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Sundown
May. 16, 2009, 12:17 AM
I'm sure this thread has been done before, but it just came to my attention in the Confession time... that people found pelhams as a big no-no. Personally, I don't seen the problem with them if used correctly. If not they are definitely a bad thing and can make a horse go incorrectly. But my horse has great flat work and at home goes in a D-ring and jumps course at 3'9"-4ft in them but at shows we switch to the pelham. It gives me a little more leverage and he can get low in the corners so it lets me pick him up subtly. It also lets him use his front end better because I can set him farther on his hind end. So in his case I don't see the problem...He goes great in the D at home and can do all the flat work in it and goes in it up until we put on our show cloths and step in the ring at a show, then we switch to the pelham. As his training gets better and he learns to not get as low and I learn how to fix it in the D at shows, then maybe he'll go in it all the time, but as for now, it helps and makes him go better at shows.

What do you all think?

Tilly
May. 16, 2009, 12:19 AM
Sorry. Saw the title, and thought 'what the heck is a phelam?' :lol:

I personally have no problem with pelhams.

Sundown
May. 16, 2009, 12:21 AM
Sorry! I just realized that and changed it...I'm terrible at spelling :D

klmck63
May. 16, 2009, 12:21 AM
I agree, pelhams, when used correctly sometimes give that extra little bit that you need when you take your horse off the property.

I'm fairly confident that even George Morris said one time in a Practical Horseman Equitation critique that some horses just inexplicably go better in a pelham.

My now retired horse was always show in a pelham in hunters. She was just better in it. Sometimes I would switch to a full cheek at the end of a long show just because she didn't have as much 'go'. My new boy I show in a loose ring snaffle in the jumper ring because he doesn't need any more than that.

I wasn't really aware that there was so much anti-pelham stigma out there, I don't understand why. Kimberwick's I understand because it is less controlable but if used correctly in my books a pelham is a-okay.

Seven-up
May. 16, 2009, 12:28 AM
Who cares about a pelham? 93% of big eq horses go in pelhams. The only time I'm bugged by a pelham is when someone has bit converters or only one rein (hooked to the curb, of course.) Oh, add to that list a horse who's so overflexed he's staring at his own feet. But a plain ol' pelham? Again, I say, who cares?

AnotherRound
May. 16, 2009, 01:03 AM
I think its an issue for dressage. There its illegal, but there are vastly different reasons why it isn't desireable for dressage. I used a pelham on my mare hunting and cross country. I like the reasons the OP uses it for her horse - makes alot of sense for her. Used correctly.

mvp
May. 16, 2009, 02:14 AM
Sorry to get all hard-a$$ purist on you guys, but why distinguish between dressage and hunters? If you horse isn't as strong and broke as a dressage horse, why would you want to point that out.... like it's a feather in the hunter cap? In fact, I think its an even bigger problem for the Big Eg, and 93% of those huge, tired WBs moving stiff and jumping flat under their riders calls does not bode well for the dressage education we are theoretically rewarding in that ring.

I don't mean to start a trainwreck. Really, you can ride in whatever is legal and suits your agenda. But think about why pelhams are illegal in dressage. Do the powers that be over there have any legitimate reason for outlawing them? If so, pay attention.

But reading the posts explaining what the "correct" or "legitimate" applications of the pelham are, it seems to me that these are a quick and temporary correction for horse that are too strong or too low for the show-ring job they are asked to do. More dressage, I'd say.

Seven-up
May. 16, 2009, 03:31 AM
Actually, to me a pelham says a horse has a more educated and well schooled mouth. I don't put one on a horse because he's pulling like a freight train. I use it because I want more subtle and intricate communication.


And to add, it makes no difference to me if they're illegal in dressage. I don't care b/c I don't ride dressage. I school dressage movements, but that's as close as I get.

Foxtrot's
May. 16, 2009, 04:02 AM
As my kids grew up we went to some those shows they used to have - mixed breeds, mixed disciplines. So I had to take two bridles for the pony. If it was an Arab judge judging the childrens' hunters, I'd use the little Pelham, if it was an hunter show judge, we would use the snaffle. Pony went completely differently in the different bridles.

englishivy
May. 16, 2009, 09:13 AM
In fact, I think its an even bigger problem for the Big Eg, and 93% of those huge, tired WBs moving stiff and jumping flat under their riders calls does not bode well for the dressage education we are theoretically rewarding in that ring.
.

