What kind of reins do you guys suggest while using a Pelham bit? I want sort of a thin rein so I'm not using 2 thick ones. What's the right size and what do you reccomend? Also, do bit converters work well? Thanks!
You typically use a curb rein, which is usually 1/2" wide and flat (not laced) on the bottom ring.
Personally, I'm not a fan of bit converters. Unless you are a small child, you should be able to handle two reins. The converter makes it so every time you use the reins, you're using both the snaffle and leverage action, which doesn't allow you to be soft and only use the curb when necessary.
Last edited by caughtintheact; Mar. 16, 2013 at 10:14 PM.
Wow, things have changed. We used to use laced for the snaffle, smooth for the curb. Check out the cover photo on the current Dover catalog to see what that guy's using. The Dover people could tell you brand and size.
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I use 5/8 rubber for the snaffle rein and 1/2 flat for the curb but I foxhunt, so the rubber works well for me. If I were showing hunters, I'd substitute the rubber with a laced rein. The size of the reins, to me, depends on what your hands are comfortable with. I have small hands, so anything wider than 5/8 feels bulky.
If I was in the hunter ring, I would definitely use a flat rein.
BUT, my FAVORITE curb rein is a great pair of PLAITED reins that Tory leather makes. I like having a distinct different feel when I ride with two reins (I use a narrow rubber rein on the snaffle), and this has been the BEST rein I have found for wanting that different feel and also not having to carry a lot of bulk in my hands. This combo is perfectly acceptable for an event rider, but I would go with a nice flat, thin curb rein when presentation counts.
I've used converters a few times, but I also find having the two reins gives me so much more control... Not to mention, then I don't have to be using the curb the whole time if my horse is being well behaved.
Watermark aka "Cleo" - 5 year old Warmblood cross
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I used to use a 3/8" flat rein I found in a forsaken lot of tack in my old boss's hay loft. He said I could have the lot if I cleaned it, and that was the highlight. Probably someone's old hunt tack as it was sewn, not buckled. Sadly it "walked away." Now use a 1/2" set by KL Select. A bit converter constantly activates the curb, whereas riding with two reins allows you to better control the action of the bit.
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Snaffle rein wider than the curb; some people prefer a laced snaffle rein and a plain curb rein. I think most commonly in Hunter World, people use a laced snaffle rein and plain curb rein. I've seen some people use two laced reins... I think that's just weird.
When I used a pelham I found the most comfortable for me was a 5/8" rubber lined snaffle rein (i.e. rubber only on the inside, looked like a plain rein on the outside), and a 1/2" plain leather curb rein. I used this for trail riding my TB stallion and this set up was very comfortable even for long (3+ hr) rides. It was also light enough that I could put all the reins in one hand easily.