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  1. #1
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    Jan. 14, 2012
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    Default Bit suggestions for a very strong young horse XC

    Well, I have a 5 year old who has been doing xc schoolings and as the jumps have gotten bigger, he has become stronger from the momentum of going over the jumps. He will approach the jump will jump and then when he lands, he charges and bucks over and over. I can't get him to stop unless I circle him. I can't get him to halt when he does these things so I can't make quick corrections. This situation occurs mostly when he is schooling with other horses.I have no idea why. I ride him with others all of the time. Other times he is respectful but I still have to half halt like 20 times to keep him even paced. He basically ignored me unless he feels like listening. I currently have him in a stubben 3 ring elevator bit which is perfectly fine for stadium but he needs something he will respect XC. My H/J trainer suggested using a pelham with a chain under his chin. I hate to use a severe bit on a 5 year old but I also don't want to tug on his mouth 30 times after every jump when he is rude. I just want to correct him and then leave him alone. Would you be concerned with trying a pelham on a 5 year? My trainer even has a hard time getting him to actually react to the bit and thats why she suggested the pelham. He is perfectly fine doing canter halt transitions without jumps and even will do them with most jumps but he gets a fire breathing dragon attitude over other jumps.



  2. #2
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    Aug. 28, 2007
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    Triangle Area, NC
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    Bucking is resisting going forward. What happens if you kick on?
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
    chaque pas est fait ensemble



  3. #3
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    He goes forward. He bucks and runs at the same time. He doesn't start bucking when i put my leg on.



  4. #4
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    I am not understanding why you don't want to folow your trainer's suggestion of a Pelham.

    It isn't a harsh bit unless you abuse it.

    Having a second rein allows you to make the correction when you need it, and ONLY when you need it.

    It is just the thing I needed to get Chief's attention when he got "rolling
    along" too much on cross country, and didn't listen to me.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  5. #5
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    Sep. 24, 2010
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    Area 1, Connecticut
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    Ha, sounds just like my guy Schooling with other horses just gets to be too much to handle and he lands, charges, and bucks. I've learned to just roll with the punches and yank his head up and kick on more because I like him in his snaffle and he only does that in a group in most cases, so it really isn't an issue in competition.

    I could certainly see why you would want to correct it at such a young age though. Most times, at least with my guy, he kind of curls behind the vertical so he can get his head down to buck while still charging forward. Elevators, gags, and the like, while made for horses that hang, can sometimes actually encourage them to get heavy in front.

    The pelham may be just what a horse like that needs. As long as you use it for when you need it and then let go, it should not be too harsh at all. Eventually you may be able to put him back in a snaffle or a gentler bit once he learns that that behavior isn't acceptable. Good luck!
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  6. #6
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    Why not give your trainer's suggestion a try? Not being able to control the horse or make corrections sounds a lot worse than a few sessions of "come to Jesus".
    Click here before you buy.



  7. #7
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Fort Collins, CO
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    I love a pelham. You only have to bring the curb action into play if he ignores the snaffle action. It is PERFECT for a young horse that is choosing to ignore a snaffle and I would far prefer to use a pelham with two reins than an elevator with only one.



  8. #8
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    Dec. 5, 2001
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    virginia
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    Try one and see. I had an older horse, used a mullen mouth tom thumb for a while then switched to a jointed happy mouth Pelham. Granted some will rightfully say that a jointed (snaffle mouth) Pelham defeats all purpose of the Pelham in the first place (snaffle mouth folds like a snaffle mouth and you don't get same amt of leverage from the curb) but for my horse it did the trick.

    Mine likes to land and buck on schoolings. Sending him fwd resulted in him bucking while galloping. At one time I did use a LR snaffle mouth gag with 2 reins for a while as well. And I used an english hackmore, one heck of a whoa damit "bit" but steering a little wonky...



  9. #9
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    Feb. 14, 2001
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    Lexington, KY--GO BIG BLUE!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    I love a pelham. You only have to bring the curb action into play if he ignores the snaffle action. It is PERFECT for a young horse that is choosing to ignore a snaffle and I would far prefer to use a pelham with two reins than an elevator with only one.
    I agree with this. With a young horse, you do not want them to fear the bit; you want them to seek it, and accept it. Yes, they have to respect your half-halts...but that's impossible when the horse "runs scared" and/or "hides" his mouth. Elevators, especially when used with one rein, are meant to be a "check and release" type bit. On a young, green horse who needs steady light contact, it's difficult to achieve that feel with a 3-ring and one rein-- you'll have constant gag/poll pressure. On a mature, schooled horse who can handle himself, knows what you want but prefers to blow you off, an elevator and/or a more severe mouthpiece can be quite useful.

    I used a pelham briefly on my 4 y/o OTTB. Straight rubber mullen mouth, appropriately adjusted curb chain (not too tight) and two reins. I had reschooled him off the track in a nathe, and he felt confident in a soft mullen...something that he would accept contact happily. However, in a plain snaffle schooling xc he could take off on landing, head down pulling, just running off. I couldn't stop him, and ripping him off his feet turning barely did anything.

    The pelham helped a lot. I could ride off the snaffle rein with a loop in the curb rein; but when he got rude landing off a jump and tried to rip the reins through my hands, he hit the curb rein. Instant attitude adjustment, and I immediately softened contact and took up the snaffle again. The pelham is a very effective schooling bit-- you can ride like a snaffle all the time, until that exact moment you need the leverage of the curb. It makes it easy to reward good behavior, but also to correct the horse from pissing off with you as needed.

