The Bosal

The bosal is a braided rawhide noseband and in the following section we outline some of the design features and their purpose.

Nose Button

The length of the nose button may vary from is 5” - 7” inches, with a greater circumference and higher number of plaits than the cheeks. This creates a bigger surface area, more contact and transmits a clearer signal. It is necessary the nose button achieves a close fit around the bridge of the nose thus displacing load and preventing additional friction due to a poor fit. This fit can be achieved by shaping and using a forma. Our bosals are very finely braided which results in a nosebutton with increased smoothness generating less friction. The length of the nose button will determine the position of the hanger/headstall. With a shorter nose button the hanger/headstall will be further up the side of the horses face thus increasing the speed of release (fall of the heel knot). A longer nose button creates a lower pivot point which results in the hanger being more centralised and a slightly slower release. A shorter nose button will increase the height of the hanger which may intercept the eye line, some riders will incorporate a latigo / thread similar to a throat latch pulling the hanger downwards. It is also worth remembering that the speed of release is not only determined by its point of balance but also:

  • Mecate wraps
  • Inclusion and correct adjustment of the Fiador
  • The weight of the heel knot
  • Your hands and feel

The internal depth of the bosal can range from 10” to 12.”+ , however the average depth being around 11” - 11.5”. Significant adjustment is possible with the use of a shaper and the wrapping of the mecate which can be used to shorten the bosal however this will impact on the balance.

Side Buttons

These are the 2 small buttons which are at the end of the nose button on each side. Normally higher quality bosals will weave the top button into the nose button with the button beneath being separate. The space between these buttons is where the latigo or headstall is secured. As well as support they provide a contact pressure point

Cheeks/Bars/Shanks

These are the bars either side of the of bosal which enter the heel knot. They contact the lower jaw line as the secondary communincationthey are also where a bosal is measured from e.g. 16 plait, ½” etc

Heel Knot & Plug

The heel knot acts as a counter balance to the nose button and provides the stopping point for the mecate reins. There are different shapes of heel knot depending on the braiders preference including the pineapple and the more elongated pear profile. Dependent on the design of the bosal, a gap may be visible above the heel knot and between the bars, this is sometimes referred to as the “plug”.

Shaping the bosal

** Due to the nature and refinement of our bosals under no circumstances place them in a bucket of water and try to shape around a can. To enable the profile to be changed in this manner the core of the bosal would have to become malleable due to saturation then shaped around a forma and left to dry significantly. If you do this with any bosal the outer braid will be compromised aswell as the core itself. Therefore be patient and shape incrementally without the use of water.**

The correct way to shape our bosals is through the natural give (NOT FORCE) in the material over a period of time. This retains the integrity of the bosal (internal rawhide core and braiding) creating memory in the core/braid and a profile that suits your horse. A can may be used to create a more acute radius however it is far better to use a forma to shape the bosal. Depending on the flex of the cheeks if you use a rectangular shape forma with a latigo tie you can create the radius in the nose button whilst supporting or narrowing the width between the cheeks. Our bosals tend to have a medium to firm flex on a braided core and once the profile is set will be retained, although this can be reshaped if required. We have fitted hackamores to various breeds of horses from, Quarter horses, Trakehners, to Draught horses.

Bosals