Leverage hackamore bridle
United States Patent 2186350

To those familiar with the art, it has for some time been considered advantageous to use bitless bridles, hackamores and the like, for controlling the movements of the horse. The common feature of all these devices is the elimination of a bit or curb extending through the horse's mouth. The...

Simon, William I.
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Simon, William I.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
International Classes:
View Patent Images:


To those familiar with the art, it has for some time been considered advantageous to use bitless bridles, hackamores and the like, for controlling the movements of the horse. The common feature of all these devices is the elimination of a bit or curb extending through the horse's mouth.

The elimination of the bit is particularly desirable in the case of horses having tender mouths, or those having dispositions prone to fight the bit, or to slobber: Further, it has been found that young and fractious animals may be more easily controlled by downward and backward pressure on the nose than by similar pressure on the jaw, as is the case with ordinary bit bridles. Among the types of bitless bridles heretofore devised, those considered most effective are of the leverage type; that is, where a rearward pull of the reins produces a tightening of nose and chin straps by leverage means. These bridles, however, have a common fault in that the pressures are not applied at the most effective points. As a rule, bridles of this type apply downward pressure too low on the nose structure of the horse, and upward curbing pressure too high on the jaw structure.

I have found that pressure too low on the nose-on the cartilageous structure below the nose bone bridge-shuts off the horse's wind, and generally results in the animal fighting the bit, making it unnecessarily hard to control. Further, where the curb is placed high on the jawbone structure, such great curb pressure must be applied that in many instances injury to the flesh is caused, followed by chapping and sores. The best control can be most efficiently attained by pressures by a nose band positioned high on the bridge of the animal's nose and well above the soft cartilageous structure, and a curb positioned in the chin groove, just back of the lower lip.

With the above in mind, the objects of my invention are,-First, to provide a leverage type hackamore bridle of simple sturdy construction having a minimum number of parts and which can be easily and cheaply constructed; Second, to provide a bridle of the type mentioned which is humane and which will apply 50 controlling pressures at the most effective points; Third, to provide a bridle of the type described wherein the parts are constructed so that downward and rearward pressure is applied high on the horse's nose by the rearward pull of the K reins, and coincidentally curb tightening pressure is applied in the horse's chin groove near the outer end of the lower jaw.

Fourth, to provide a bridle of the type described wherein the leverage plates are positively prevented from dislodgement from operative po- 6 sition by pitching or tossing of the horse's head.

Other objects will appear hereinafter.

I attain the foregoing objects by means of the devices illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which-Figure 1 is a perspective of the bridle in place upon a horse's head; Figure 2 is a side elevation of the leverage portion of the bridle drawn on a somewhat enlarged scale; Figure 3 is a front elevation of same; Figure 4 is a front elevation of a slightly modified form of cheek plate; and Figure 5 is an elevation of same sectioned substantially on line 5-5, Figure 4. Similar numerals refer to similar parts in the several views.

The bridle consists, in general, of a hackmore headstall I, composed of cheek straps 2, a brow band 3, a crown piece 4, and a throat latch 5, all joined in the usual manner by a rosette 6, together with the levarage assembly which includes the cheek plates 7, rein levers 8, nose band 9 and curb 10. Reins II are attached to rings in the lower portions of the rein levers. Cheek plates 7 are each composed of an inner plate 12, an outer plate 13 and include nose band plates 14. Each of these plates are usually joined at the top by a rivet 15. At the bottom the outer and inner plates are joined by a shouldered rivet 16 so that the mid portion of the rivet forms a journal to pivotally support the rein levers 8. In order to better illustrate the shouldered rivet 16, it is shown in Figure 4 as it would appear before peaning over. Each of the outer plates 13 is slotted, as at 17, and the metal on the upper side of the slot upset to form bars 18 to receive the lower end of the cheek straps 2.

Nose band 9 is preferably composed of a base strap 19 run through slots 38 in each of the plates 14. This base strap is overlaid with a pressure pad 21 made of braided leather strips, felt padding covered with suede, or the like.

The strap 19 of this nose band is of proper width and texture to support the weight of the nose band when resting on the horse's nose bridge and resist any tendency of the band to droop, or slip downward on the nose. Ordinarily, the hackmore is fitted as shown in Figure 1, and the nose K band 9 held in fixed position relative to cheek 1 plates 1 by the nose band plate 14, retained in fixed position by rivets 15. Where, however, it 1 is desired to change the angle of plates 14 relaStive to cheek plates 13, to create a greater up- 1 ward stress, or move the nose band upward at a more acute angle to the cheek straps in order to fit it to animals having differently shaped nose bridges, or for other similar reasons, I provide I io the structure shown in Figures 4 and 5. Here the nose band plate 14 is provided with a serrated disk or attached washer 35, which matches a similar disk 36 on the inside of the outer plate 13. Rivet 15 is replaced by a machine screw and 35 nut 37. When the nut or screw 37 is loosened the registering serrations permit relative pivotal adjustment, but when tightened the plate 14 is rigidly held in position.

