Star Wheel Hackamore
Now Available in "Gold" or "Silver"!
Click here for Star Wheel Testimonials!
A "bitless-bit" style of bitless bridle, with 2 metal wheels/rings which create evenly distributed pressure to control the horse's head. To the rider, feels just like a bit!
Star Wheel Fitting Instructions *See below for accessories - Trigger Rein Snaps, Nylon Lunging Strap, and Double Chain Curb Strap.
Click to enlarge image
The Star Wheel Hackamore was created by Markus Holst of Sweden, who offers custom classical dressage equipment. This innovative and fun design will add real style to your ride! An effective alternative to the bit, the Star Wheel Hackamore features a simple and flexible design that uses leverage to apply gentle, evenly distributed pressure to the poll, nose, and chin when the reins are engaged. You can control the degree of leverage by varying the position of the metal wheel, with 6 holes for rein and bridle attachments. It is easy to customize the fit, with both the noseband and chin strap fully adjustable. Choose from a neoprene padded noseband, or a synthetic fleece padded noseband, for gentle action across the nose and to prevent excessive rubbing or discomfort.
• The silver colored "star" wheels are stainless steel. The gold colored "star" wheels are brass. Both are 9cm (3 1/2") in diameter.
• Straps are all leather.
• The neoprene padded noseband has a thin leather lining over the neoprene.
• The fleece padded noseband is lined with a natural colored, fluffy, synthetic fleece/fur padding.
• The all leather chin strap is plain, unlined leather.
Yvonne's notes: I was delighted to discover Markus Holst's shop, with his selection of classical dressage equipment which included unique, innovative bitless-bit designs!! I immediately decided I needed to start importing his products to the USA - and the Star Wheel Hackamore was my top pick. The simple and beautiful design is an exciting addition to my Bitless Shop!
I have successfully used these "bitless-bit" designs (they all work pretty much the same) on a variety of horses ranging from green to advanced. For horses that are strong or inclined to be naughty, the bitless-bit is enhanced by the addition of a chain curb strap, which makes it stronger (see accessories below). With correct, snug adjustment of the bridle beforehand, you can easily do a one-rein emergency stop with the bitless-bit. With correct adjustment, an advanced rider can ride with the same level of finesse they experience in traditional dressage bitted contact - one might find the "bitless-bit" comparable to the effectiveness of a double bridle! You might feel like I do - that this is actually BETTER than a bit - with no loss of quality, and improved connection with your horse, full lateral control, and the ability to more effectively communicate. For more about my previous experiences with this style of bitless, read A Bitless-Bit for Dressage/High School Riders and My Bitless Story.
Star Wheel Fitting Instructions
WARNING: This bridle does NOT train your horse! There is no "magic" tack. You will still need to train your horse. The bridle and bitless-bit need to be carefully fitted. Use common sense whenever introducing any new tack to any horse. Every horse is different. If you lack experience, please seek expert hands-on guidance.
Star Wheel Hackamore
And it is beautiful!
The Star Wheel Hackamore includes 2 Star Wheels in stainless steel or brass, a leather noseband (with fleece or neoprene padding), and a leather chin strap - with matching stainless steel or brass buckles. Headstall and reins not included. Attach the Star to your own headstall and add your own reins and rein snaps. (See below for accessories.)
Sizing: One standard size. *Note: Sizing is VERY generous! In fact, this noseband/chin strap diameter is HUGE. But that's okay - it means it will fit nearly ANY HORSE (even a draft). For example, I had to punch 5 more holes in the chin strap to fit my warmblood with a slightly finer muzzle. For typical American breeds, expect that you will need to adjust the noseband to the tightest buckles, and add more holes to the chin strap to get the correct tightness. The excess leather ends can easily be trimmed off. Please refer to my Star Wheel Fitting Instructions to get the correct fit on the chin strap.
Note that the Star Wheel measures 9cm (3 1/2") in diameter - which might appear quite "large" on a small-headed or fine muzzled horse. In that case, the Zilco Flower style might be more appropriate, with a smaller metal wheel. Horses in photos above are just over 16 hands with normal to slightly large sized heads.