But reading the posts explaining what the "correct" or "legitimate" applications of the pelham are, it seems to me that these are a quick and temporary correction for horse that are too strong or too low for the show-ring job they are asked to do. More dressage, I'd say.

I agree. I personally don't have a problem with a pelham when used correctly and with an educated hand and horse. But that's the key...correctly. Can't tell you how many times I see a horse in a pelham that's behind the bit, stiff neck, flat back, stifled shoulders, no hind-end engagement (is that a word? :lol:). The textbook "false frame" :rolleyes:.

Now when I see a horse in a snaffle do the reverse (on the bit, strong topline, swinging shoulders, hind end engaged, and suspension) now that impresses me! :yes: In essence, that horse has self-carriage. And that can only be achieved with lots of quality flat work (regardless of the type of bit).

supershorty628
May. 16, 2009, 09:14 AM
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that pelhams and double bridles were among the most traditional bits for hunters back in the day. I'm happy to show a hunter in a pelham - frankly, I'd rather go around looking controlled and beautiful with a pelham as opposed to feeling like I'm wrangling a raging snapping turtle on crack in a snaffle. It doesn't mean that my horse is less educated than those that go in snaffles...it's just how my horse goes.

(Here's a jaw dropper for you: I ride my ex-junior hunter junior jumper in a Paso Fino bit at home. It works rather like a long shank pelham mostly on the curb rein. Is it harsh? When it needs to be. But in educated hands, it's just as soft and kind as a rubber pelham. She has excellent flatwork, and can do just about anything that is asked of her [save for tempi changes and other upper level dressage movements].)

Filly85'
May. 16, 2009, 09:24 AM
I school my horse in a pelham at home and on the show grounds and at schooling shows, and switch him to a D-ring at the bigger shows.

The pelham fine tunes him at home.

Wizard of Oz's
May. 16, 2009, 09:26 AM
I agree that they are only bad if put in the wrong hands. A certain girl at my barn insists uses a happy mouth pelham on her TB who really does not need it. He gets a little quick sometimes, really no big deal, and she runs crying to her trainer because he's "dragging her all over the ring". Now he goes in the pelham waaaayyy overflexed and unhappy because she doesn't want to build a little muscle.:no:

Linny
May. 16, 2009, 09:40 AM
When I was a kid I learned how to use a pelham as it was very common in the hunters. Look at some of the threads featuring "old timers" and their photos. Pelhams everywhere. Today for some reason the pelham has the reputation as the bit for the "hard ride" or a puller.

I do know that back when hunters went on hunt courses that I liked having a pelham, even if I didn't need it.

Mayaty02
May. 16, 2009, 09:54 AM
The only issue I have with pelhams is that in the big eq, they are the only bit you see.....seems strange to me that 93% of big eq horses NEED a pelham, so I feel that some of it may be fashion. That I don't like....but if a horse NEEDS it, goes better in it, and is used properly, no problem. I personally have never had a horse go well in a pelham, they always felt overbitted but that's just my experience.

Lucassb
May. 16, 2009, 10:01 AM
Sorry to get all hard-a$$ purist on you guys, but why distinguish between dressage and hunters? If you horse isn't as strong and broke as a dressage horse, why would you want to point that out.... like it's a feather in the hunter cap? In fact, I think its an even bigger problem for the Big Eg, and 93% of those huge, tired WBs moving stiff and jumping flat under their riders calls does not bode well for the dressage education we are theoretically rewarding in that ring.

I don't mean to start a trainwreck. Really, you can ride in whatever is legal and suits your agenda. But think about why pelhams are illegal in dressage. Do the powers that be over there have any legitimate reason for outlawing them? If so, pay attention.

But reading the posts explaining what the "correct" or "legitimate" applications of the pelham are, it seems to me that these are a quick and temporary correction for horse that are too strong or too low for the show-ring job they are asked to do. More dressage, I'd say.

Different jobs. Dressage folks look askance at a pelham and hunter people would frown on a full bridle; however neither one is (properly) used as any kind of sledgehammer. In fact, both are used effectively to communicate in a more subtle way with an educated horse.

The big eq horses I see in my area may not crack their backs like Rox Dene, but they are beautifully educated, athletic animals that could certainly produce a competent dressage test. Perhaps it's different where you are.