Each of the rein levers consists essentially of a normally downwardly depending rein arm 24, a normally downwardly and rearwardly extending curb lever arm 25, and a rounded web plate 26, joining the upper ends of these arms. The top of the web is pierced to receive the rivet 16 on which it pivotally bears and in normal position, as illustrated in Figures 1 and 2, the rein lever freely swings on this pivot bearing. The lower end of each rein arm 24 is provided with a ring 21 to receive the reins 1 , and the lower extremity of each curb lever 25 is provided with an annular ring 28. These rein levers are preferably made by a stamping from a metal plate of sufficient thickness and strength to maintain the desired shape under all stresses to which they may be subjected.

Rein levers are made in pairs, right and left respectively. Lugs 30 are welded to the outside of each lever, adjacent the forward edge and near the top to form a shoulder stop contacting g0 the front edge of the outer plate 13 of each cheek plate. These lugs prevent the rein levers 8 from turning too far in reverse (counterclockwise as viewed in Figure 2) direction, or to a point where rein ring 27 would be above pivot 16. This prevents accidental loss of control which might be occasioned by the horse pitching or tossing its head.

Curb !0 preferably has a chain middle portion 31 to lend weight, and buckled straps 32 to connect the end links with the curb lever rings 28.

The forward portions of these rings are bent inwardly to facilitate the passage of the loops of straps 32 around the forward edge of ring 28 and through the curved slot between it and the rear edge of the rein arm. This construction permits the curb, when in position, depending between rings 28 to maintain the same relative vertical position throughout movement of the rein levers. As these are brought up by a rearward pull of the reins the straps 32 slide around rings 28, permitting the curb chain 31 to remain swinging downwardly between them and to maintain its position in the flesh constituting the horse's chin groove 21. This motion is illustrated in dotted outline 20 in Figure 2.

To prevent lateral displacement an alinement bar 33 is looped at each end through rings 27 on the rein levers. It is of sufficient size and strength to hold the lower ends of these levers in the desired spaced relation, corresponding approximately to the width of the horse's mouth.

The efficient operation of this bridle depends on the relative position of the centers of the bearing rivet 16 (which may be termed the ful74 crum pin), the rein arm ring 21, and the curb ever ring 28. In noting the relation of these points it will be understood that the length of he line A-B, representing the leverage value of the rein arm, is proportionately longer than ine A-C, representing the leverage value of the curb lever. The relative difference in length of these lines is proportionate to the mechanical advantage desired. Point A is the fulcrum and the ever is of the second class. From the drawing it is apparent that the angle BAC is quite acute, and while the degree of opening is not critical it is essential that the angle be kept as small as possible-taking into consideration the necessary width of the lever bars and placement of the centers above mentioned. A more critical requirement in the placement of center C relative to centers A and B is explained as follows: Take the line D-E substantially parallel with the ridge of the horse's nose as a base, project line FAG at substantially right angles thereto, and substantially alined with the center of the nose band. Now point C must lie forward of this line when the lever is in the loose or normal position. Therefore, it can be said that the center of ring 28 lies forward of a line perpendicular to the nose ridge of the horse and passing through the center of pivot or fulcrum on the cheek plates. When in this position the curb is swung so that it rests in the horse's chin groove. At the same time the positions of the cheek plates are adjusted by means of the cheek straps of the head stall until the point of pivot A is above (further toward the top of the horse's head), the center C of the curb lever ring. To permit this cheek straps 2 looped over bars 18 on cheek plates 10 are provided with buckles or equivalent take-up devices. Adjusted in this manner the construction of the several parts permits the nose band 9 to set high on the bridge of the horse's nose and to remain there without tendency toward downward movement or stress throughout all operation of the rein levers. The length of the nose band is not critical. It is only necessary that it is of sufficient length so that the cheek plates are positioned approximately adjacent the upper end of the horse's upper jaw bone.

