there is 7 meters of 1/2" and 6 meters of 6mm rope used to make each Hackamore.  We really wanted to offer this item at a cheap price so that it would be affordable to riders wanting to experience the next stage of training and riding.


Tying a Hackamore:  There are so many ways to tie reins to the halter that it can become confusing.  The test of any technique or method is to ask the following questions:

1)     Is it safe for the rider/trainer?

2)     Is it safe for the horse?

3)     Does it perform its required task?

4)     Does it work every time?

5)     Do I understand why it works?


If the answer is yes to every question, every time, then it is fairly safe to say the technique is sound.  This applies to equipment, training techniques, in fact, life in general.   So with the general disclaimer that we don’t know everything and are always willing to learn something new, here is our take on Rope Hackamores.


Is The Hackamore a necessary training tool? 

Necessary, probably not.  Desirable, definitely!

It is a great training tool and takes the ground work into the saddle.  It’s all about communication, and a good quality hackamore allows clear communication with your horse.  A Hackamore is also great value for money.  Add up the cost for the following list of gear: 12ft lead rope, 22ft lead rope, rope halter and reins. The Hackamore provides all of this in one package.

Bitless Riding and Natural Horsemanship

There is a new wave of interest in the art of riding without a lump of metal in a horses mouth, mainly associated with the spread of Natural Horsemanship.  We decided to have a bit of a look at the standard rope halter and its origins.


The two pics above show a Spanish leather bosal hackamore and a rope halter.  The Halters noseband and chin strap replace the traditional braided rawhide bosal, cheek strap replaces the hanger and the gullet piece and throat latch substitute for the fiador.  The designs seem to be identical, so this seemed a good point to start researching the relevant training programs.


The Spanish ranchers of the Americas brought their riding techniques with them to the New World.  The vaqueros started and trained their horses in a hackamore.  The traditional hackamore consisted of the Bosal, Hanger & Fiador.  The bosal is usually a braided raw hide leather nose band that was shaped to fit the horse.  Correct location and fit is important, as the bosal must hang in a neutral position just above the nasal cartilage-facial bone join.  The bosal must be correctly weighted to allow the heel knot to swing or drop under the horses chin when rein pressure is released.  The fiador helped to keep the bosal in the correct position, limiting the forward movement of the heel knot of the bosal.  The fiador also acted as a throatlatch.  A long horsehair rope, called a mecate, was used as a set of reins and also provided a lead rope.  The mecate was wrapped around the bosal above the heel knot to adjust and weight the bosal.


For about the first 2 years the young horses learned the basics, to neck rein, back up, halt and cut and work cattle without a bit in their mouths.   Only those horses that proved their worth as working cow ponies went on to be bitted at about 5 to 6 years old.

The training was progressive, allowing the young horse to develop.  Training started in a heavy hackamore with a ¾ inch diameter bosal, but after the first seasons work, the thicker bosal was replaced with a lighter 5/8 inch version.   Following the second season the set up was changed to a light 3/8 to ½ bosal that was also shorter than the previous.

The transition to a bit was achieved by placing the bit in the mouth while the hackamore was still in place.  Lightweight reins were then attached to accustom the horse to weight in the mouth due to movement.  Gradually the bit was lightly used and eventually the hackamore was removed.


Interesting training regime but a little too long for our modern need for instant results.  This is where the horsemen like Pat Parelli come into their own.  Pat more than anyone else took what he had learned from his peers and molded it into a step by step approach that is easy to market.  Some call his Natural Horsemanship system the Amway of horse training.   Like so many others, we came to Natural Training via Parelli and have nothing but respect for the system and the man.  Especially his ground work consisting of the 7 games (we have found 5 of the games a must, the other 2 depend on the horse).  These teach the horse to give to pressure, actual or implied, and allow an easy transition to bitless riding.


It was the Parelli system that triggered our interest in hackamore riding.   Parelli offers a hackamore that consists of a modified basic halter and a 22 Ft mecate rein.  With our horses accustomed to moving in all directions on the ground and giving to light pressure in a halter, the transition to bitless riding was a natural progression for the rider and the horse.  The rope halter had become a bitless bridle and has proven to be beneficial for a couple of our head-tossing ponies.


For many of us, the availability of good bitless riding equipment has allowed us to reverse the training system of the Spanish Vaqueros….. we take our horses that were started in a bit and then prepare them to accept bitless cues and techniques often with desirable results.  One benefit we have observed in some of the horses we have played with here at the Lodge, is that when educated to accept halter riding techniques then reintroduced to a plain snaffle bit, a lot of the earlier bit problems or ‘quirks’ had disappeared or at least, reduced.


We are always learning from those who take the time to teach.  Email anytime.


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