JSwan
May. 16, 2009, 10:03 AM
A formally turned out and finished hunter is ridden in a double bridle. Sorry - field hunter.

The Kimberwicke was created for foxhunting. That's my main bit for hunting but my horse is a very strong stocky grade horse (1/2 draft)

Pelhams work great for foxhunting - see plenty of those..... on light as well as heavy horses.

I'm not up to speed on hunter stuff but in foxhunting you just use the bit that works for the horse and rider. Never thought of it as which horse was better trained..... though like other disciplines there are people who use bits as a substitute for training. Maybe that's the issue?

Pelhams in dressage - not an expert on dressage just a mendicant... but ignorant people might use it to get that "frame". Or as one dressage master put it - a general in front but no army marching behind.

If you have heavy hands or haven't developed an independent seat any leverage bit is probably a really bad idea.

For hunters, is it a fashion thing or a rule or an unspoken rule/tradition? If you're riding in a ring, shouldn't they all be able to go in a plain snaffle - at least in the under 3'?

enjoytheride
May. 16, 2009, 10:23 AM
The only time you see a pelham in dressage is when someone is using the leverage to force a heavy horse into a frame or someone has trouble stopping their horse.

I think you can risk doing the same thing on a hunter, using the curb for leverage and holding the horse in a frame to force changes or slowness which is not what a hunter judge is looking for.

Madeline
May. 16, 2009, 10:39 AM
[quote=For hunters, is it a fashion thing or a rule or an unspoken rule/tradition? If you're riding in a ring, shouldn't they all be able to go in a plain snaffle - at least in the under 3'?[/quote]

Fashion for sure. Certainly not a tradition! I think some of the "snaffle mafia" is driven by the stunning assortment of mouthpieces available (and accepted) in the showring today. Back in the "dark" ages, when most hunters showed in pelhams, there was no acceptance of the twisted wire, segunda, triangle, MIkmar(not invented yet),ported Dee mouthpieces that are now common. Just because a Segunda or a DTW has Dee cheeks, it isn't a mild bit by any definition. And don't even mention jointed pelhams. Close to the worst bit ever invented, and accepted by those who have no understanding of how a bit works (or doesn't). Definitely a fashion item.

Of course, back then, even show hunters went up and down hill out in the open on outside courses.

madeline the dinosaur

zahena
May. 16, 2009, 01:45 PM
I had a super sweet horse that I would try to jump in a snaffle and it was always disaster. He wasn't strong, he wasn't forceful. He just LIKED the pelham. The talk about George Morris and the inexplicable liking of the pehlam is dead on. You could (and did because I was stupid) jump him in a halter, but if you wanted him to look nice, or jump well, he just liked the pehlam over anything more than a cross rail. He also did western pleasure and had to have a HUGE ported and covered roller bit. Not because he was strong, becuase he liked something to play with in the arena.

I'm with the school that says as long as they look nice and the rider is educated enough, who cares. I'm in this for the comfort of the horse, not for the fashion of the day.

That, and the safety of my riders. Horses first, riders second.

woodhillsmanhattan
May. 16, 2009, 10:01 PM
No problem with a pelham if used correctly. Someone could used a plain D ring snaffle incorrectly and do just as much damage honestly.

JRG
May. 16, 2009, 10:53 PM
The only time you see a pelham in dressage

Never have I seen a pelham used in dressage. (only quoted the above for phrasing not a personal attack)

mbarrett
May. 16, 2009, 11:18 PM
Pelhams are illegal at dressage shows. Snaffles and double bridles (at upper levels) are the only bits allowed.

Who cares if you ride a hunter in a snaffle or a pelham in the hunter ring? If your horse goes well in a pelham, what's the problem? If your horse goes well in a snaffle, go with that.

If a pelham is a bad bit, they'd be against the rules at hunter shows. But they're not.

*JumpIt*
May. 16, 2009, 11:29 PM
I love my happy mouth pelham and so does my sensitive but forward TB. It is soft unless I choose to put the curb rein into action.

I agree that all bits can be bad in the wrong hands. Pelhams I do believe though should only be used by those with experience and have enough coordination to use the separate reins properly.

snarkey
May. 17, 2009, 01:07 PM
Pelhams are used for the less educated horse and/or rider. It provides leverage from the curb chain. An educated horse/rider would not need this. A hunter should be in a snaffle-type bit, they shouldnt look so "on the bit" if you need a pelham your horse isnt trained as well as one that isnt wearing one.

