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egontoast
Sep. 21, 2009, 07:54 AM
Other than the Moffet person in the UK and a small cult in California, I've not heard of people using the pelham for dressage training.So I'm curious.

Anyone else using a pelham to train dressage (not talking about other disciplines)? If so, can you give the rationale for skipping the old regular acceptance of the snaffle part of the training?

ThreeFigs
Sep. 21, 2009, 01:55 PM
My coach used a Pelham briefly when she started cross-training her Oldenburg gelding over fences to help improve his dressage. She and the jumping trainer experimented with a Waterford, too. There may have been other bits they tried.

But when she schools dressage, it's always in a snaffle or a double. The Pelham and Waterford were strictly for over fences.

Don't know if that counts... but the jumping did help his dressage.

Pony Fixer
Sep. 21, 2009, 03:41 PM
Never.heard.of.it.before.this.BB.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 21, 2009, 03:46 PM
Yup. "Pelham" isn't the first thing that springs to mind when I think of bits for dressage.

FancyFree
Sep. 21, 2009, 04:41 PM
small cult in California


I'm familiar with that place. I heard that an FEI level trainer and also that quite a few of her students regularly ride in Pelhams. Maybe the Pelham is the new thing in dressage?

Personally, I've never had a dressage trainer of mine suggest a Pelham or ever ride in one to my knowledge. Either a snaffle or double in my experience. I'd see them on jumpers though.



Indeed I'd be so bold as to suggest that the only reason why someone would use a bit that wasn't dressage legal would be to appease the rider.

That's why I found it so curious that an upper level rider would ride in this bit, with it not being dressage legal. I can't understand why you would.

JSwan
Sep. 21, 2009, 04:42 PM
I can't understand why you would.

Probably because you're not a lazy, incompetent boob. ;)

Such things are shortcuts intended to appease ignorant clients and keep the cash rolling in.

It's a great bit and I use one for foxhunting. It has no place in dressage. Neither do mule bits or tack nosebands. But I'm sure there is someone out there using those too. Doesn't make it right.

It's not that it's not "legal" for dressage and shouldn't be used - it's that its use is INTENDED to be a shortcut. To produce a "frame". The rider thinks he/she has this nice "round" horse when what they really have is an overbent, frustrated horse heavy on the forehand and trailing its hind legs.

Eventually a judge is going to point that out to the rider in the form of very very low scores.

Frames are for pictures, Pelhams are for hunting - jumpers, etc.

Coppers mom
Sep. 21, 2009, 04:52 PM
I use lots of bits that technically aren't dressage legal. Doesn't mean I'm a sinner, a lazy boob, or that my poor dear horse is suffering from it.

Bits are tools, and if a certain one helps to fix a problem in the long run, I'll use it. For example, I'm riding a horse now who will literally pull you out of the saddle she hangs so badly. Obviously, this is a training issue, and can only be fixed through training. But, I'm not going to finish every ride with blistered and bleeding hands in the name of doing it "right". She goes well in a Mikmar to HELP fix the problem. I'm doing all the other exercises one would do, I'm doing everything else "right", I'm just not using a dressage legal bit at the moment because we get more done when we're actually working than wrestling.

JSwan
Sep. 21, 2009, 04:59 PM
Coppers Mom -

There is a difference between using such things to overcome an issue. If you're using a bit or martingale intelligently and with a plan... that's not what the OP is talking about (I don't think so anyway)

I think what the OP is talking about is using the Pelham as a shortcut in training - to quickly accomplish what is an artificial and forced "frame".

That's not dressage, good training, or good horsemanship.

FancyFree
Sep. 21, 2009, 04:59 PM
Doesn't mean I'm a sinner, a lazy boob, or that my poor dear horse is suffering from it.

I think JSwan was just joking.

But how effective is it to use a bit, (not talking about your situation specifically) that is harsher to school in, then have to go back to a simple snaffle to show in? It just seems like that would be ridiculously hard. It's not? From what I've been taught, ideally, you want to fix issues in the snaffle. No?

Not judging or being sarcastic, genuinely interested. I've been fortunate that as long as I've had horses, I haven't had a lot of different kinds of bits. Different sizes for snaffles, but that's it.

pintopiaffe
Sep. 21, 2009, 05:02 PM
Michael Poulin had at least two horses going in pelhams when I was there. Both were transitioning to the double.

Just saying... ;)

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 05:05 PM
Michael Poulin had at least two horses going in pelhams when I was there. Both were transitioning to the double.

Just saying... ;)

Hmm, maybe he'll come on and post. Since the OP did ask for feedback from trainers who do use it. Or maybe not ;)

JSwan
Sep. 21, 2009, 05:08 PM
[QUOTE=FancyFree;4390716]I think JSwan was just joking.

/QUOTE]

Sorta kinda. If trainers are advocating the use of bits like the Pelham, with the intent of producing a fast result.... they are truly lazy, incompetent boobs. Again - there is a difference between using a bit or tack for a reason - and merely slapping things on horses to get a quick result.

I've got quite a collection of bits and am happy to use whatever the heck works for the horse. I'd rather ask with a Pelham than yank with a snaffle.

But using the Pelham as part of the dressage training of the horse is intended as a shortcut and/or to keep clients happy. Working out a problem? Working on a issue? Experimenting? Ok - I'll buy it. Putting that bit in every horse's mouth and riding with it every day? Nope - that's a shortcut. I don't care who uses it. When you see a trainer using a certain piece of tack or a bit on every horse - and their groupies never question it.... run fast in the other direction.

I'm enough of a closet DQ to appreciate that gaps and holes in a horse's training will eventually come back to haunt the rider. And horse.

If the rider is happily plodding along in the ring, with an overbent horse on the forehand - that's fine. Be happy.

Just don't call it dressage. It's not and people can tell! :winkgrin:

FancyFree
Sep. 21, 2009, 05:10 PM
Both were transitioning to the double.


Yes I can understand that situation. But for the lower level rider who must show in a snaffle to school in a Pelham, just makes no sense to me. It may be considered a shortcut, but to where? The horse that must be ridden in a Pelham while schooling is going to be a bear to show in a snaffle, is my thinking.

sayyadina
Sep. 21, 2009, 05:54 PM
I used to ride my Haflinger in a pelham when she was younger, since she had some issues with aggression towards other horses. There was one time when I was riding her that there was a 16-17hh gelding also being ridden. I was trying to ride her, but at the trot she kept getting faster & trying to get to him, and I had an incredibly difficult time getting her to halt in the snaffle she was in. When I got her, she was in a kimberwicke. I decided to try a pelham, since I could just use it as a snaffle, only picking up the curb rein if I needed it. It was more of an issue of safety for me, and I didn't always have the option to not ride her if the horses she didn't like were being ridden at the same time.

Now that she's semi-retired, I can get away with a bitless with her. Plus she doesn't seem to dislike any of the horses where she is now.

Personally, I do not show and have absolutely no intention of showing ever, so if a bit is 'legal' or not doesn't concern me. My opinion of bitting is that the bit used should be what the horse is most comfortable with. My other pony is only comfortable in a curb bit and finds snaffles very uncomfortable, and a double isn't an option since her mouth isn't big enough. Her issue stems from having her jaw broken when she was younger.

myvanya
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:01 PM
There is a trainer at my barn who routinely puts lower level horses with lower level riders in pelhams, so it isn't a completely narrow issue. I honestly haven't taken the time to ask her why as I don't want the question to be misconstrued and don't want to start a fight.
It did bother me when she let a student of hers show in one of our barn's dressage schooling shows in the pelham though as I thought they were illegal :(

BaroquePony
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:02 PM
merely slapping things on horses to get a quick result

That's what I would use a pelham for ... out on the trails with a new unreliable poorly trained horse that was ring sour.

BaroquePony
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:05 PM
I decided to try a pelham, since I could just use it as a snaffle, only picking up the curb rein if I needed it.

:yes:

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:13 PM
Ooh, saying that using the direct rein on the pelham is like using a snaffle is heresy against the almighty snaffle!

20 Hail Podhajskys for you!

mypaintwattie
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:34 PM
I'd only seen a pelham used once on a freight train of a horse in dressage training, and I've spent years working with some very BNT's. That was before I got to my current barn, where they run amuck on dressage horses. It's the same ol' same ol': yes, they have a purpose but not as a shortcut for proper training. Heck, I have even heard rumors that over in H/J land the big Eq judges are beginning to frown on them... many more horses went in snaffles at the regional Maclay finals.

slc2
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:43 PM
I do believe there is one person in the US who would be successful using it, know when to use it and when to stop; he was already mentioned.:)

I've seen them put a running martingale on a horse. For a few days. Draw reins. For a few days. Various bits. For a few days. That's a little bit different.

AnotherRound
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:47 PM
edit - sorry, wrong thread

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:48 PM
I do believe there is one person in the US who would be successful using it; he was already mentioned.:)

So if you found out that a trainer who uses them frequently has horses/riders in regional championships, that would surprise you?

slc2
Sep. 21, 2009, 06:58 PM
Oh God yes, Ambrey, I would just scream and faint, and you'd have to resucitate me by pressing a chilled pelham bit to my forehead, and I'd be miraculously healed.

Don't you ever give it a rest?

Sorry, 'regional championships' are not the be all and end all and they don't mean everything that person does is the best choice, the most economical, works the best overall with the most horses, would be applied correctly by others, is the best of many options or does well because he does a whole lot of other things well, or he wins because everyone else jumped out of the ring or nobody else showed up...YEAH there are a lot of roads to Rome...how may detours are you willing to take? Face it, 75 years from now you're going to be pushing your wheel chair around at the nursing home holding up a pelham bit and croaking, 'They ARE good! They ARE good!'

