Hello Trail Riders,

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far indeed it has been a hot one. We had a great time to cool off on Saturday’s Wolf lake ride. Emily Morgan and Bonny George did a great job. We had such a variety of salads you could not believe. At the lake we also met up with the Broward club that was also hosting an event. For me personally was an exciting time to take my new gal “Splash” to the lake for our first trail ride with me. It was great to be on her and ride along with my wife Carolina and her horse Amazona. Splash has been with us for 2 weeks and she is coming along fine. It was nice to see Splash’s reaction to meet up with Mike and his horse BB. They were stall neighbors at Mike’s barn. I would like to thank Mike for getting Splash and I together. We are looking forward to the next ride which is Saturday the 23rd. National Day of the American Cowboy. TB Mike and Deda Maldando at the Fruit & Spice Park. Cowboy attire will be judged at 9:30 and ride out at 10:00. Deda will be hosting a Cowboy Art Display. So come out in your best cowboy outfits and lets make this year’s event one of our best. At the end of the month we will have another ride at Larry & Penny Thompson Park, this ride will be on July the 30th. For more information please check out our website for more details.

With all the bad news going on throughout the world its always a good time to get away from all the negative and have some fun with our horses. Let’s show what a good and positive time we can have together.

“Live well, laugh more, love horses”

See you all on the trail,










Bosal fit is more important to success in the hackamore than many folks realize.
A well-fitted hackamore/bosal is able to transmit clear and concise impulses as signals to your horse. This allows you to use a lighter, more sensitive touch. The use of a shorter, more conforming nose button, spreads the pressure more evenly over a larger facial surface area.

Properly fitted and adjusted, the hackamore/bosal conforms to the nose and sides of the face more akin to the fit of a custom hat that doesn’t squeeze or pinch. This allows the bosal to focus on the fatty tissues of the sides of the face more than the boney structures.

Correctly made and positioned, small side buttons not only keep the hanger in place to function well, but they also help lessen more potential wobble, static and irritation. The action of the bosal is freed. Your horse can listen, learn or work while com-fortable.

Using a big, loose, floppy hackamore/bosal with a nose button that springs the branches and creates gaps on the sides of the horse’s face can concentrate the point of pressure in a smaller area on the nasal area. The bone is only covered by thin skin. The potential for pain and discomfort is inherent. All of the weight of the bosal with the added weight of the mecate sit on one spot on the horse’s nose potentially causing tenderness. This can lead to training or behavioral issues. The bosal at left is a horse’s nightmare. Notice the rough braiding, poor fit, use of a headstall instead of hanger and extra-long nose button. Do your-self and your horse a favor: just say “No.”

If “cherries” or skinned, sore spots happen, have someone else check to see if you are bumping your horse, hanging on the mecate reins for balance or there needs to be more adjustment.

Remember: the hackamore stage of the bridling process requires several diameters of bosals and mecates (reins made from horse hair or mohair). They decrease in width and weight with advancement. Trainers need to also put together a collection of a variety of interior lengths, nose button lengths and styles as well as varying degrees of flex and branch flexes. These can be great tools aiding in their work.

You will want to hand shape the hackamore/bosal. A shorter nose buttons enable a good fit. They don’t spring the bosal bars/branches open. Having been hand made by order for a general size, shape and type of horse, each awaits specific shaping, this can be done by hand in a moment to fit each horse. If more closeness is desired, then an appropriately sized can will do to shape the lower bars a little. Don’t waste time, effort and money on gimmicks.

Underneath, there needs to be a space between the horse’s jaw and the mecate knot above the bosal’s heel knot to allow for the lift and full release. This width will vary from horse to horse. Facilitating the release is imperative since that is primarily how the horse will learn. With the hackamore, however, it is not a full drop/release. We want a continuance of flow.

Each horse and rider will have preferences as to the position of the hackamore/bosal. Is believe that there are some “sweet spots” that work better for individual horses; however, that does not mean that those spots should be continually used and desensitized.

Try starting the bosal positioned on the face above the V where the bone tapers and thins. Using your index finger and thumb you will feel them drop in at the top of the V on either side. Don’t position below the top of the V without real reason and experience: needless permanent damage can result.

Adjust the bosal location level up during the day (and at various stages of the process) via the simple, but effective hanger (without metal). This aids in preserving the sensitivity we want as well as the clarity of communication needed. Hangers that are correctly braid-ed on the bosal permit and encourage the needed action. Conversely, those that are looped on restrict the lift and release fulcrum. These, as well as headstalls, should be avoided for this reason.
Avoid causing the young horse to become overly tired or sore. It will pay big dividends in the long run. Ideally, time with you for work or play should be enjoyable for both.

When we remove the hackamore, we like to see an even sweat pattern on horses that sweat on the face. Dry spots reveal areas that are not in light contact with the bosal. NOTE: Some horses do not sweat much (except with long winter hair and lots of work).

Each hackamore is made with a tie back latigo 3/8” in diameter. For horses with wide set eyes, the hanger may need to be tied back (half an inch or so is fine) away from the corner of the horse’s eyes. For many this is not necessary, but don’t cut off the tie back: instead fasten it out of the way over the crown. It may come in handy for another horse.