KristieBee
May. 17, 2009, 01:28 PM
Pelhams are used for the less educated horse and/or rider. It provides leverage from the curb chain. An educated horse/rider would not need this. A hunter should be in a snaffle-type bit, they shouldnt look so "on the bit" if you need a pelham your horse isnt trained as well as one that isnt wearing one.

sorry but i think this assumption is just silly.

a pelham works off of different pressure and leverage than a snaffle. my horse hates a busy bit. loves a plain straight bar. and he responds well to a pelham. he is, as george morris described, 'inexplicably better in it.' what if a horse prefers to be guided through all over head pressure (poll, curb, etc) instead of just off the bars/tounge? i hate the assumption that all horses would love a snaffle and just have to be trained well...and if they don't do well in a snaffle of some sort then they aren't well trained. it puts every horse into one box and doesn't allow for variations of what they prefer in their mouths/on their heads/in their face. each horse is an individual. i'd far prefer to find what makes my horse happy, than to bow to what the world thinks he should go in.

and btw, my trainer has a dressage background, my horse had back/soundness issues (back in the day when he was in assorted d ring snaffles, too) until we started working with her and she taught me what engagement and impulsion meant. he's sound, he uses himself, and he's very happy to be in a pelham.

PonyPenny
May. 17, 2009, 02:37 PM
A horse should go in the bit that works the best for that animal. No judge is going to mark you down in the hunters if you use a pelham. The horse with the best form will win, regardless of the bit.

Madeline
May. 17, 2009, 04:47 PM
Pelhams are used for the less educated horse and/or rider. It provides leverage from the curb chain. An educated horse/rider would not need this. A hunter should be in a snaffle-type bit, they shouldnt look so "on the bit" if you need a pelham your horse isnt trained as well as one that isnt wearing one.

Would you care to introduce yourself and give us a rundown of your credentials? Your statement reeks of inexperience.

JSwan
May. 17, 2009, 06:45 PM
Pelhams are used for the less educated horse and/or rider. It provides leverage from the curb chain. An educated horse/rider would not need this. A hunter should be in a snaffle-type bit, they shouldnt look so "on the bit" if you need a pelham your horse isnt trained as well as one that isnt wearing one.


I don't even know where to start... :rolleyes:

Eventer13
May. 17, 2009, 06:59 PM
I have no problems with a pelham, actually I think its a great bit when used correctly, but there is no reason so many eq horses should be using it. And I don't buy the argument that it helps fine-tune them- if 2nd level dressage horses have to go in a simple snaffle (i.e. single joint, french link, etc), there is no reason a "well-educated" eq horse can't do the same. If you are really going for fine-tuned, a double bridle would be a better choice.

One thing I hate is when people use a certain piece of tack because its "in style." This goes for the standing martingale in the hunters, and the breastplate and taped up boots for the beginner novice riders in eventing. There's a girl I know who rides her horse in a figure-8 just because "it looks cool," not because the horse needs it. I have no problem with using something because you need it, but don't put your horse in something just because you think it looks nice.

snarkey
May. 17, 2009, 09:25 PM
Would you care to introduce yourself and give us a rundown of your credentials? Your statement reeks of inexperience.

Easy there honey.. if you dont understand how bits work or why you would use it maybe you should try to get educated yourself and not defensive. I have been training horses for years here and overseas. I get poorly trained horses and re-train them. Maybe you should tell us about yourself. We are talking about a bit not your Momma...

Ben and Me
May. 17, 2009, 09:28 PM
A horse should go in the bit that works the best for that animal. No judge is going to mark you down in the hunters if you use a pelham. The horse with the best form will win, regardless of the bit.

Frank Willard (R) did a judging clinic several years ago at the annual NCHJA banquet. While there, he stated that he hates pelhams and rarely (if ever) pins a horse wearing one. The way the rule is phrased in the USEF rule book leaves the penalizing of bit selection up to the judge.

Madeline
May. 17, 2009, 10:46 PM
Easy there honey.. if you dont understand how bits work or why you would use it maybe you should try to get educated yourself and not defensive. I have been training horses for years here and overseas. I get poorly trained horses and re-train them. Maybe you should tell us about yourself. We are talking about a bit not your Momma...