Couture TB
Sep. 21, 2009, 07:05 PM
I've used them for student's and horses that were getting ready to step up to a double bridle.

Once on an Arab that I had in training for the hack classes as that was the 'in bit' at the time, though that one was a rubber mullen mouth one.

Other then that I have only used them on a few horses over fences. Ones that couldn't go in a very strong bit but were to strong for plain snaffles.


And the example of the BN trainer who uses them only uses them for transitioning. BIG difference then using them at the lower levels or as short cuts.

mp
Sep. 21, 2009, 07:16 PM
So if you found out that a trainer who uses them frequently has horses/riders in regional championships, that would surprise you?

No.

You can find trainers who'll take shortcuts. And you can find them and their clients (along with just plain shitty riding -- pelham or no pelham) at just about any level. But at some point, the holes in training will show. Either the horse has had enough of having his face ridden and gets progressively more sour. Or the horse isn't capable of moving up to the next level because the foundation isn't there.

And then some sucker buys the horse that's "shown successfully at First Level and is schooling 2nd" or whatever and finds he/she has a mess to undo. And that always takes more time than if you did it right in the first place.

Always.

mbarrett
Sep. 21, 2009, 07:39 PM
I have an old racehorse who pulls like a train. My trainer put me in a pelham for awhile as well as a short-shanked training snaffle (western bit - snaffle mouth piece, curb chain, shanks). When I complained that it wasn't a proper dressage bit, he told me that getting pulled around a the dressage ring by a racehorse won't make much of an impression on the judge!

After about a month in the pelham and training snaffle, my old boy decided that pulling like a train wasn't fun and he began to work off his hind end. Transitions and trot poles helped too. It was a lot of work, but he is so much better. We now work in a plain jointed snaffle. He works off his hind end and does not pull (too much, anyway!).

So, before everyone gets up in arms about "classic dressage bits", training is training, showing is showing. Sometimes you have to take a road less traveled to get to where you want to go.

I always keep an open mind when it comes to training a horse, you never know when, or from who, a gem will come from.

Couture TB
Sep. 21, 2009, 07:48 PM
I have an old racehorse who pulls like a train. My trainer put me in a pelham for awhile as well as a short-shanked training snaffle (western bit - snaffle mouth piece, curb chain, shanks). When I complained that it wasn't a proper dressage bit, he told me that getting pulled around a the dressage ring by a racehorse won't make much of an impression on the judge!

After about a month in the pelham and training snaffle, my old boy decided that pulling like a train wasn't fun and he began to work off his hind end. Transitions and trot poles helped too. It was a lot of work, but he is so much better. We now work in a plain jointed snaffle. He works off his hind end and does not pull (too much, anyway!).

So, before everyone gets up in arms about "classic dressage bits", training is training, showing is showing. Sometimes you have to take a road less traveled to get to where you want to go.

I always keep an open mind when it comes to training a horse, you never know when, or from who, a gem will come from.

That is exactly the correct situation to use it. It was used as a transition bit, not as a short cut. Your trainer didn't have you use the bit just to get him in a frame, but to get him to stop pulling your arms off. I've used a few different bits that way. For a limited time, and then the horse goes in a regular snaffle. Though the first thing I ever experiment with before going to a non snaffle bit is the noseband.

Coppers mom
Sep. 21, 2009, 08:30 PM
Coppers Mom -
I think what the OP is talking about is using the Pelham as a shortcut in training - to quickly accomplish what is an artificial and forced "frame".


Then why bother asking? If it's being used as a shortcut, the obvious answer is because it's a shortcut and the rider doesn't feel like working through it. Why pretend to actually want to know?

egontoast
Sep. 21, 2009, 08:43 PM
Then why bother asking? If it's being used as a shortcut, the obvious answer is because it's a shortcut and the rider doesn't feel like working through it. Why pretend to actually want to know?

:confused: The question was pretty straightforward.



Other than the Moffet person in the UK and a small cult in California, I've not heard of people using the pelham for dressage training.So I'm curious.

Anyone else using a pelham to train dressage (not talking about other disciplines)? If so, can you give the rationale for skipping the old regular acceptance of the snaffle part of the training?


You don't need to read a bunch of things into it. I appreciate that some people have tried to answer the question.:)

dwblover
Sep. 21, 2009, 08:54 PM
For me OTTBs = dressage in a pelham (for awhile anyways). I can't tell you how much easier and clearer things are to an OTTB during the retraining process when you are using a pelham. So there, I confess, I LOVE the pelham for this purpose. Then when I feel they have progressed enough and gotten off their forehands, as well as slowing down a little, I move on to a mullen mouth baucher. I still always use my pelham for hunter paces or
quick-paced trail rides. My gelding now is so comfortable in the pelham though, I almost wish it was dressage legal. However, I can totally see how it would be a bad idea for a rider with inexperienced hands.

SouthernComfortMax
Sep. 21, 2009, 09:07 PM
i found this clip while shopping on a website called raraequus.com...thought it was interesting...Does anyone know if that is true about the pelham in upper levels?? I personally ride my horse in a fat loose ring snaffle...just thought this was interesting...
The Pelham Bit in Dressage


A pelham bit is a bit that functions with the capability to work like a snaffle bit or a curb bit in a horse's mouth. A pelham bit is basically a plain dressage-legal snaffle bit, but with a second bit connection at the end of a shank. This shank, which creates curb action, makes this bit illegal for dressage competition.

A pelham bit is often viewed as a harsh bit, but when used with double reins in educated hands the pelham is actually a very humane bit. Contact should be taken on the snaffle rein, and the curb rein should be left slightly slack. The curb rein should not be engaged at all times, but it should also not be left to flap with each stride- which can be distracting and painful for a horse. Pelham bits are sometimes fitted with converters or "roundings" which allow a rider to use a single rein with a pelham bit. In this writers opinion converters are never acceptable as they turn a pelham into the equivalent of riding with contact in a western curb. If one needs the control of a curb bit at all times, the finessless Kimberwick is a more appropriate choice for an english rider.

The pelham bit has been popular with show jumpers for some time but is increasing in popularity as a bit for schooling dressage. The benefit to schooling dressage in a pelham bit is that the horse can be collected on the snaffle rein, but the shoulders can be lifted and gaits improved with judicious use of the curb rein. The pelham is sometimes used to prepare a horse for working in a full double bridle.

Addendum: In some organizations, a pelham bit is allowed in upper levels, but only on ponies who lack sufficient space in their mouth for a double bridle.

mbm
Sep. 21, 2009, 09:56 PM
just for clarity: what exact "short cut" would using a Pelham create?

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:01 PM
You can find trainers who'll take shortcuts. And you can find them and their clients (along with just plain shitty riding -- pelham or no pelham) at just about any level. But at some point, the holes in training will show. Either the horse has had enough of having his face ridden and gets progressively more sour. Or the horse isn't capable of moving up to the next level because the foundation isn't there.

Oh, I meant regional championships at FEI levels.

enjoytheride
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:11 PM
The pelham creates a shortcut because it uses leverage to increase control and headset.

For dressage I can see it used for horses that are fast, on the forehand, or have timid riders who don't ride enough. It creates instant control and shortcuts all the extra hours that teaching a horse to go in a snaffle cause. Have a student with an inappropriate horse? Slap a pelham in and voila instant control without all that training.

The hope is that the horse has his head set enough that he doesn't fall apart when you ride him in a snaffle for his test.

Have a horse that needs the extra leverage that you are hunting/eventing/jumping then the pelham can be a perfect bit for you but it is not a dressage bit because it defeats the purpose of dressage (self carriage through proper training).

AnotherRound
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:23 PM
The pelham creates a shortcut because it uses leverage to increase control and headset.

For dressage I can see it used for horses that are fast, on the forehand, or have timid riders who don't ride enough. It creates instant control and shortcuts all the extra hours that teaching a horse to go in a snaffle cause. Have a student with an inappropriate horse? Slap a pelham in and voila instant control without all that training.

The hope is that the horse has his head set enough that he doesn't fall apart when you ride him in a snaffle for his test.

Have a horse that needs the extra leverage that you are hunting/eventing/jumping then the pelham can be a perfect bit for you but it is not a dressage bit because it defeats the purpose of dressage (self carriage through proper training).

Well that's the best synopsis of the training problems the pelham creates I've heard articulated yet: "because it defeats the purpose of dressage (self carriage through proper training)."

And this: The hope is that the horse has his head set enough that he doesn't fall apart when you ride him in a snaffle for his test. Seems to be how the pelham has been used by the trainers of the begining rider who has been touting it. That's certainly how the rider has been using it, as she describes it. I suspect these trainers have given the riders the bit so that their horses were broke to ride, and they could get through a few basic test movements with them. It certainly doesn't train the horse to carry himself properly.

Wayside
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:27 PM
My foray into dressage-with-pelham lasted about 20 minutes :lol:

Arab gelding was retiring, Trakehner mare was pregnant, and I spent one season taking dressage lessons on Stan: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2058290100100789832ssFmkq :lol: Too bad I don't have any pictures from our lessons, he wasn't half bad, considering.

Anyhow, I usually drove my Belgian draft gelding in a liverpool, so I thought I was going to ride in the pelham at first, since he can be a little thick. Not uncooperative, more like he's just so placid he doesn't always notice you asking, though he's a fast learner once you get through to him. Anyhow, I thought the pelham would be a good choice since I could start asking mostly with the snaffle rein, but back up with curb if he was too oblivious. He had gratuitous amounts of whoa in him, though, and his turning was sloppy, so I switched back to a full-cheek snaffle after one short ride in the pelham.