With the nose band and cheek plates correctly positioned the curb straps are adjusted so that when the rein levers lie loosely in normal posi- , tion, as shown in Figure 1, with the lugs 30 limiting further forward motion, the curb chain rests snugly but not necessarily tightly in the horse's chin groove. From this position rearward or upward pull on the reins operates levers .55 8 in a counter clockwise direction toward the extreme position illustrated by the dotted outline, Figure 2. In making this motion it will be noted that the take-up, or upward displacement of the curb relative to its position in the horse's ,6 chin groove, is very much greater than its rearward displacement. This latter is so small, that the curb is never dislodged from the chin groove since the flesh yields sufficiently to accommodate this rearward shift. The effect of this motion is :i5 first to tighten the leverage assembly. The curb is drawn up and this force is offset by a downward pull on the nose band and cheek straps.

The pressures thus applied on the forward end of the horse's lower jaw, the bridge of its nose, T0 and top of its head cause it to respond instantly.

After this tightening effect, further pull on the reins brings backward pressure on the horse's nose by direct pull on the nose band. The degree of this pressure is governed by the length of T7, the rein levers and the mechanical advantage correspondingly secured. By lengthening these levers this pressure may be easily made sufficiently severe to control even the most fractious horses. After only a slight amount of training the horse becomes accustomed to these pressures and only a light pull on the reins is necessary to control it. This makes the bridle very humane, and eliminates fretting, fouching and fighting the bit, as caused by devices where pressures are unnecessarily severe and anatomically inefficiently applied.

Various changes and modifications may suggest themselves to those familiar with the art, all of which, however, would remain within the spirit of the invention as herein disclosed. Therefore, I wish to be limited only by the following claims.

I claim: 1. A leverage hackamore having a head stall including cheek straps, in combination with a pair of cheek plates adjustably supported on said cheek straps, a flexible nose band archedly supported by said cheek plates to rest high on the nose bridle of the horse, rein levers pivotally sup-. ported on and normally depending from said cheek plates, said rein levers each having downwardly depending rein levers and downward and slightly rearwardly extending curb levers joined at the top by an arched connecting web, rings attached at the lower ends of said levers, the center of the rings on said curb levers being positioned forward of the alinement of said nose band and the pivotal support of said rein levers and a curb chain depending between the rings on said curb lever arms.

2. A leverage hackamore having a head stall, including a crown band, a throat latch, and cheek straps, a pair of cheek plates attached to the lower ends of said cheek straps adapted to be positioned approximately adjacent the upper end of the horse's mouth on each side thereof, respectively, a flexible nose band attached at each end to the upper portion of said cheek plates positioned to extend over the upper bridge of the horse's nose, a pair of rein levers pivotally attached to the lower portion of said cheek plates, having downwardly depending rein levers and substantially downwardly depending curb levers, rings attached to the lower extremities of said levers, a curb chain swingably attached to the rings on said curb levers so as to slide freely therearound while depending therebetween, said curb lever rings being positioned approximately directly below said pivotal attachment so that, when said rein levers hang in normal relaxed position, said curb chain depending therefrom will rest in the chin groove of the horse. 3. In a leverage hackamore, in combination, a pair of cheek plates and a pair of rein levers pivotally bearing in and supported by said cheek plates, said rein levers having downwardly depending rein levers and substantially downwardly depending curb lever arms, the lower end of said curb lever arm having an annular ring adapted to attachment to a curb chain where said curb chain may vertically depend therefrom, and freely slip around said ring to maintain said vertical position approximately, said rein levers having lugs adapted to contact said cheek plates to prevent forward swinging movement beyond a predetermined normal position.

4. A leverage hackamore bridle including, in combination, a head stall having cheek straps, a pair of cheek plates adjustably attached to said cheek straps and extending substantially at right angles thereto, a nose band plate attached to the upper portion of said cheek plates adapted to receive and retain the supporting strap of a nose band, adjustable attachment mechanism whereby said nose band plates may be pivotally adjusted relative to said cheek plates, a pair of rein levers pivotally supported within the lower portion of said cheek plates, said rein levers comprising downwardly depending rein lever arms and downwardly depending curb lever arms joined by a connecting web portion at the top, rings attached to the lower ends of said rim lever arms adapted to receive reins, rings attached to the lower ends of said curb lever arms adapted to receive curb straps, and lugs on said rein levers adapted to prevent reverse motion thereof beyond a predetermined position, said curb lever arm rings shaped so that the forward portion of their peripheries is freely open and positioned relative to the pivotal support on said cheek plates so that a curb chain freely depending therebetween rests within the chin groove of a 41 horse on which the hackamore is placed when the rein levers depend in normal relaxed position, together with a curb composed of a chain straps attached at each end thereof looped through said curb lever arm rings adapted to slide freely therearound.