    I only had to use the pelham 3 or 4 times while jumping; enough for him to realize that listening to a half-halt, and obedience on landing was not negotiable. He's back in a regular snaffle now, and respects it.
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein

    ~AJ~



  10. #10
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    Jan. 14, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by EventerAJ View Post
    I agree with this. With a young horse, you do not want them to fear the bit; you want them to seek it, and accept it. Yes, they have to respect your half-halts...but that's impossible when the horse "runs scared" and/or "hides" his mouth. Elevators, especially when used with one rein, are meant to be a "check and release" type bit. On a young, green horse who needs steady light contact, it's difficult to achieve that feel with a 3-ring and one rein-- you'll have constant gag/poll pressure. On a mature, schooled horse who can handle himself, knows what you want but prefers to blow you off, an elevator and/or a more severe mouthpiece can be quite useful.

    I used a pelham briefly on my 4 y/o OTTB. Straight rubber mullen mouth, appropriately adjusted curb chain (not too tight) and two reins. I had reschooled him off the track in a nathe, and he felt confident in a soft mullen...something that he would accept contact happily. However, in a plain snaffle schooling xc he could take off on landing, head down pulling, just running off. I couldn't stop him, and ripping him off his feet turning barely did anything.

    The pelham helped a lot. I could ride off the snaffle rein with a loop in the curb rein; but when he got rude landing off a jump and tried to rip the reins through my hands, he hit the curb rein. Instant attitude adjustment, and I immediately softened contact and took up the snaffle again. The pelham is a very effective schooling bit-- you can ride like a snaffle all the time, until that exact moment you need the leverage of the curb. It makes it easy to reward good behavior, but also to correct the horse from pissing off with you as needed.

    I only had to use the pelham 3 or 4 times while jumping; enough for him to realize that listening to a half-halt, and obedience on landing was not negotiable. He's back in a regular snaffle now, and respects it.
    Thank you for all of the feedback! I will definitely try the pelham. I would rather have better communication then rip on his mouth with no reaction. It just makes him fussy. Now I have to decide Mullen or jointed? He does want to lean on the bit. Hence why I have been using a elevator bit. Which one would you try? He goes in a loose ring jointed snaffle for dressage.



  11. #11
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    A jointed pelham is neither fish nor fowl. I'd go regular, short shanks, see what you have.
    Click here before you buy.



  12. #12
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    Jan. 19, 2005
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    I would say your 3 ring bit is as harsh if not harsher than a pelham.

    I would use a mullen--and short shanks to start and ride with two reins. Jointed really don't work the same.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  13. #13
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganJumper848 View Post
    Thank you for all of the feedback! I will definitely try the pelham. I would rather have better communication then rip on his mouth with no reaction. It just makes him fussy. Now I have to decide Mullen or jointed? He does want to lean on the bit. Hence why I have been using a elevator bit. Which one would you try? He goes in a loose ring jointed snaffle for dressage.
    Go with the real (unjointed) Pelham.

    A so-called jointed pelham, unless the curb chain is really snug, is functionally equivalent to an elevator with 2 reins. And you aleady said that isn't helping.

    FWIW, the first time I put the Pelham on Chief, he ws INSTANTLY more responsive to the snaffle rein, without even touching the curb. Even thoughg the mullen mouth is traditionally considered a milder bit than a jointed mouth, he was more responsive to the mullen mouth.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by MorganJumper848 View Post
    With one rein or two?
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  16. #16
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    Jan. 14, 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    With one rein or two?
    With two reins. I thought the action of a pelham was different even with a jointed mouthpiece. He has never been in a straight bar so I don't know if he will want to resist that. Also, I though having a single jointed bit would also encourage to keep his head up.

    Also, would it be wrong to use a converter on a pelham? I have seen them used and would rather use one reins for xc.
    Last edited by MorganJumper848; Sep. 30, 2012 at 11:18 AM.



  17. #17
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    May. 5, 2011
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    A Mullen (straight bar) Pelham is my go to bit for horses who get strong. I can establish a soft connection with the snaffle rein, but can still have the necessary come to Jesus meetings with the curb.

    If you use the converter, you defeat the point of the bit. Then you have curb leverage in play all the time. The point is to e able to be soft with the snaffle, yet reinforce with the curb when necessary.



  18. #18
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    Aug. 14, 2000
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    IMO, a jointed pelham is one of harshest bits you can put on a horse. With a young one, I'd avoid those like the plague.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
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  19. #19
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Agree on the jointed pelham question--absolutely not. Go with the mullen, plus or minus a very mild port, depending on if the horse has a fat, fleshy tongue. (Yes on the port if the horse has a big fat tongue, to give the horse some space for that tongue.)

    I've also found that if a horse responds well to the snaffle action of the pelham that they might also really like a baucher, as it hangs in the mouth in a similar manner, putting less pressure on the bars.



  20. #20
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    Sep. 13, 2012
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    "I can't get him to stop unless I circle him. I can't get him to halt when he does these things so I can't make quick corrections. This situation occurs mostly when he is schooling with other horses.I have no idea why. I ride him with others all of the time. Other times he is respectful but I still have to half halt like 20 times to keep him even paced. He basically ignored me unless he feels like listening."

    I start young horses for a multitude of events, and have started a lot of event horses. You have answered your own question, in a way. Your young horses is not broke. You should be able to stop him when you need to, and be able to back up, anytime, anywhere, and do it in a plain ring snaffle, or you should not continue jumping until you can. That is what your flat work is supposed to accomplish, control, among other things. Sounds to me that he needs a better foundation. If you are all ready using a 3 ring, and you still cannot stop him, you are headed in the wrong direction.



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