Stan went on to work in therapy for a while, and is currently back home in my backyard enjoying his job playing the role of a 2000lb Barbie-horse, in case anyone was curious. :lol:

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:28 PM
The pelham creates a shortcut because it uses leverage to increase control and headset.


Is this necessarily true, or just your assumption about why someone would use a pelham?

Because if this were true, it seems that a horse would learn to avoid contact, not reach for it- and that has not been my experience (as a person who has actually ridden a dressage horse in a pelham).

ginger708
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:32 PM
For me I just do not believe that it is correct for dressage schooling. A correctly schooled horse should be able to do all of the dressage movements in a snaffle bit. Even in the upper levels should be schooled in the snaffle 80 to 90% of the time. The curb reign is so the rider can refine the aid to the point that everything connected to the mouth is done off the slightest movement of the finger tips. There are correct fixes that have nothing to do with harsher bits for horses that pull, have a locked jaw, that like to grab the bit and become completely hollow it's called bending. Your horse throws his head up in the air or puts his nose to his chest evading the bit bend the horse, establish an outside rein ride the body not the face. If the horse pulls do not pull back give and bend this is what we have deep seat saddles and full seat sticky breeches for so we can put the outside rein to our seat bones and bend the inside rein. Leg yield, and shoulder in are your friend. Every time I see the pelham used on horses for dressage schooling I see a horse with a round neck flat or hollow back and hind legs straight as pokers and I love when they teach the horse to nose dive to the ground and call that a stretch. It is the most ridiculous thing that I have ever seen.

paintball
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:43 PM
My sister bought a green-ish horse with dodgy brakes, that the previous (dressage oriented) owner had decided to fix by putting him in a pelham - you can guess how that went (ie not well). Horse was just as strung out and on the FH as ever, but now he had a stronger neck :)
Having said that, I think it's a very good bit in the right hands, but maybe not for dressage - only because I've found it to be a little clumsy. To me it was harder to refine what I was asking because everything is attached and in one piece - the snaffle 'setting' isn't independently mobile so it felt like communication with the horses' mouth was clunky and unrefined, if that makes sense.

EqTrainer
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:49 PM
The action of the curb bends the joints in the horses body longitudinally. Or so it is supposed to be.

If you ride in a pelham and engage it as a curb, then that is what you are doing.

I don't really understand why you would just not use a double if that is your intention. People have been "breaking the law" using leverage bits on dressage horses forever, but still for some reason remain in awe of the double. If you are willing to go there.. then why not just go there...

There is always the possibility that the horse(s) this is being used on really like the mouthpiece itself.

Personally, no. I have never seen a horse ridden in a pelham in the name of dressage. I have seen horses in doubles, before they were ready, for the express purpose of getting them to bend their joints more and carry more. I guess the theory is the same.

The price? The horse will pay it, not the rider, unless the horse chooses to rear and flip rather then bend its joints.

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:51 PM
Personally, no. I have never seen a horse ridden in a pelham in the name of dressage. I have seen horses in doubles, before they were ready, for the express purpose of getting them to bend their joints more and carry more. I guess the theory is the same.


So how is that different from draw reins and a snaffle?

EqTrainer
Sep. 21, 2009, 10:56 PM
So how is that different from draw reins and a snaffle?

It's not, really. If it's flexion you are seeking then why not just use draw reins and a snaffle? Or if you are trying to get your horse to sit down and use his rear end and you're not going to go about it the usual way, why not a double? It works better then a pelham.

Don't get me wrong - I don't think it's a good idea. But if you *are* going to go there, there are much better ways then a pelham.

MidlifeCrisis
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:00 PM
(as a person who has actually ridden a dressage horse in a pelham).

Dressage horse? Snicker.

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:05 PM
It's not, really. If it's flexion you are seeking then why not just use draw reins and a snaffle? Or if you are trying to get your horse to sit down and use his rear end and you're not going to go about it the usual way, why not a double? It works better then a pelham.

I can't speak for the trainers in question, and it's unfortunate that the attitude here has been so hostile, I can't imagine a trainer who uses it coming on and responding to this question. :no:

Maybe one will be brave and try it? It would be interesting to see knowledgeable discourse on the subject rather than ranting.

Ambrey
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:10 PM
Dressage horse? Snicker.

You can snicker, but recently I've had 2 L grads and a GP trainer compliment me on how well he's going, he's effortlessly added changes to his repertoire, and another student of my trainer has plans to get her 1st level bronze scores on him. Hardly a poster child for the dangers of the pelham ;)

ginger708
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:17 PM
So how is that different from draw reins and a snaffle?

Really there is no difference with using draw reins or a pelham or anything else that forces a unnatural leverage to get the head in a spot is working with tension and not suppleness. Really it's not only gadgets I have seen riders muscle a horse into doing movements just holding into the seat bones until every foot fall of the horse is forced. Yes you may get a piaffe or passage with these devices however it will not be pretty and soft the work will be stale and forced. You will have tail flipping there will be no swing in the back the horse will not look as nicely muscled because the work was not correct. There is a reason for the training scale there is a reason that masters speak against the use of gadgets. The holes that these devices create will bite you in the ass at some point

It amazes me how many people get the head down and think that they have unlocked it all and now they have a dressage horse. It is not about the mouth and the head it is about the body we are suppleing and building muscle making the prettiest picture of the horse that we have. Dressage is a slow tedious sport that shows your every flaw you just have to drop your ego and just do what is correct in a legal bit and realize that it is going to take a long time.

ginger708
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:26 PM
You can snicker, but recently I've had 2 L grads and a GP trainer compliment me on how well he's going, he's effortlessly added changes to his repertoire, and another student of my trainer has plans to get her 1st level bronze scores on him. Hardly a poster child for the dangers of the pelham ;)

Let me know when she decides to use the horse for the second level scores. If you are using a pelham on a regular basis the holes will show up around second or third level. I'm thinking it will start to show when you need to shorten strides in gates or really collecting the canter. However I could be wrong but that is where I have spotted incorrect schooling at my local shows. Horses schooled in draw reins and pelhams hold their own at training and first and just struggle at second.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 21, 2009, 11:51 PM
Wayside, thanks for sharing the photo of Stan! Cute guy!

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:01 AM
Let me know when she decides to use the horse for the second level scores. If you are using a pelham on a regular basis the holes will show up around second or third level. I'm thinking it will start to show when you need to shorten strides in gates or really collecting the canter. However I could be wrong but that is where I have spotted incorrect schooling at my local shows. Horses schooled in draw reins and pelhams hold their own at training and first and just struggle at second.

No, his collected canter is coming along really well. He does have difficulties, but they aren't the subject of this thread ;)

You can come ride him second level for me and let me know how it goes! Lack of a decent rider is always going to be his major confirmation fault ;)

mbm
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:06 AM
so..... if i read all this correctly - the pelham basically works like a double.... HORRORS!!!!!!!!!!

mbm
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:08 AM
Let me know when she decides to use the horse for the second level scores. If you are using a pelham on a regular basis the holes will show up around second or third level. I'm thinking it will start to show when you need to shorten strides in gates or really collecting the canter. However I could be wrong but that is where I have spotted incorrect schooling at my local shows. Horses schooled in draw reins and pelhams hold their own at training and first and just struggle at second.

how exactly would use of a pelham prevent the horse from having a correct collected canter? and what "hole" will it create and how will it hurt the "gates" <sic>

Carolinadreamin'
Sep. 22, 2009, 09:23 AM
It sounds like all of us poor, unwashed masses are suffering from a bit bias.

Wayside
Sep. 22, 2009, 09:38 AM
Wayside, thanks for sharing the photo of Stan! Cute guy!


Aww, thanks! :D He was a very good sport about being a dressage horse stand-in.

Pelham didn't turn out to be a good bit in our situation, but I can see it working well to transition a puller, as a pp mentioned, or something a little thick or hard-mouthed. I beleive the use of it for small mouthed ponies instead of a double was also mentioned.

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 09:46 AM
how exactly would use of a pelham prevent the horse from having a correct collected canter? and what "hole" will it create and how will it hurt the "gates" <sic>

From what I have seen it is a two fold process. I will also add a disclaimer that this is my opinion and not law so please go do what ever you want with your horses.

When you force a horse into a frame with the intention of working him in that frame so he can build muscle in that particular frame and that he knows that this is what is correct. You are working against the natural balance adjustments that a horse need to make as he is schooling dressage. This action translates to tension, tension destroys gates. Gadjits create tension because they do not allow for the rider to make that slight adjustments need to assist the horse to find his balance in the dressage movements. I do not want to type for the next hour so I will not get into the mechanics of the process unless you want me to.

The second problem happens with the rider. When you are schooling a horse that is green to dressage or one that is schooling at the lower levels you have to be able to feel everything. When you use leverage devices you do not have the opportunity to feel that the horse is like in and out of balance. In the transitions within the gates the horse has to rebalance and change his frame slightly. The horse will lift more in the back and naturally slow the head will drop or raise slightly depending on the horse. But what really matters is what is happing to the back and the hind end. If the head is not allowed to balance where it needs to than you loose every thing else.

So long story short, leverage devices do not allow the rider to educate hands and seat and they do not allow the horse to mature in the the balance that is needed for higher level collection.

This is why the masters tell you that all movements should be schooled in a snaffle bit.

Pony Fixer
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:09 AM
Several people have mentioned using a pelham to rehab a puller. I can see using a pelham out in the hunt field on a horse with minimal brakes, but not a puller.