People ask about so-called “nerve knots” on the bosal. These nerve knots are always “on” and become pressure points of discomfort for the horse.
With a correctly sized, fitted and adjusted bosal, very little movement of the mecate reins is necessary to send clear communication. As a result, the nose button does not travel too much. The fulcrum is working and balanced properly. Potential pressure is spread out since bosal pressure/weight is not condensed on a small area on the horse’s nose creating tender spots. Avoid issues and a positive communication foundation can be built in the hackamore on the journey to the bridle horse.

~submitted by Domingo Hernandez


Bosal Mecate






Feed Store
Lilly Gomez and Kat Miro have opened their new store at SW 191 St. & Krome Ave, and of-fer a well rounded stock to meet the needs of local farm owners. Their MannaPro line serves horses & livestock, poultry, rabbits, & more. Merrick (raw infused), Diamond, Victor, & Fromm dog/cat foods (bags/cans) are also in stock. Hay/forage includes: Coastal, T&A,O&A, round bales, & Alfalfa (bale & cubes); delivery avail. – ph. 786-732-2241. Currently planning to line up hay test-ing by their consistent supplier, so those interested in nutritionally balancing their forage, have accurate shipment information.

There is new tack, work boots; farm/gardening tools, fertilizer, weed control supplies; and local honey & produce too! Soon to be offered…a rustic furniture line for farm or patio.

SFTR Michelle Londono has Eng/Western items on consignment, & SFTR Dianne “Sonni” Peles has an extensive in-store consignment section of renewed tack & saddles, & also offers her repair services!

There will be a Grand Opening event later in August, with feed reps. to answer questions about their product lines, discuss nutritional issues, hand out special offer coupons, and raffles! See our SFTR newsletter for a 10% discount to members – so stop in and help support another local agri-business!

(Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 9-6pm, Sun 11am-3pm.)

Bonny George, Jr.





Once again the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4127 in Homestead. Florida has invited the South Florida Trail Riders to participate in their Annual Freedom Walk in remembrance of all the victims of the 9-11 terrorist at-tacks. We will also remember the families and friends they left behind as well as all the men and women of the Armed Forces, First Responders, and civilians killed in the War on Terror throughout the world and here at home.

We will always remember the number 9-11. Following are some other numbers to remember:

2,977- Total number of victims, including the 246 vic-tims in the four planes.
343- Firefighters and paramedics killed, including one chaplain.
23- N.Y. Police officers killed.
37- N.Y. Port Authority police officers killed.
1,717- Families that did not get remains of their loved ones.
1,609- Lost a spouse or partner.
3,051- Children who lost a parent.
125- Died in the Pentagon. Fifty five (55) of them members of the military.
200- Jumped to their deaths or fell from the burning Twin Towers.
98- Fire trucks and other rescue vehicles destroyed.
99- Days that the Towers continued to burn.
6,000+ Soldiers and civilians killed around the world and at home since 9-11.

Join us September 11, 2016. You can ride your horse with the SFTR, walk, jog, cycle or wheel. You can also bring strollers for your young ones.

Meet at the VFW Post, 601 NE 2nd Rd., Home-stead, FL 33030. Park your rigs in the grassy lot across the street from the Post.

SFTR registration starts at 12 Noon. Must be in formation in front of the Flag pole no later than 1:20 PM.

You must also register (no charge) with the VFW . There will be a ceremony at 1:30 PM and we ride at 2 PM. The ride/walk is an easy 2 miles. Bring your non- riding friends and family.

For more information contact the Trail Bosses:
Manny Alvarez  or
Bonny George Jr.







Wayne and I arrived at the park bright and early. Soon after, Bonny George Jr. arrived and volunteered to sign people in while we went to hide the bags with the scavenger hunt items. By 8:45 all twelve bags were tied to trees throughout the park. When we arrived back at the staging area, people had already started to arrive. Debi Cat Priest was there ready to take hay bags and water buckets to the tie line at the restaurant. People were busy saddling their horses. By 9:30 the group gathered, very clear instructions were given (lol), and the riders were sent on their way. A forty-five minute time limit was set, thinking that that would be sufficient time (it wasn’t). A mental note was taken regarding the time limit and will be adjusted next year. No one found all of the items. Ellen Peaceman and John found seven. That was the most found. The first ones back to the staging area were Heidi and her group, but they only found six items. Drat the dreaded time limit. All the prizes were given out and we headed for the restaurant. Ben and Bonny were the safety escort for the riders along 117th Avenue. Bonny did such a good job, she was threatened with a ticket for delaying traffic by a friendly police officer.

Upon arrival at the Original Pancake House we were told that immediate seating had been prepared. Once the horses were secured and comfortable under the watchful eyes of Lisa, Luis, and Bonny, the group went inside to eat a fabulous meal. Thank you Lisa, Luis, and Bonny for enduring the heat, keeping the horses and public safe, and keeping the yuck factor under control. The food was excellent and the service was amazing. With full tummies, we made the trip back to the staging area.

Several riders decided to do an “After Ride” and helped pick up the bags so we could keep the park clean. They also wanted to know where those “unfound” bags were located. Having them along made it a lot more fun and we thank them for their help. Thanks everyone for coming. You made it a success. The manager of Original Pancake House is already asking when we will do it next year.

Happy Trails

~Carrie Hershberger


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