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View Full Version : Pelham in the Eq ring: Does shank size matter?



flyracing
Jan. 6, 2010, 04:09 PM
I have a horse that goes much better in pelham when jumping (he has won third level dressage in a snaffle, so he has plenty of correct work in a snaffle. He he likes to bob his nose up and down coming to the fence and greatly dislikes a standing martingale, but the pelham correct the problem with out a struggle) I have ridden him in a 4" shank and 5" shank and it makes no difference to the horse. I'm sure in the wrong hands the 5" would be more severe, but that is not the case here. He is big headed and because of my dressage background I think the 4" looks dinky on him. When I've been shopping, though, the 4" is most available eventhough the 5" is often labeled "traditional".

So, my question is: which is more "in", the 5" shank or the short 4" shank? I received a mikmar lozenge pelham for Christmas in the 4", but at $100+ I want to make sure before I use it that it is the one I want to use for showing and not need to buy a second one.

BAC
Jan. 6, 2010, 04:28 PM
The shorter ones seem to be more popular, at least in my area. I have no idea if it is because they are more "fashionable" or not. I would say use the one that works best on your particular horse.

Tegan
Jan. 6, 2010, 05:38 PM
I think the shorter ones look better. The long ones just make me think the horse is bad and out of control and needs the extra leverage. I don't know what the official judging standpoint on the issue is, but I would think the shorter shank gives a better overall impression.

If your horse goes well in the 4", I would stick with that. Overall, you'll want what your horse goes best in, but the 5" always looks huge to me. They do make in between sizes as well.

fordtraktor
Jan. 6, 2010, 09:02 PM
Which one does your horse perform better in? The one that looks better will be the one in which your horse does the smoothest, nicest round. I promise, no judge is going to penalize you more for 1" additional (or less) shank than for a mistake, no matter how slight.

If it truly makes no difference to the horse, I see more of the 4" around town.

Timex
Jan. 6, 2010, 09:07 PM
Whatever bit works best on the particular horse. Besides, I've yet to see a judge walking around with a ruler. ;)

Rio Wild
Jan. 9, 2010, 10:13 AM
I just ordered this rubber pelham from Smartpak: http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=5191
Is this what you mean by a 4" shank? I got it in the mail the other day and I guess I hadn't even considered shank length before ordering it, but it is shorter than the one I was borrowing from a friend. Is this one ok for horses? I just want to make sure it's not meant for ponies.

findeight
Jan. 9, 2010, 10:36 AM
I just ordered this rubber pelham from Smartpak: http://www.smartpakequine.com/ProductClass.aspx?productclassid=5191
Is this what you mean by a 4" shank? I got it in the mail the other day and I guess I hadn't even considered shank length before ordering it, but it is shorter than the one I was borrowing from a friend. Is this one ok for horses? I just want to make sure it's not meant for ponies.

Yeah, that's about as short as you can go with room for the reins to fit. Usually billed as 4".

For the OP, an inch is NBD at all and doubt anybody would even notice from farther then 5 feet away from you, let alone from where the judge may be sitting. Fact 5" is hardly a "long" shank anyway, these things come alot longer then that.

Use what you have that fits the horse and works for you. Don't go buy something else because of an almost invisable inch to satisfy the fashion police.;)

M. O'Connor
Jan. 9, 2010, 10:47 AM
Always go with the bit that will offer you "enough" control without overbitting.

You seem more concerned with appearance than is necessary. A neat, correct turnout is, of course, important to an overall impression. But beyond that, judges are scoring you on your accuracy, position, and control, not on whether you are following a 'trend.'