A puller pulls against you. Over and over, until you give. And since they are stonger than you, you will give, and they "win", which is why they do it! With a pelham, they just learn to pull/lean more. Fixing a puller involves giving them nothing to pull against--not starting that "fight", regardless of bit. In fact, I think it's easier to change the pulling habit in a snaffle than a harsher bit.

butlerfamilyzoo
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:13 AM
I had an ancient arab 3rd level schoolmaster (schooling higher) that rode in a pelham. He never showed above 2nd. He didnt have room in his mouth for a double. However, his bit of choice was a rubber mullen mouth pelham. I learned a lot from that horse, one of which was how to feel the back end engaging. Never once did i think he was simply in a frame due to the bit. You could ride him with just the snaffle rein and a slight check with the curb to lift the front end in transitions as he liked to lay into them if allowed.

I was too dumb at the time to question if he "SHOULD" have been in the pelham. I bought him, was told that was what he liked, we used it. In all fairness to him, i did try a couple different snaffles, but he preferred the mullen mouth piece, he had a very shallow pallet and i think it just fit his mouth better.

It did make me realize that i needed to look at how big a mouth was on something i wanted to take higher up the levels! Now, if only i'll ever get there... LOL

But i can see how this might be preferable for a horse/pony with a small mouth that can not carry two bits without them being insanely thin and cruel. I would prefer a pelham to that.

Sure jumped a lot of ponies in a pelham...

FancyFree
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:16 AM
The second problem happens with the rider. When you are schooling a horse that is green to dressage or one that is schooling at the lower levels you have to be able to feel everything. When you use leverage devices you do not have the opportunity to feel that the horse is like in and out of balance.

So long story short, leverage devices do not allow the rider to educate hands and seat and they do not allow the horse to mature in the the balance that is needed for higher level collection.

This is why the masters tell you that all movements should be schooled in a snaffle bit.

Yes I agree. The Pelham is not for inexperienced, insensitive hands. Any trainer who would have a novice dressage rider use one is being unfair to the horse as well as teaching his student nothing. How can you learn if you can't feel?

I'm curious about the examples that use the Pelham as a transition to the double. Why not just go straight to the double? Is the Pelham an easier bit for the horse to deal with in that transition phase?

Also why use a Pelham if your horse is going nicely in a double (this is question only pertains to experienced dressage horses)? If a bit is illegal, why would you school an upper level horse in it? Is there some benefit as opposed to schooling in the bit (the double) you would normally show in?

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:38 AM
I can see the use of a pelham in a horse or pony with a mouth too small for for a double bridle. However the double bridle is not introduced until forth level so there is no need to teach collection in a pelham or a double bridle. I like to relate using the double bridle to jumping a hunter. George Morris says that a jumper only has some many jumps in him, the majority of you work need to be flat work. Same with the double bridle it should be schooled sparingly when the horse has matured physically and mentally to it.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:41 AM
I too would love to hear the rationale behind the use of a Pelham as a transition to the double.

Ginger708, thank you for your patient and well-thought out explanation.

CatOnLap
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:47 AM
*sigh*
I worked at a riding school that concentrated on field hunting, jumpers and eventing when I was a teen. There was a gorgeous creature- palomino, belgian/quarter horse, in the school string, about 10 years old when I first met him. He was a sturdy 15.2 hh, and of a heavy hunter type, but with a heavy neck. He was put in a pelham to give him "brakes" for the students. One of the instructors rode him, to school on the flat and over fences at least once a week. Poor old "Mac". I and another girl (who became a very succesful dressage rider and breeder) were the only students who didn't get run away with on him. But the pelham didn't make him better. By the end of the two years he was on the string, the BO decided to send him to slaughter for meat price because he was such a tank. I and the other student were heart broken. I helped load him on the trailer, but at 15, I couldn't do much to save him. The price the horse pays.

mp
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:48 AM
Oh, I meant regional championships at FEI levels.

Let me repeat, since you seemed to miss it

You can find trainers who'll take shortcuts. And you can find them and their clients (along with just plain shitty riding -- pelham or no pelham) at just about any level.


I can't speak for the trainers in question, and it's unfortunate that the attitude here has been so hostile, I can't imagine a trainer who uses it coming on and responding to this question. :no:

Several dressage trainers/experienced riders have explained how they use them -- as a tool to fix a problem and get the horse into a snaffle. Did you not see those posts?


Maybe one will be brave and try it? It would be interesting to see knowledgeable discourse on the subject rather than ranting.

What ranting? This is a good discussion with knowledgeable, interesting posts. The OP's question was about dressage training. The general consensus seems to be that:

1. Horses schooling at the bottom rungs of the training pyramid (e.g., yours and mine) should be working in a snaffle.
2. A pelham is OK as a temporary tool if you've got a freight train on your hands.
3. Beginners (e.g., you and me) would be better off riding in a snaffle to educate the hands and seat.

You clearly disagree with this consensus, but the thoughtful posts , such as ginger's, that have made these points are hardly rants.

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:49 AM
I can see the use of a pelham in a horse or pony with a mouth too small for for a double bridle. However the double bridle is not introduced until forth level so there is no need to teach collection in a pelham or a double bridle.

3rd level!

And a lot of people do, whether they should or not.

pintopiaffe
Sep. 22, 2009, 10:51 AM
I'm curious about the examples that use the Pelham as a transition to the double. Why not just go straight to the double? Is the Pelham an easier bit for the horse to deal with in that transition phase?

Also why use a Pelham if your horse is going nicely in a double (this is question only pertains to experienced dressage horses)? If a bit is illegal, why would you school an upper level horse in it? Is there some benefit as opposed to schooling in the bit (the double) you would normally show in?

Some horses have little room in their mouth for a double, and the pelham helps them learn the concept of chin and poll pressure without panicking about all the extra metal in their mouth.

I've outed myself before... but I sometimes use a pelham on my guy. Lots of reasons. The last year or so I use the double instead, because he loves that too... but running and leaping gets him very excited, and the pelham is the cat's meow. Then I realized how much he just adores the mouthpiece. I can ride without a curb strap (I use a loose elastic curb generally) and no curb reins, and he still loves it. To the point I bought the same bit (an ancient Neverrust) on Ebay and had the shanks ground off so it was a mullen baucher... Only... it's not the *same*. I think it's probably a combination of the weight and how the pelham hangs because of the shanks (vs the hanger above) which he likes. He chews, foams, is light and soft. I really don't think there's any sort of 'false frame' going on. He just likes the bit.

Here's a photo from a couple years ago... my hands are a little low, but I think it's a pleasant picture. http://www.innisfailte.com/images/purpletrot.jpg I was schooling a LOT in it for our first baby-weeny CT debut... and had a lesson shortly after. My teacher was THRILLED with topline development, gaits, softness... his exact quote "Whatever you are doing, keep doing it."

He still likes the pelham better than the double, and the double better than the snaffle. <shrugs> It's our dirty little secret. He's a stallion, sometimes his poor pickled-in-testosterone poll and jaw get pretty tight. Doesn't matter how much that back end is going, if he's not chewing, and his poll is locked, we ain't gettin' there...

These days it doesn't matter as much what is in his mouth--or even nothing--because he's much further in training. He *still* loves that stupid old Neverrust the best of anything though. <shrugs> Sue me.

The thing that Heather Moffett talks about, and I agree with in this context, is that some horses can be encouraged to chew and soften with a pelham who brace against the snaffle. So you use the pelham for a time, develop the right muscles and softness, and progress--either back to a snaffle (which can be hard to find the one a horse devoted to a mullen pelham loves) or to the double.

I can understand this, given the results in my guy. For a snaffle, he prefers a single joint with bent arms (JP, Myler) to a french link or any sort of bean or legal 'comfort mouth'--which is super counter-intuitive. The *identical* pelham with shanks ground off... Not so much. His son is seeming to like a mullen himself. The Nathe I'm borrowing seems to be a really good choice. Full sibling daughter is just fine in a thinner (eldonian) Fulmer single joint. Go figure.

It's their mouth, I tend to think it's fair to allow them an opinion. We might have to compromise when it comes to showing, or 'legal' bits, then I do the best I can.

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:05 AM
3rd level!

And a lot of people do, whether they should or not.

SO this makes it right? I do want to make this a sint fest. For some reason you and your trainer feel that what you are doing is right and that is fine. However I will say that that it is my opinion and experience that if you the royal you not just you personally Ambry will have holes in the training. I have seen it a lot here in Illinois at lamplight trainers feel that if the horse is big and moves like a truck treat him like a truck and no I am not talking about the Bartaus (sp?).

Just be prepared tail switching, stomping through the aid at when you ask to collect canter, tail flipping when he can't put his head where he needs to and other major problems.

And up until this point the horse has been schooling in the pelham where do you go, how do you correct this, do you go to even harder bits? Maybe western curbs with long shanks? What happins in the show ring when the horse realizes that he no longer has the pelham in his mouth what then?

Alexie
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:08 AM
i'm not a fan of the Moffat person because of her love of pelhams first amongst other things.

i believed her and tried it in good faith and with optimism and it was crud, for me and t'hoss anyway

if anyone else gets on with them well that's fine :)

hitchinmygetalong
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:13 AM
Excellent point, ginger.

I'll freely admit I'm NOT a "dressage rider" (i.e. I have never shown dressage) nor do I have a "dressage horse". But when I was taking lessons (yes, dressage lessons), it was in a snaffle. If I couldn't control him in a snaffle, then the feedback I was getting was there was something I was not doing right. If he didn't bend in a snaffle, there was a problem with ME. If he bore down and lugged in a snaffle, there was a problem with ME. I'm sure I could have found a trainer who would find a bit to correct those problems, but until we corrected the problem with ME, then one day all the bandaids would come off and I'd be SOL.

In my mind, that is why a snaffle is important. It exposes problems with the pilot.

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:16 AM
Excellent point, ginger.