1. Don't call me honey.

2. You come in here as a new poster and spout crap. I'd like to know why we should listen. Just saying you're a trainer doesn't do it for me.

gg4918
May. 17, 2009, 11:11 PM
if you need a pelham your horse isnt trained as well as one that isnt wearing one.

TRAINWRECKS A COMING

My JR/AO jumper freaks out in anything but a pelham. I've tried a loose ring, d ring, full cheek, elevator, hackamore, you name it i've tried it. He REFUSES to go in anything else.
I showed in the Big Eq, still do the USETS. Why did I show in a pelham on my eq horse that I schooled at home in a loose ring? Because it allowed me to be more subtle in my signals. We schooled just fine in the snaffle, my eq horse has done up to 4th level dressage, but I wanted an edge against the competition (Zone 2...). The entire picture came together as soon as the pelham went into his mouth and many a judge has complimented us and how easy we made it look. (Not bragging, I give him all the credit, I just sat and enjoyed the ride!)
A bit is only as effective (or ineffective) as the rider's hands.

To say that my horses arent as educated as horses that arent in pelhams is the grossest assumption that I've ever heard. You leave no room for creativity or sympathy towards the horse and rider. Different horses and different jobs require different bits, you can't simply place everybody into one group with an ultimatum like that.
Trainer you may be, but after hearing that ignorant comment I dont think that you're one that I would ever like to work with.

theroanypony
May. 18, 2009, 10:19 AM
I'd rather go around looking controlled and beautiful with a pelham as opposed to feeling like I'm wrangling a raging snapping turtle on crack in a snaffle.

I think I just about died laughing while imagining that in my head.

I have nothing else to add, except that if my horse went better in a pelham, I'd use it. Sorry, but I honestly don't care if something is unconventional, as long as my horse goes his best, that's all anyone can ask for. :)

Pirateer
May. 18, 2009, 01:30 PM
Probably 50% of my hunters have gone in pelhams.
I'd much rather float the reins in a pelham than look nasty in a snaffle.

My eq horse was not snaffle friendly, but looked the part in a pelham (hello, 17.2 big boned TB. )

LetsRide
May. 18, 2009, 02:07 PM
Easy there honey.. if you dont understand how bits work or why you would use it maybe you should try to get educated yourself and not defensive. I have been training horses for years here and overseas. I get poorly trained horses and re-train them. Maybe you should tell us about yourself. We are talking about a bit not your Momma...



Pelhams are used for the less educated horse and/or rider. It provides leverage from the curb chain. An educated horse/rider would not need this. A hunter should be in a snaffle-type bit, they shouldnt look so "on the bit" if you need a pelham your horse isnt trained as well as one that isnt wearing one.


Yes; you obviously really DO need to educate yourself.

The LEVERAGE on a Pelham bit is provided by the bit 'shanks' not the curb chain. The longer the shanks the more leverage. This has very little to do with the action provided by a properly adjusted curb chain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bit_shank

You can use a curb chain on a snaffle bit for example (many western riders/trainers do this when starting young horses). While a curb chain may be used to help to prevent the bit from being pulled through the horses mouth (from the opposite side) it has nothing to do with creating leverage.


:)

LetsRide
May. 18, 2009, 02:10 PM
I think I just about died laughing while imagining that in my head.

I have nothing else to add, except that if my horse went better in a pelham, I'd use it. Sorry, but I honestly don't care if something is unconventional, as long as my horse goes his best, that's all anyone can ask for. :)


A PELHAM bit is a CONVENTIONAL bit. Read the USEF hunter rules. ;)

mvp
May. 18, 2009, 02:19 PM
I do understand how leverage, a chin chain and even poll pressure work. I also understand how they are different. I also understand how a leverage bit affects the angle of the head, and therefore the position of the neck should the horse want to not fall on his forehand while he tucks his nose.

It seems to me that a the curb rein on a pelham almost uniquely does this: It asks the horse to flex at the pole. That makes him tuck his nose. That makes him raise his neck, hopefully his shoulder, too. That makes him tuck his hind end.

Of course you are ideally using leg at the same time. I suppose a full cheek with keepers does a more minor version of the same whole body thing, but through poll pressure, not leverage.