Color and Style: Now 3 styles to choose from!!!
***See below for accessories!
Return Policy: Return within 30 days in NEW condition (must be unused, fully clean, unmarked, and able to be sold as NEW) for full refund. Or return "used" within 30 days, and refund will be prorated according to wear. No returns after 30 days.
The "Gold" Star has matching brass buckles on the noseband AND chin strap!
Trigger Rein Snaps
Nickel-plated, die cast scissor snaps are 2½" overall length with a flat attachment for the rein. Square Swivel Eye is 3/4 inch.
The perfect way to attach your reins to a bitless-bit wheel hackamore. Quick and easy. Eliminates the leather buckling at the point of a curved attachment, and creates a smoother action on a variety of wheel hackamores. Easy to change reins quickly, or remove them for lunging.
*Note that the snaps can pop loose if your horse rubs its face and catches the snap. If you don't know how to ride a horse with one rein (and do a one-rein stop) in that rare scenario, and you rely on both reins to stop your horse, then trigger rein snaps, or any leather reins that can break, may not be suitable for you.
Padded Lunge Strap
Made from a self-padded, thick, cushioned, cotton web material, this lunge strap is more comfortable for your horse than the thin nylon models, and quickly transforms your bridle into a genuine lunging cavesson! Perfect for bitless-bit style bridles, like the Zilco Flower and Star Wheel!
This black padded lunge strap snaps to a bit, halter, or bitless-bit wheel hackamore for working the horse on a lunge line or in-hand. Center Dee is fixed firmly in place and swivels to keep the lunge line from twisting. This model was chosen specifically because it is just the right size for attaching to any model bitless-bit wheel hackamore. This lunge strap measures a total length of 10 inches from end to end of the metal clips; the black strap alone measures 6 1/2 inches long.
Double Chain Curb Strap
Choose Black Leather or Brown Leather
For strong, heavy, or naughty horses, or a little extra sensitivity, try a chain curb strap. Double chain curb strap with Nickel plated hardware and USA leather. 5/8 inch wide leather, 4 inch long chain, and leather ends that adjust from 8 inch to 10 1/2 inch total length.
*Note that the chain chin strap has a limit to its possible adjustment, due to the chain, which means it might not adjust tight enough for small-headed horses - especially in the case of the Star Wheel Hackamore which has a larger diameter wheel.
Buy a Star Wheel Hackamore and your horse will thank you for it!
Trying to decide between the Zilco Flower and the Star Wheel?
The metal part on the Star is larger in diameter than on the Flower. If you have a very large headed horse, I think the Star might look a bit better, plus the Star can adjust out to a VERY large size. That said, I have fit the Flower on a draft cross. If you have a small headed horse, the Flower is probably the better choice.
The Zilco's Flower ring measured from ring edge to ring edge, NOT including the extra long rein ring, is 3 1/8 inches or 8cm. Visually the Star looks much bigger than the Zilco Flower because of the solid rim edge, even though it's only about 1 cm larger (Star Wheel is 9cm or 3 1/2 inches in diameter).
The Flower has a little "shank" for the rein attachment, though you can ignore it and use that for the headstall attachment, etc. The shank is so small, it really does not change the action. The Flower, made by Zilco, has the Zilco synthetic material, which is really very nice!! But it is available only in black.
The Star is all leather, and available in black or brow - and also the added bonus of a "gold" brass wheel option for the black leather model. I think the larger wheel of the Star might provide just a little more lateral bending encouragement.
I've been very happy riding in both the Flower and the Star, and can't tell that much difference between the two. I think they mechanically work pretty much the same. This has been my observation with all the "bitless-bit" wheel style mild mechanical hackamore models. Just make sure they are adjusted correctly!! Read the Fitting Instructions article on each Hackamore's page. Star Wheel Fitting Instructions
More information on bitless bridles and bitless riding:
Bitless Riding - Our extensive collection of articles and links to bitless information.
A Bitless-Bit for Dressage/High School Riders
My Bitless Story by Yvonne Welz
Directory of Articles by Dr. Robert Cook
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