Riding horses can be fun and great exercise. There are many ways to ride: English, Western and Bareback. Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages. If your horse does not do well with a bit, an alternative might be a hackamore. They make these for both English and Western riding, and are often the answer for horses with hard mouths.
Determine whether you want to ride in an English or Western hackamore. Although the way the bridle works is the same, the layout of the bridle is different.
Make sure your hackamore fits properly. The bridle part should fit like a standard bridle, but it is important that the nose band fit properly. It needs to be form fitting, but not tight. It cannot be too big or loose. Ask for professional help if you need it.
Understand that the longer the shank is on the hackamore, the more severe it is on the horse's nose. A severe hackamore in the hands of a novice is asking for trouble. Make sure that you begin with a mild hackamore and work your way up if needed.
Choose the type of noseband that is best for your horse. Mild hackamores are made of leather or rubber. Severe hackamores are made of bicycle chain and sport long shanks. These are cruel and should be avoided.
You can use both hands to rein with a hackamore, or you can use neck reining if your horse is well trained. Always remember that a hackamore is not that different from a bitted bridle, it just applies pressure to a different spot.