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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2013

    Default Pelham bit rein suggestions

    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!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 22, 2011


    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 09:14 PM. Reason: spelling

    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2008


    3/4" for the top rein and 1/2" smooth for the bottom. I needed 60" reins so I had to order them because the United States seems to have only 54" reins available.

  4. #4


    Generally 3/8 to 1/2" flat reins are used for the curb. Dover makes a nice set.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 7, 2006
    on and off the bit


    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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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 24, 2003
    Hunt Country Heaven, VA


    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.
    Lost in the Land of the Know It Alls

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Round Hill, VA


    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2013


    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
    Foxtrot aka "Raven" - 5 year old Hanoverian
    Simon Says aka "Sprout" - 4 year old Welsh pony
    Canadian Eh

    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2004
    City of delusion in the state of total denial


    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.
    "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep."
    - Harry Dresden

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2013


    using a converter completely ruins the entire point of having a Pelham. The curb is for extra control, not to be constantly jerked on.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2007
    Bronx, NY/Atlanta, GA/Fort Dodge, IA


    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.

    I've done the following, depending on the circumstances:
    - 5/8" Plain Snaffle + 1/2" Plain Curb
    - Thinline Snaffle (about 3/4", but feels like 5/8") + 1/2" Plain Curb
    - Thinline Snaffle + 5/8" Plain Curb
    - 5/8" Laced Snaffle + 1/2" Plain Curb
    - 1/2" Laced Snaffle + 1/2" Plain Curb

    My personal preference is either two plain reins (5/8" and 1/2") or two 1/2" reins (one laced, one plain).

    In Saddleseat World, you'll find people more commonly use a 1/2" snaffle rein and a 3/8" curb rein.
    Founder, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006
    Western NY


    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.


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 16, 2000
    Chatham, NY USA


    I liked a narrow braided (not laced) snaffle rein and an even narrower plain curb. Usually went to the saddle seat section for the curb.
    Equine Photography in the Northeast

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2004
    Western WA


    I have small hands, and regular sized reins were just too much of a handful for a pelham. I used Saddlehorse reins. Champion Horse Equipment or Hartmeyers have the thin laced and plain reins.

    The thin fine laced in 1/2" and the plain in 3/8". Looked lovely on my horse as well.
    The truth is always in the middle.

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