So the Pelham might be the great bit for the large, potentially heavy or "falling down hill, building stride" who needs a short, balancing kind of correction. He might not need "slow down" so much as "rock back."

My point is that the strong, well-schooled horse in a snaffle can do all of these things you want with his body from that bit. The emphasis here (and in dressage) is strong through the top-line and broke.

Have I got my effects and biomechanics wrong?

Ben and Me
May. 18, 2009, 02:38 PM
A PELHAM bit is a CONVENTIONAL bit. Read the USEF hunter rules. ;)

HU 125: Tack
Regulation snaffles, pelhams and full bridles, all with cavesson nose bands, are recom-
mended. A judge may penalize for non-conventional types of bits or nosebands.

It sounds like a judge could still view a pelham as non-conventional based on preference, even though it's recommended (recommended doesn't necessarily equate with conventional)...but that is splitting hairs. I've never seen a horse go in a full bridle in the hunters--I bet that might be penalized too depending on the judge, just because it is unusual.

LetsRide
May. 18, 2009, 02:47 PM
HU 125: Tack
Regulation snaffles, pelhams and full bridles, all with cavesson nose bands, are recom-
mended. A judge may penalize for non-conventional types of bits or nosebands.

It sounds like a judge could still view a pelham as non-conventional based on preference, even though it's recommended (recommended doesn't necessarily equate with conventional)...but that is splitting hairs. I've never seen a horse go in a full bridle in the hunters--I bet that might be penalized too depending on the judge, just because it is unusual.

No.

"Regulation snaffles, pelhams and full bridles, all with cavesson nose bands, are recommended."

THOSE are THE conventional bits.

A judge may have a preference but they should NOT penalize based upon that UNLESS the bit used is clearly unconventional such as a Kimberwicke bit or a Myler bit with hooks or some Mikmar type bits.

Alterrain
May. 19, 2009, 11:24 AM
I have always been anti-pelham, mostly because I have always have horses that don't pull. Just because I think they look gross. My adult ammy hunter (OTTB) is green, and a puller (down, not fast) and a pelham helps me not get pulled out of the saddle and look weird. I bought a sprenger pelham with a white plastic mouthpiece and the shanks are SO short (the rings touch) and I actually think it is the most flattering bit I have seen. His head is not the prettiest, and since he has been wearing this pelham (and the new Dover hunter derby bridle with the wide noseband set up nice and high can't hurt) everyone comments on how beautiful his head is. So now I love my pelham!!

Parker_Rider
May. 19, 2009, 01:33 PM
My mare has a lovely habit of doing the "nanana, I can't hear you or your leg, nananana" and the curb rein allows me to squeeze my ring finger and say "hey, I'm up here and yes you do have to listen and not run through me!" It doesn't take much, just a second's worth of a squeeze (not a pull) and she's back to "ugh, fine, I'll listen and do my job." (I've had the mare since she was 4. She's 12 now and our personalities are exactly the same. ;) Guess we built off each other, haha.)
I love the pelham on her because it allows for subtle correction. She already travels round and if she doesn't then she gets to do leg-yields, side passes and turns on the forehand and haunches. She knows how she needs to go, I don't need a bit to "help" - she does all these on a loose rein. But sometimes in the ring she needs a little help/reminding that she has a job to do. I'm hoping by mid-summer she can go back to her full-cheek because she'll be a bona-fide hunter/eq horse by then, since she's only been one for oh, 2 months... But after learning the art of subtlety from my last trainer, I don't want to do things any other way... funny how good training can change everything and a bit can aid in the process... ;)

MissIndependence
May. 19, 2009, 02:18 PM
Sorry to get all hard-a$$ purist on you guys, but why distinguish between dressage and hunters? If you horse isn't as strong and broke as a dressage horse, why would you want to point that out.... like it's a feather in the hunter cap? In fact, I think its an even bigger problem for the Big Eg, and 93% of those huge, tired WBs moving stiff and jumping flat under their riders calls does not bode well for the dressage education we are theoretically rewarding in that ring.

I don't mean to start a trainwreck. Really, you can ride in whatever is legal and suits your agenda. But think about why pelhams are illegal in dressage. Do the powers that be over there have any legitimate reason for outlawing them? If so, pay attention.