I'll freely admit I'm NOT a "dressage rider" (i.e. I have never shown dressage) nor do I have a "dressage horse". But when I was taking lessons (yes, dressage lessons), it was in a snaffle. If I couldn't control him in a snaffle, then the feedback I was getting was there was something I was not doing right. If he didn't bend in a snaffle, there was a problem with ME. If he bore down and lugged in a snaffle, there was a problem with ME. I'm sure I could have found a trainer who would find a bit to correct those problems, but until we corrected the problem with ME, then one day all the bandaids would come off and I'd be SOL.

In my mind, that is why a snaffle is important. It exposes problems with the pilot.

Well Said:D

ThreeFigs
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:19 AM
Well, you slap the pelham back on him after the show. It's rather like training a Bonsai tree, you know? Just keep bending it, tying it in this position; eventually it stays that way.

woodcat
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:22 AM
Some of you need to start a new religion.
Call it Bit Heaven.

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:23 AM
Bonsai trees can be quite ugly little things;)

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:23 AM
What ranting? This is a good discussion with knowledgeable, interesting posts. The OP's question was about dressage training. The general consensus seems to be that:

1. Horses schooling at the bottom rungs of the training pyramid (e.g., yours and mine) should be working in a snaffle.
2. A pelham is OK as a temporary tool if you've got a freight train on your hands.
3. Beginners (e.g., you and me) would be better off riding in a snaffle to educate the hands and seat.


Except that the entire first page consisted people who have never ridden with a pelham, some of them haven't even ridden dressage, but were willing to announce that those who break said rule are just not dressage riders.

And I don't see a consensus at all, because the "other side" won't post in the threads.

So how is that learning? If you shut down the voice of the other side before it can ever be heard, you've ended discourse. And announcing that they are "just doing it wrong" is a pretty good way to shut them down. Using strong-arm debate tactics (which I'm not opposed to in certain circumstances) and ad-hominem arguments (which, of course, are "just doing it wrong" in debate land) are not the way to encourage information sharing.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:27 AM
Bonsai trees can be quite ugly little things;)

It's what you get when you fool with nature, making something that was not meant to be from the start.

hitchinmygetalong
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:29 AM
Perhaps the reason we haven't heard from "the other side" is because a) there just aren't that many "dressage riders" or "dressage trainers" using pelhams; or b) they know it's a shortcut and really have no sound reason to use it other than to either placate a client or take the lazy way out. Hard to defend either argument, especially on Chronicle of the Horse.

FancyFree
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:35 AM
Well, you slap the pelham back on him after the show. It's rather like training a Bonsai tree, you know? Just keep bending it, tying it in this position; eventually it stays that way.

So you use the Pelham long enough that when you go back to the snaffle, the horse is good to go? I didn't experience this with the double.

I think my trainer put us in the double too soon, looking back. We were schooling second. My horse was a tank, heavy on the forehand, lots of work to get up and light. My trainer put her in the double and wow, what a difference. Eventually she went back to being somewhat heavy, but was much more manageable for me. But when I rode in the snaffle again to show, ugh what a lot of work. So in the show ring, I think it made it more difficult to go from the double to the snaffle.

So I guess can see schooling in a Pelham if you're already in a double and the horse prefers a Pelham, no big difference. But if you have to show in a snaffle and regularly school in a Pelham, wouldn't make it harder in the show ring?

ETA:


Perhaps the reason we haven't heard from "the other side" is because a) there just aren't that many "dressage riders" or "dressage trainers" using pelhams; or b) they know it's a shortcut and really have no sound reason to use it other than to either placate a client or take the lazy way out. Hard to defend either argument, especially on Chronicle of the Horse.

You've killed the thread! :lol:
But you're probably right, except for that small cult in SoCal.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:37 AM
Good point, hitch!

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:39 AM
Except that the entire first page consisted people who have never ridden with a pelham, some of them haven't even ridden dressage, but were willing to announce that those who break said rule are just not dressage riders.

And I don't see a consensus at all, because the "other side" won't post in the threads.

So how is that learning? If you shut down the voice of the other side before it can ever be heard, you've ended discourse. And announcing that they are "just doing it wrong" is a pretty good way to shut them down. Using strong-arm debate tactics (which I'm not opposed to in certain circumstances) and ad-hominem arguments (which, of course, are "just doing it wrong" in debate land) are not the way to encourage information sharing.

From my point of view I am discussing and asking questions. I want to know where you go when problems arise with the use of the pelham. Do you go even harder? Do you start from the beginning with a snaffle? You are right I have not used a pelham or draw reins I come from a place that I take the harsher bits out of a horses mouth and put more giving ones in and take my lumps. My Belgian I took out the tomb thumb curb which I thought was stupid, how do you direct rein a curb anyway and put in a loose ring snaffle. We had to finally move up to a full-cheek snaffle without keepers that is the bit for him. I suffered a lot of pulling and side trips off into fields for a long time, but in the end I have a retired horse that moves of my seat and can be ridden in a halter and lead rope. The horse I ride now had a thin snaffle almost like a bradoon I felt that he braced against it so I took out that bit and put in a MikMar D ring with the lozenge in the center. He has run through me aids with his head down and I bend him to break the tension. And figure out what I did with my busy hands to start all of this in the first place.

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:39 AM
SO this makes it right? I do want to make this a sint fest. For some reason you and your trainer feel that what you are doing is right and that is fine. However I will say that that it is my opinion and experience that if you the royal you not just you personally Ambry will have holes in the training. I have seen it a lot here in Illinois at lamplight trainers feel that if the horse is big and moves like a truck treat him like a truck and no I am not talking about the Bartaus (sp?).

No, that wasn't my point at all (that lots of people doing it makes it right). Just that thinking that the fact that only people of a certain opinion post here means that opinion is really the consensus is faulty logic.

I totally get your opinion. Really. It is shared by many people who I respect and admire greatly and whose opinions I hold in very high regard. I'm not dismissing it. I've had the discussion in private with many people, my opinion is much more complex than "pelhamz rule zomg!"

What I am saying is that I don't think all of the assumptions about how or why trainers would use this bit are correct. Last year when it came out that my trainer was using a pelham, everyone assumed it was because my horse was a freight train and/or difficult to control, insensitive to aids, obstinate, etc. He is actually quite the opposite of all of those things.

So in order to understand my specific situation and what issues the pelham is/is not causing with my horse, you'd have to start with a much different set of assumptions regarding my horse and my trainer, and even me. And I think that's the point I'm trying to make about the bit in general- that in order to know what positive or negative effect it would have, you'd have to know something about that individual horse.

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:45 AM
From my point of view I am discussing and asking questions..

Oh, sorry if I implied that I was offended by your questions! Not at all, I'm enjoying the discussion.

I don't know where one would go when one needs "more" than a pelham. It's just never been an issue for us, as needing "more" was never the reason for its use in the first place (except during certain times when I was fearful, I still didn't need it, it was just there for moral support!). It was just different.

That goes back to the assumptions about why you'd use it, and why I wish that at some point one of the (according to some only about 5 in the world) trainers who use it would pipe in.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:47 AM
FancyFree: So I guess can see schooling in a Pelham if you're already in a double and the horse prefers a Pelham, no big difference. But if you have to show in a snaffle and regularly school in a Pelham, wouldn't make it harder in the show ring?

Yes it would! I know people who prefer to ride their horses in a double because it makes them so much easier to "put together". They struggle when their trainers insist that they school more often in the snaffle.

This indicates a hole in the training or the riding skills. The basics have to be there with the snaffle before progressing to the double. Similar problems would arise from use of a Pelham.

There is a reason why the time-tested training philosophies start out with minimal equipment and progress to more "sophisticated" tack as the horse develops. (Bosal to snaffle to curb in reining, snaffle to double in dressage, for instance)

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:48 AM
Perhaps the reason we haven't heard from "the other side" is because a) there just aren't that many "dressage riders" or "dressage trainers" using pelhams; or b) they know it's a shortcut and really have no sound reason to use it other than to either placate a client or take the lazy way out. Hard to defend either argument, especially on Chronicle of the Horse.

Or perhaps they just don't feel the need to have to "defend" any of their choices?

But thank you for recognizing that there is an attack mentality here that would require anyone with an opinion outside the status quo to defend their decisions. As I pointed out, most of the people who set the tone in the first page are not trainers, FEI riders, and some don't even ride dressage. So you really think a trainer who has chosen to use this tool is deciding not to post out of shame? I suspect not.

mp
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:49 AM
Except that the entire first page consisted people who have never ridden with a pelham, some of them haven't even ridden dressage, but were willing to announce that those who break said rule are just not dressage riders.

You're exaggerating. I just went back and read that page. Yes, there are people who poo-pooed it out of hand, but there were others who didn't.


And I don't see a consensus at all, because the "other side" won't post in the threads.

So how is that learning? If you shut down the voice of the other side before it can ever be heard, you've ended discourse. And announcing that they are "just doing it wrong" is a pretty good way to shut them down. Using strong-arm debate tactics (which I'm not opposed to in certain circumstances) and ad-hominem arguments (which, of course, are "just doing it wrong" in debate land) are not the way to encourage information sharing.

How is that learning? Well, for me, I've moved from "I'd never use a pelham and would question a dressage trainer who would" to "it's a tool that has uses." I held the first opinion because my horse hasn't had the issues that a pelham would solve. I now understand how it might be used. Not long-term use for lower level riders like you and me, but still valid uses.

What have you learned?

The other "side" is not shut down. The other side either a) does not exist in great numbers; or b) doesn't care to reveal in public their training methods. Perhaps because they know it's a shortcut? I don't know.

