Zilco Flower Hackamore - Bitless
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!
Zilco Flower Fitting Instructions *See below for accessories - Trigger Rein Snaps, Nylon Lunging Strap, and Double Chain Curb Strap.
Click to enlarge image
An effective alternative to the bit, the Zilco Flower Hackamore offers a contoured and comfortable design that uses leverage to apply pressure to certain areas of the face, nose and chin when the reins are engaged. Cushioned PVC waffle lining promotes a gentle action across the nose and prevents excessive rubbing or discomfort while the dual chin and noseband adjustments allow for a custom fit. The unique and versatile stainless steel "flower" shanks offer multiple adjustment and position options to increase or decrease the amount of pressure applied by the leverage of the rein.
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. It looks even smaller because of the cut out edge.
Exclusive Zilco Synthetic Material Features:
• Contoured, PVC Waffle-Padded Noseband
• Dual Chin Strap Buckles Adjustments
• Zilco Material Curb Strap
• Unique Flower Shanks for Versatility
Yvonne's notes: I discovered the Zilco Flower Hackamore after looking for an economical alternative. I was so excited about my discovery of the ring style metal wheel hackamore for upper level classical schooling - as a COMPLETE bit replacement. However, the German model that I had been using was very expensive and difficult to import. It was hard to believe - but the Zilco Flower does work just as well, for a fraction of the cost! I have tested it extensively for this past year, and I can wholeheartedly say that yes, the Zilco is fantastic, rides just like a bit, and makes horses happier.
I have successfully used the Zilco and other "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.
Zilco Flower 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.
Zilco Flower Hackamore
The Zilco Flower Hackamore includes 2 Flower Wheels, a PVC Waffle-Padded Noseband, and a Zilco Material Curb Chin Strap in Black only. Headstall and reins not included. Attach the Zilco to your own headstall and add your own reins and rein snaps. (See below for accessories.)
Sizing: One standard size. The versatile adjustment and generous sizing accommodates nearly any riding horse-sized head from small Arab to draft-cross.
Color: Black only.
***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.
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 Zilco Flower Hackamore and your horse will thank you for it!
Close up of Zilco in use, with rein pressure applied, to demonstrate the turn of the Flower wheel:
Click to enlarge image
Yvonne riding warmblood mare Belle in Piaffe, in the Zilco Flower Hackamore
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. Zilco Flower 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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