Horse Trainer Tik Maynard’s Christmas Wish List

Learn what author and horse trainer Tik Maynard hopes to find under his tree this year.

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Horse Trainer Tik Maynard’s Christmas Wish List
What horsey items are on your holiday wish list this year? | Photo: iStock
Hi, I’m Tik Maynard. My wife and I both compete in three-day eventing and train horses for a living. Moving up the levels of eventing is how I set my GPS, but my drive to get there is tempered by my wish to deeply understand horses. This road has been slower but fun and scenic. The following is my 2020 Christmas wish list.

A traditional hackamore with a bosal and mecate. I start or restart 10 or so horses per year. After a few groundwork sessions I ride them in my jump saddle, which has become a beaten-up old friend. Usually I’ll have them in a rope halter for the first few rides.

Occasionally they bronc. If I’m worried they might put their head between the legs to buck, then I like to get them in a bit sooner rather than later. It helps me keep their head up.

What I’m missing is that intermediate step between a rope halter and a bitted bridle. A Western hackamore with a bosal and mecate might be just the right thing. Jake Biernbaum, a colt starter and friend, explained that a bosal is a braided Western noseband made of leather or rawhide on a rawhide core from the vaquero tradition. When attached to a hanger (headstall) and outfitted with mecate (braided reins usually made of horsehair) it creates a Western hackamore. They can be made out of different leathers and be different thicknesses. Jake recommends a 5/8-inch bosal, which is a nice middle-of-the-road way to get started

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Tik Maynard is an eventing and horsemanship trainer and clinician. He is an “A” Pony Club graduate and Canadian Pony Club hall of famer and represented Canada in modern pentathlon in the 2007 Pan Am Games. Today, Maynard and his wife, professional event rider Sinead Halpin, run Copperline Equestrian, in Citra, Florida. Maynard recently wrote his first book, In the Middle Are the Horseman.

One Response

  1. Driving is a little scary at first because you are not in direct touching contact with the horse, but only through the reins and voice.
    To me, it felt that my control was primarily through a familiar voice and established trust. But it is fun!

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