While a few posters simply announced "that's just wrong," many more gave some very good reasons for their points of view. You just don't like what you're hearing.

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:57 AM
How is that learning? Well, for me, I've moved from "I'd never use a pelham and would question a dressage trainer who would" to "it's a tool that has uses." I held the first opinion because my horse hasn't had the issues that a pelham would solve. I now understand how it might be used. Not long-term use for lower level riders like you and me, but still valid uses.

What have you learned?


So we agree on something, yay!

You know, there's nothing said on this thread that I have not heard before. And by that, I do not mean "that I have not read and dismissed out of hand before." I mean that I've read it, I've discussed it, I've thought about it, I've read about it, I've experienced it and observed it. And came to the same conclusion- that the pelham as a tool and the trainer who uses it can't be dismissed out of hand.

But if you took a consensus vote rather than reading all the posts, as I thought was being suggested, that might not be what you would learn.

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 11:59 AM
Oh, sorry if I implied that I was offended by your questions! Not at all, I'm enjoying the discussion.

I don't know where one would go when one needs "more" than a pelham. It's just never been an issue for us, as needing "more" was never the reason for its use in the first place (except during certain times when I was fearful, I still didn't need it, it was just there for moral support!). It was just different.

That goes back to the assumptions about why you'd use it, and why I wish that at some point one of the (according to some only about 5 in the world) trainers who use it would pipe in.

Maybe more people would be more sympathetic if you could explain what physically you are doing with the pelham. I believe that many of us have explained our reasoning why we do not use leverage devices. I am extremely interested on the reasoning behind why you would. What do you feel it changes in the horse what does the horse retain when you go back to the snaffle. If the problem is pulling why did establishing an out side leg and rein with inside bend did not work. Look the world is a big place and there may be that horse in the world that the traditional may not work. Also one has to remember that we have to tailor the proven traditional methods to the horse in question.

ThreeFigs
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:00 PM
What I am saying is that I don't think all of the assumptions about how or why trainers would use this bit are correct. Last year when it came out that my trainer was using a pelham, everyone assumed it was because my horse was a freight train and/or difficult to control, insensitive to aids, obstinate, etc. He is actually quite the opposite of all of those things.


So, if he is so sensitive, not obstinate or difficult, not a freight train, why DOES your trainer use a Pelham? BTW, is HE an FEI level trainer? I mean, as long as you're so concerned about all our credentials, what about his?

hitchinmygetalong
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:03 PM
Or perhaps they just don't feel the need to have to "defend" any of their choices?

But thank you for recognizing that there is an attack mentality here that would require anyone with an opinion outside the status quo to defend their decisions. As I pointed out, most of the people who set the tone in the first page are not trainers, FEI riders, and some don't even ride dressage. So you really think a trainer who has chosen to use this tool is deciding not to post out of shame? I suspect not.

I neither said nor implied any such thing. Don't you dare put words in my mouth.

Did you ever stop to ask yourself, the most vocal proponent of using a pelham in dressage training, why there are so few trainers use them?

mp
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:07 PM
So we agree on something, yay!

You know, there's nothing said on this thread that I have not heard before. And by that, I do not mean "that I have not read and dismissed out of hand before." I mean that I've read it, I've discussed it, I've thought about it, I've read about it, I've experienced it and observed it.

You already knew and experienced everything people here have posted. So you've learned nothing. Interesting.


And came to the same conclusion- that the pelham as a tool and the trainer who uses it can't be dismissed out of hand.

I did not come to that conclusion, so no, we do not agree. I would dismiss trainers who use it long term and for beginner riders like you and me.


But if you took a consensus vote rather than reading all the posts, as I thought was being suggested, that might not be what you would learn.

Why don't you commission a study? And report back.

Posse977
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:10 PM
I will join the "it has its uses" group. I am currently riding my DraftX in one. We originally used it as his jumping bit (XC and SJ), but I have recently been schooling flat in it as well. Why? Because he absolutely loves the mouth piece and I have yet to find a snaffle that is the same. It is a big french link in german silver and it is quite heavy. He likes it, carries it properly, and I don't actually use the curb rein. I hold it so it does not flap, but not snugly enough that it has action.

I have tried lots and lots of snaffles- thought I had found the answer the last time, but apparently the bit isn't fat enough for his liking. It isn't thin, but it isn't as fat as the pelham mouthpiece is. The search continues...

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:11 PM
I was trying not to make this about my horse in particular, because there are so many issues at play and all sorts of barn drama to stay out of.

It isn't pulling, it's just locking and lack of suppleness in the poll and jaw. And with the pelham, there is no "head set," because there's no one way he is ridden- he's ridden up, deep, long and low- but the combination of poll and curb pressure is enough to convince him to relax and stop thinking about wanting to brace.

He has a very thick neck, and requires tactful riding to keep him from bracing in either bit. When he's relaxed and ridden tactfully in a snaffle he is very good. When he is either extra tense (read: first time in an indoor) or ridden extremly poorly (read: mom's first time in an indoor) he gets a submission score of 4 and comments like "even at training level, he does need to at least ACCEPT contact and not brace!"

But that's not BECAUSE he was ridden in a pelham. That is WHY he was ridden in a pelham. Chicken and egg. But am learning several other ways to deal with the situation and becoming a more confident at it, so we'll see how it goes. I ride him about 75% of the time in the snaffle.

FancyFree
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:11 PM
So, if he is so sensitive, not obstinate or difficult, not a freight train, why DOES your trainer use a Pelham? BTW, is HE an FEI level trainer? I mean, as long as you're so concerned about all our credentials, what about his?

That is the million dollar question. If a horse is sensitive to the aids and NOT a pulling freight train, why on earth would you put it in the Pelham? Isn't that way over-kill for a sensitive, responsive horse? Aren't Pelhams typically bit for horses that are very heavy or need brakes? Also, let's go with the theory that the horse actually is very sensitive, wouldn't riding in a Pelham desensitize a horse like this over time?

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:12 PM
I neither said nor implied any such thing. Don't you dare put words in my mouth.

Oh, you said you didn't think a trainer would want to come here and defend themselves. I figured you'd realize that meant there would be something to defend themselves against.

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:18 PM
You already knew and experienced everything people here have posted. So you've learned nothing. Interesting.



Sigh, is misquoting me necessary? What I said quite clearly was that over the last year I've done a tremendous amount of research, so these things are not new to me. I also have taken algebra, so my daughter's 7th grade math homework is not new to me. Does that mean I haven't learned anything? Or just that I didn't wait until someone posted it on a BB (or sent it home for 7th grade Algebra) to learn it?

I see that you're trying very hard not to give me an inch here. I doubt that's going to result in any useful discussion :no:

angel
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:23 PM
It seems to me that this discussion was locked before as it really got out of hand. I think what happens in any discipline, whether it be dressage or whatever, we tend to adopt those tools which were first introduced to us. If we perceive that they work, we stop there. If we perceive that they do not work, we move on.

When I first began most of my riding, I rode largely in a Weymouth bridle...so I had the use of a curb bit, or the leverage against the horse's neck that is also the effects of the pelham. Back then, I did not really understand the rider's weight aids, and what should be going on through the seat at the same time are the leverage was used through the hands. Basically, this is riding from front to back, and I think we are all guilty of that when we begin.

But, hopefully, as training progresses, the rider learns how to better use the weight aids, and uses less hand aids. I do not see that happen with most riders. What I do see is that most riders want to try to use the snaffle bit, just as they would a leverage bit, i.e. curb or pelham, and this means that no matter whether they are riding in a pelham, or riding with the snaffle, the horse remains crooked and pulled to the contact.

Because of that observation...the fact that most people are not using a snaffle correctly...I would say that using a pelham is not any worse for the training of the horse unless you plan on showing. Then, you have a problem in that the horse does not know how to respond in the same fashion to the smaller leverage of the snaffle being used incorrectly, and you are required to ride in a snaffle for showing.

I have never ridden specifically in a pelham...one of the few bits I do not own. However, I did ride hunter in a kimberwicke with double reins, which gives close to the same effect. By the way, those double reins on a kimberwicke are no longer permitted either, though you can still use the pelham for hunter classes.

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:28 PM
Because of that observation...the fact that most people are not using a snaffle correctly...I would say that using a pelham is not any worse for the training of the horse unless you plan on showing. Then, you have a problem in that the horse does not know how to respond in the same fashion to the smaller leverage of the snaffle being used incorrectly, and you are required to ride in a snaffle for showing.


This, I think, is the main drawback, and why if you get too attached to the pelham and don't switch back and forth enough you can have trouble.

The fact that in the end, you and the horse just need to figure out how to use the snaffle, which will feel a bit different to both of you. It requires different balancing of seat/leg/hand.

('nuther thumbs up for Angel's post. If we had thumbs ups).

AnotherRound
Sep. 22, 2009, 12:55 PM
So, Ambrey, as someone who does choose to use the pelham, what is the reasoning you and your trainer are using the pelham, specifically, on your grey and your QH cross? I would assume that it would be for two very different reasons for each horse, as they are two very different horses. What is the technique your trainer is using and what does he want to get the pelham to achieve? What are the advantages the pelham offers your horses which indicate to you and your trainer that this is a good bit to use? What training issues does it address? And how's that working? I hope you don't mind my asking, but I and others in the discussion would be interested to know how you are using it and why. Tehcnically. and What it is accomplishing for you and/or your horses.

hitchinmygetalong
Sep. 22, 2009, 01:04 PM
Oh, you said you didn't think a trainer would want to come here and defend themselves. I figured you'd realize that meant there would be something to defend themselves against.

