Ok, I'm biased against any kind of mechanical hackamore. I'll acknowledge that up front.
I look at this one http://www.trail-rite.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=85 and a couple of things concerned me.
The curb chain sits really high up on the horse's jaw. I prefer something that sits lower down in the chin groove.
I also don't like that the "S" part appears to slide freely on the headstall. That creates an action similar to a gag in the sense that there is no resistance from the headstall to keep the S from being overrotated if it were pulled on hard enough. (Reading that I don't know if I made myself clear. Think of it this way. In a regular shanked bit you have a loop at the top of the shank that the headstall attaches to. Lift on the reins, that loop moves slighly and that moves the headstall slighly over the poll. In this bit, there is no such action because the S does not stay in a fixed position in relation to the headstall. Clear as mud?)
If you wrapped the noseband, it would indeed be more comfortable. You could also wrap the curb chain or replace it with a wide, flat curb strap that would not have so much bite as the chain. Maybe something could be added to the S to put it into a locked position with the headstall, but then maybe that would change part of it's functionality? I don't know.
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