But reading the posts explaining what the "correct" or "legitimate" applications of the pelham are, it seems to me that these are a quick and temporary correction for horse that are too strong or too low for the show-ring job they are asked to do. More dressage, I'd say.


I will contribute to the train wreck. There is nothing wrong with pelhams. You are correct in saying that hunters and dressage horses have little in common. The use of a pelham in the dressage world is not the question the OP asked. In good hands and fit correctly - a pelham is no tougher than any other bit and can be an incredible aid when the horse likes and accepts it. Are they overused? Yes. Is EVERYTHING often overdone in the horse world? Yes. Fashion often dictates function and that can be a drag.

But - I have to take exception to your post here. Perhaps you don't mean to - but you sound like another generalizer. The OP makes her point quite clearly and there's no big deal about switching to a stronger bit at horseshows than one uses at home - and it's done every day. My issue when I read these types of responses is that I immediately think of a dressage person who bashes on pelhams then gets busy overflexing their horses into oblivion with their double bridle. Dressage horses with fractures in their necks/verebrae from being overflexed - quite common in the dressage world. And the that's without that illegal pelham! It's not that hard to find a bit that your horse goes well and accepts. Might take A LOT of experimentation and borrowing a lot of bits to find the one that they truly like - but every horse is not going to tool around the ring perfectly in a loose ring snaffle.

I do a lot of flat work on my upper level jumpers, I take dressage lessons, I see enormous value in correct flatwork - but I will use whatever bit give me smoothness, control and rideability on course. I think most people feel that way. If your horse is accepting of a pelham and that is "their" bit of choice and happiness - then go for it. Please don't try to act as though dressage folks have cornered the market on the only way to do it or the bits to do it with. It just isn't so. Different worlds/different applications.

BlueBobRadar
May. 19, 2009, 03:32 PM
I guess I'm part of the 7% that doesn't use a pelham on their eq horse!:lol: He goes great in a D-ring snaffle, and we've done low jumper stuff also. Love him!

MintHillFarm
May. 19, 2009, 03:38 PM
I have no problem with a pelham as a judge or as a competitor...

kellyb
May. 19, 2009, 04:48 PM
I'm not anti-pelham. In fact the people in this thread who are anti-pelham are probably the first ones I've ever 'met'. :)

When I was younger I used to believe that there was only one or two ways to do something correctly. Certain pieces of tack or ways of training just were WRONG to me. But, the older I get the less I care about what others do. If it works for you, great. The only time I care is if it turns into a situation where someone/some horse may get hurt.

I have used pelhams on some horses, and would never think of using them on some others. I am definitely not in the camp of, "you/your horse is not trained if it goes in a pelham". At the end of the day there is certainly more than one way to get to the goal of a perfect round.

horsestablereview
May. 19, 2009, 07:19 PM
I will contribute to the train wreck. There is nothing wrong with pelhams. You are correct in saying that hunters and dressage horses have little in common. The use of a pelham in the dressage world is not the question the OP asked. In good hands and fit correctly - a pelham is no tougher than any other bit and can be an incredible aid when the horse likes and accepts it. Are they overused? Yes. Is EVERYTHING often overdone in the horse world? Yes. Fashion often dictates function and that can be a drag.

But - I have to take exception to your post here. Perhaps you don't mean to - but you sound like another generalizer. The OP makes her point quite clearly and there's no big deal about switching to a stronger bit at horseshows than one uses at home - and it's done every day. My issue when I read these types of responses is that I immediately think of a dressage person who bashes on pelhams then gets busy overflexing their horses into oblivion with their double bridle. Dressage horses with fractures in their necks/verebrae from being overflexed - quite common in the dressage world. And the that's without that illegal pelham! It's not that hard to find a bit that your horse goes well and accepts. Might take A LOT of experimentation and borrowing a lot of bits to find the one that they truly like - but every horse is not going to tool around the ring perfectly in a loose ring snaffle.

I do a lot of flat work on my upper level jumpers, I take dressage lessons, I see enormous value in correct flatwork - but I will use whatever bit give me smoothness, control and rideability on course. I think most people feel that way. If your horse is accepting of a pelham and that is "their" bit of choice and happiness - then go for it. Please don't try to act as though dressage folks have cornered the market on the only way to do it or the bits to do it with. It just isn't so. Different worlds/different applications.

Beautifully put. Could not have said it better myself. Thank you.