Well, you figured wrong. I'm sorry you misinterpreted my choice of words. Perhaps I should go back and reword it to say "explain" their use of a pelham for dressage training, as that is what I truly meant.

mp
Sep. 22, 2009, 01:08 PM
Sigh, is misquoting me necessary? What I said quite clearly was that over the last year I've done a tremendous amount of research, so these things are not new to me. I also have taken algebra, so my daughter's 7th grade math homework is not new to me. Does that mean I haven't learned anything? Or just that I didn't wait until someone posted it on a BB (or sent it home for 7th grade Algebra) to learn it?

I did ask you a direct question: What have you learned from this thread? You gave a long answer that implied "nothing." If that wasn't your answer, please rephrase. N.B. -- researching doesn't doesn't mean you know all about something.


I see that you're trying very hard not to give me an inch here. I doubt that's going to result in any useful discussion :no:

Ambrey, I've given you way more than an inch for as long as you've been on this board. I understand what a struggle it is to learn to ride in your 40s, much less take up dressage -- possibly the most difficult, frustrating discipline of them all. I also know what it is to be paralyzed with fear in the saddle because of past injuries.

Unfortunately, you seem unable to learn from anyone else's experiences. Nor do you seem willing to spend the time and effort on actual riding. Instead, you engage in "research," post about dressage, and fuel endless bullshit debates based on your google-mania. You have used up just about every grain of empathy I can muster.

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 01:10 PM
Because of that observation...the fact that most people are not using a snaffle correctly...I would say that using a pelham is not any worse for the training of the horse unless you plan on showing. Then, you have a problem in that the horse does not know how to respond in the same fashion to the smaller leverage of the snaffle being used incorrectly, and you are required to ride in a snaffle for showing.

I will agree with you that a snaffle can be misused as well. However with the snaffle the leverage that is being placed on the horses head is much less. Therefore the horse has the ability to communicate what they need from your seat and hands. For example the warmblood that I am riding now. He is a very sensitive horse in the mouth. If I am out of balance or if I drop my hands and get heavy with him his head goes straight up in the air and hollow in the back. My draft that I have retired I had to put my hands low and sit deep to push him forward into the bit. I mean when you ride a draft there is only going to be so much lift. Like my guy is 1800 lbs he is not going to lift 700 to 800 lbs on his front end. However there was always bend in the hocks and swing through the back.

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 01:22 PM
I was trying not to make this about my horse in particular, because there are so many issues at play and all sorts of barn drama to stay out of.

It isn't pulling, it's just locking and lack of suppleness in the poll and jaw. And with the pelham, there is no "head set," because there's no one way he is ridden- he's ridden up, deep, long and low- but the combination of poll and curb pressure is enough to convince him to relax and stop thinking about wanting to brace.

He has a very thick neck, and requires tactful riding to keep him from bracing in either bit. When he's relaxed and ridden tactfully in a snaffle he is very good. When he is either extra tense (read: first time in an indoor) or ridden extremly poorly (read: mom's first time in an indoor) he gets a submission score of 4 and comments like "even at training level, he does need to at least ACCEPT contact and not brace!"

But that's not BECAUSE he was ridden in a pelham. That is WHY he was ridden in a pelham. Chicken and egg. But am learning several other ways to deal with the situation and becoming a more confident at it, so we'll see how it goes. I ride him about 75% of the time in the snaffle.

See this is why I am interested in the research that you have done and the reasoning that you and the trainer have for using the pelham. We to have similar horses mine is retired from dressage and yours is still working. I went in a different direction form the pelham and have given my reasoning behind my decision I was wondering about yours. If it is about the heaviness of the bit I can see a point there if you do not use the curb rein because I use heavy snaffles. The full cheek I use on my draft is a very heavy bit. If it is breaks I can understand that too some people are not comfortable using an emergency rein. However if it is to teach the horse to lift through the back than I need to read plausible explanations that come from reason and understanding of the physicality of the horse.

Carolinadreamin'
Sep. 22, 2009, 02:14 PM
I'd rather hear from riders (dressage) who may possibly be using it (in dressage, no other discipline) for some transitional reason. Someone that has horses that are too strong for them and thus have been "riding" "dressage" in a pelham for what, 2 years?, ummmmm, no. Funny that both horses of this person are ridden in pelhams....for dressage. Something is not right here. Guys, if you've got a couple of hours, look over her posts from her time here. It's the same thing over and over - defending the pelham.

If I had to ride my horse (dressage) in a pelham for 2 years, errrr, logically you have got to start thinking that something along the training scale is not going right. Seriously.

Pony Fixer
Sep. 22, 2009, 02:33 PM
The fact that in the end, you and the horse just need to figure out how to use the snaffle, which will feel a bit different to both of you. It requires different balancing of seat/leg/hand.


Yup. YOU and YOUR HORSE(S).

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 02:34 PM
I'd rather hear from riders (dressage) who may possibly be using it (in dressage, no other discipline) for some transitional reason. Someone that has horses that are too strong for them and thus have been "riding" "dressage" in a pelham for what, 2 years?, ummmmm, no. Funny that both horses of this person are ridden in pelhams....for dressage. Something is not right here. Guys, if you've got a couple of hours, look over her posts from her time here. It's the same thing over and over - defending the pelham.

If I had to ride my horse (dressage) in a pelham for 2 years, errrr, logically you have got to start thinking that something along the training scale is not going right. Seriously.

I am interested in this as well. I have seen the pelham used in training on more than one occasion in my neck of the woods. And I have always wondered what the reasoning was in it's use. I did on one occasion see a clinician that made a makeshift leverage bit out of twine. His reasoning was if a horse is going to act like a truck you should treat him like a truck. I was appalled and left the clinic it was obvious that this person had a problem with big horses and needed to go back to school on teaching horses how to rein back. I was happy to find out that this person was not allowed to come back to the barn that had him in.

Pony Fixer
Sep. 22, 2009, 02:36 PM
... he gets a submission score of 4 and comments like "even at training level, he does need to at least ACCEPT contact and not brace!"

But that's not BECAUSE he was ridden in a pelham. That is WHY he was ridden in a pelham.

Then it's clearly not working. Many horses "brace". Not many horses are ridden in a pelham to "fix" this. In fact, bracing against the bit probably means the hind legs aren't engaged--not which bit is in his mouth.

Couture TB
Sep. 22, 2009, 02:37 PM
I'd rather hear from riders (dressage) who may possibly be using it (in dressage, no other discipline) for some transitional reason. Someone that has horses that are too strong for them and thus have been "riding" "dressage" in a pelham for what, 2 years?, ummmmm, no. Funny that both horses of this person are ridden in pelhams....for dressage. Something is not right here. Guys, if you've got a couple of hours, look over her posts from her time here. It's the same thing over and over - defending the pelham.

If I had to ride my horse (dressage) in a pelham for 2 years, errrr, logically you have got to start thinking that something along the training scale is not going right. Seriously.

Well I am home sick so have a bit of time on my hands so I will try to give an example/reason of why I have used a pelham for transitional reasons for both horse and rider.

HORSE: The few times I have used a pelham for horse's transitoning to a double bridle had to do with two different reasons. The first was to get them use to the 'curb' action of the bottom rein when asking them to stay in a more collected positon and to get use to the feel of a little bit of leverage. In the case of one horse it would have been a complete disaster if I would not have used it as a transiton bit as when I put a little bit of pressure on the curb rein he started poping up in front. He was a very sensative horse and that little bit of extra leverage on him irritated him. I had to ride him on a very loose rein for the curb part of the pelham for 3 months taking a litte more rein up at a time. He was then use to the added leverage and thus made the transition to a double bridle. Even in a double you did not need to touch the curb much. But I can honestly say that all of the horses I have ridden in doubles did not need much on the curb rein as before they were introduced to either the pelham for transition or a double bridle then went back to front, lifted their backs, and stayed in front of your leg with just a snaffle.

HORSE: I have a few VERY heavy pelhams. I have used them to get the horse use to the extra weight and width of bit in their mouth.

RIDER: The ONLY time I use a pelham for a rider in dressage is to get them use to the use of double reins and how much more they are affecting their horses mouth and movement with the curb part. And that is only after they can ride their horse back to front in proper collection in a snaffle. That is it. I would never put either a pelham or a double bridle in the hands of a rider that is not capable and knowledgable enough to know how to use their hands, legs, and seat as independent aids to ask the horse what to do.

As for what type of snaffles I use the answere is anything. I don't prefer one bit over another, and quite honestly trainers that throw every horse in one type of bit as their preference scare me. Not every horse is going to like every bit. I ride one stallion in a full cheek rubber snaffle for dressage, another stallion in either a loose ring happy mouth or a loose ring french link, another stallion in a Myler snaffle (he loves the independent sides as they help him bend, he is off the track), my TB eventer does dressage in either a full cheek rubber or a loose ring rubber mullen, I could go on and on.

hitchinmygetalong
Sep. 22, 2009, 02:49 PM
Thank you, Gaellent Quest!

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 02:53 PM
I think this is exactly what people are looking GallentQuest all of your examples as to why you use the pelham are within reason and well thought out, and I have learned something. There may be a horse down the line where I would use a pelham for this type of transition from snaffle to double. I also agree with using the bit for the horse I too have a growing collection snaffles and have so far used a different one in every horse that I have ridden.

Carolinadreamin'
Sep. 22, 2009, 02:56 PM
GaellentQuest, thank you for your explanations. Just to be clear, these were not green horses that you were using the pelham on as a transitional tool, is that correct? edit - nevermind. Obviously not as you were transitioning into a double. Plus, you mentioned that they were already working back to front, lifting their backs, moving off your leg.

mp
Sep. 22, 2009, 02:56 PM
I'd never thought of a pelham as a transition to the double, but it makes sense. My horse has a very light mouth -- knows to the mm how much rein you have in your hand even on a loose rein. So this info might come in handy ...

