View Full Version : How to Measure the Shanks of a Pelham?

Sep. 18, 2009, 06:38 PM
I am a little confused on how the measure the shanks on a pelham. Could someone tell me how it is done? Thank you.

Sep. 18, 2009, 06:44 PM
I dont know of any special tricks, I just use a ruler or tape measure.

Sep. 18, 2009, 08:15 PM
I want to know if you measure starting with the attachment ring at the top and measure to the ring on the bottom? Thanks

Sep. 18, 2009, 08:40 PM
Not sure if it's relevant, but the official dressage way to measure a curb bit's shank is from the bottom of the mouthpiece to the middle of the curb ring. Attachment is from the USEF rulebook.

I doubt there is a standard among people selling pelhams. I'd contact the person or entity selling the bit and ask how it was measured and hope they can answer. But given that the website of a certain retailer known for it's shipping fees has been known to picture pelhams upside down, this may or may not be useful...

Sep. 18, 2009, 08:42 PM
I want to know if you measure starting with the attachment ring at the top and measure to the ring on the bottom? Thanks

I think that's how I figured it. From the top of the fixed attachment to the bridle ring to the end of the shank where the lower rein ring is attached. Not to the bottom of that lower rein ring. :)

Sep. 18, 2009, 09:00 PM
Thanks all for the information, especially you, Peggy. Daughter's horse needs a longer shanked pelham than a tom thumb pelman, but not so long tha it is too much. Her trainer has one that works well and I wanted to order one, but I was confused on how to measure the length of the shanks.

Sep. 20, 2009, 07:38 PM
So, today I took the scientific approach and measured my pelham, which is billed as a 4". The 4" take it from the point of attachment of the curb to about the middle of the ring that attaches to the cheekpiece. I say about b/c I had to curve the measuring tape over the mouthpiece part which sticks out a bit.

Caveat - the pelham I have comes in a 4" and a 5" model, but I'm assuming I must have the 4" version since I'd have a kimberwicke if the shanks were 1" shorter. In the research I did in buying this bit, 4" seemed about the shortest measurement I saw, consistent with the look of my bit which looks pretty Tom Thumb-ish

Sep. 21, 2009, 12:31 AM
Peggy, I was thinking that as well. We have a tom thumb pelham and based on what you measured, it is the same. One pelham we tried must of been a 6" as it had way too much leverage. Horse started going up and down instead of forward. The pelham the seems to work the best for now is a hollow mouth jointed pelham with a french link. It has 5" shanks measuring it the way you discribed. A gag also works, but can't be used in hunters/eq. The mare likes to bear down and get quick. Since the rider only weighs 100 lbs, she needs more control until the mare learns to carry herself better. Making a former jumper into a equitation horse has been a challenge, but at least she is improving. Hopefully next year, she can go back to using the tom thumb pelham.

Sep. 21, 2009, 01:53 AM
Watching portions of four medal finals over the last few weeks, I've seen everything from D-rings on up to pelhams with definitely more leverage than a Tom Thumb. And even more variety in the USET this weekend. Of course, you can't really see the mouthpieces, which is a definite factor. I doubt the judges care all that much about the bit, just the resulting round. IOW, a longer shank with a smoother round is the better option.