... in about 15 years at our current rate of progress. :lol:

Thanks, GQ.

Couture TB
Sep. 22, 2009, 03:01 PM
GaellentQuest, thank you for your explanations. Just to be clear, these were not green horses that you were using the pelham on as a transitional tool, is that correct?

That is correct. They were only horses that already went correctly in a snaffle and were very solid not only in their foundation, but in all the movements that were to be done in the pelham *for transition* and the double bridle.

I should note that even the horses that were going well and educated enough to go in a double bridle were ridden almost 90% of the time in a snaffle still.

More then happy to explain the whys and hows of why I have done that. You never stop learning. Besides I need something to do today inbetwen my nyquil haze;)

FancyFree
Sep. 22, 2009, 03:06 PM
I don't prefer one bit over another, and quite honestly trainers that throw every horse in one type of bit as their preference scare me.

Me too. One type of bit does not fit all! The only reason I can think of a trainer putting a Pelham on all his horses is because it's a temporary fix. Some issues take time, patience and a lot of hard work. On the other hand, maybe the reasoning is that the client isn't going to do anything more that toodle around the ring. In that case, you might want a bit that gives optimum control and keeps the client safe. I guess it all depends on the rider in question's goal. If it's someone who's planning on showing, I'd say they should try to work through their issues in a snaffle. The holes will show up sooner or later.

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 03:52 PM
Me too. One type of bit does not fit all! The only reason I can think of a trainer putting a Pelham on all his horses is because it's a temporary fix. Some issues take time, patience and a lot of hard work. On the other hand, maybe the reasoning is that the client isn't going to do anything more that toodle around the ring. In that case, you might want a bit that gives optimum control and keeps the client safe. I guess it all depends on the rider in question's goal. If it's someone who's planning on showing, I'd say they should try to work through their issues in a snaffle. The holes will show up sooner or later.

I will agree with you Fancy Free. My trainer has used non dressage legal bit with horses and riders that needed them for safety and doing basic walk trot canter stuff. The students were not dressage riders and had no intention of showing in the future they just wanted to enjoy their horses. Now I show up for a lesson whit a pelham I would get horse whipped all the way back to where I got the thing:lol:

JSwan
Sep. 22, 2009, 03:57 PM
Well I am home sick so have a bit of time on my hands so I will try to give an example/reason of why I have used a pelham for transitional reasons for both horse and rider.



Excellent post. Hope you feel better soon.

egontoast
Sep. 22, 2009, 04:09 PM
he gets a submission score of 4 and comments like "even at training level, he does need to at least ACCEPT contact and not brace!"

But that's not BECAUSE he was ridden in a pelham. That is WHY he was ridden in a pelham

:confused: How does the pelham teach him to accept contact? It's just not a step that can be forced on the horse. Acceptance of contact is very basic stuff in training level, just riding on contact.

Couture TB
Sep. 22, 2009, 05:06 PM
Excellent post. Hope you feel better soon.

Thanks on both things:) Figured I would post since I have time on my hands. Hopefully it helps.

Thomas_1
Sep. 22, 2009, 05:06 PM
Ginger and Carolina,

To get a rider and a horse used to the curb bit, you may indeed find the Pelham is useful. It’s a curb bit with the usual chain etc but it differs from the normal curb bit in that its got 2 sets of rings. One set at the lower end of the cheekpiece as in a normal curb bit and the other attached at the level of the mouthpiece itself. When 2 reins (rather than roundings) are used the upper one acts like a normal snaffle and the lower acts like a curb rein. With this arrangement the rider can get used to handling 2 sets of reins and the horse can get used to the curb and to the pressure of the bit against his mouth without having to get used to having 2 bits in his mouth. You can lower a horse's head and encourage him to reach forward in a curb, if you are delicate about it. However, it could be said you can also use a knife as a screw driver, but it's not the best tool for the job! You wouldn't want to use it for long if you had any ambition about doing anything that bore any resemblence to "proper" dressage work

When its got roundings the more novice rider doesn’t have to worry about 2 sets of reins to handle and if it’s a horse inclined to take a strong pull the rein slides down the roundings and exerts pressure on the curb to help the rider and that’s why they’ve always been used to help such as children on strong ponies. Its somewhat based on the misconception that the curb will punish and keep the horse under control and that’s not true at all as it only gives fine control and if on the other end is a heavy handed rider leaning on reins and pulling then the horse will merely react to resist pain by just pulling harder to relieve painful pressure in the mouth. The fact remains that the pelham has been used successfully with one rein (employing roundings) over many many years. Children and novice riders would have great difficulty riding with two reins (too much to think about and to handle may prove hazardous!!!)

As such IMO there's absolutely nothing wrong at all with properly using a pelham and indeed they can have a positive part to play with training and developing a rider and/or horse. I've used them for that on occasion.

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 05:07 PM
Unfortunately, you seem unable to learn from anyone else's experiences. Nor do you seem willing to spend the time and effort on actual riding. Instead, you engage in "research," post about dressage, and fuel endless bullshit debates based on your google-mania. You have used up just about every grain of empathy I can muster.

Anyone who knows me would know just how totally and completely wrong this is. And that is the crux of our inability to communicate with each other.

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 05:08 PM
I'd never thought of a pelham as a transition to the double, but it makes sense. My horse has a very light mouth -- knows to the mm how much rein you have in your hand even on a loose rein. So this info might come in handy ...

Actually, when this thread came around the first time, I mentioned that that was one of the things my trainer said about it.

goeslikestink
Sep. 22, 2009, 05:22 PM
Actually, when this thread came around the first time, I mentioned that that was one of the things my trainer said about it.

but one thats not practiced by the riders

Ambrey
Sep. 22, 2009, 05:28 PM
but one thats not practiced by the riders

What riders? It's one practiced by several people who posted in this thread.

enjoytheride
Sep. 22, 2009, 05:46 PM
Since every pelham thread always ends up being about Ambrey's horses I'll address Ambrey.

If the pelham was a fix for your horse bracing and being tense why is he still being ridden in the pelham? My assumption is that it is because the pelham is a bandaid and without it the horse can easily brace and resist thus the horse has learned nothing and the rider has learned nothing about all that work it requires to get a horse to do the right things in a snaffle.

Do you understand that you don't just slap a different bit in the horse's mouth and neatly solve the problem of bracing and rushing?

Your horse may be seeking contact because that is a natural thing for a horse to do, to seek something stable. But he is being punished by seeking the stability because he is met with leverage, you are giving him something he can't find dressage contact with. He can be light, and he can hold the bit nicely in his mouth, but it isn't the same. You can't argue that you are using it as a transition to the double because you have been using the pelham long before you were ever ready for a double. So if he does ever reach the level to be ridden in the double you will be using the double as a leverage bit, and not as a dressage rider would use a curb.

Thomas_1
Sep. 22, 2009, 05:50 PM
^ Agreed. Until she has developed an independent seat and confidence to drop such heavy contact I wouldn't actually want her on a young horse at all, let alone one with a pelham bit.

I entirely understand she's suffered a massive loss of confidence with her serious accident but she'd be better off having lessons under lunge lines and developing seat and confidence to know you don't need a bit to hang on to to stop a horse going a little faster than you want.

Moderator 1
Sep. 22, 2009, 06:07 PM
OK folks--Ambrey stop talking about your horse's situation and others, stop addressing it/her, and this thread will miraculously stop "being about Ambrey," which is claimed to be a universal desire.

Team effort.

narcisco
Sep. 22, 2009, 06:09 PM
I've also used the pelham as a short term bit in the other direction: to transition horses the other way, from double or curb bit, back to a snaffle.

I have done this on three types of horses:

1. upper level dressage horse who has been ruined to the snaffle and will only go in a double, off the curb. I used a snaffle pelham to get the horse used to the broken action of the snaffle while still affording the leverage of the shank and chain which she was used to. Sometimes these horses need to go in a snaffle again so their owners can show them at lower levels and also to go back and fill in the holes in their training.

2. Western horses ridden poorly in a curb bit, who find the snaffle bit too "jangly" and annoying. I needed to transition these horses to a snaffle to do dressage.

3. Saddleseat horses ridden in the double bridle and off of the curb. These horses also needed to go into a snaffle to do lower level dressage.

I have also used the pelham while working my way up to double bridle, not on every horse, but one one or two who were afraid of all the hardware in their mouths. I have also used it with riders to teach the effects of both reins, without the extreme leverage of the double bridle. Never, of course, with a converter.

ginger708
Sep. 22, 2009, 06:29 PM
Thomas thank you so much for the information. I do believe that the pelham has a place in training. And seeing examples of how people use it as a transition bit to a double makes sense to me. So when you are using the pelham with less experienced rider how are you incorporating outside rein half halts and bend? Or is this something that should not be worked on in the pelham?

deltawave
Sep. 22, 2009, 08:18 PM
I use one every now and then on my horse, whose favorite game is PULL. She doesn't pull in the pelham, and although I'm quite certain that if I used it too much she'd curl behind it very readily (her second favorite game) it is a terrific thing to go to every now and then (about every couple of weeks currently) as a reminder that pulling isn't what good girls do. :)

One thing my trainer noticed after I started using this was that my hands had gotten a lot quieter--we figure having all that hardware at my fingertips makes me a lot more careful, or that the double reins just makes it non-productive to fiddle-fiddle-fiddle all the time, which is MY favorite game. :sigh:

So like any other tool, it has its place in my toolbox. I pull it out every now and then, we do a quick school, and for the next several rides, even longer, I have a horse that remembers not to pull so much, and/or I remember to be quieter with my hands.