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Pelhams in the Eq ring..why?

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  • Pelhams in the Eq ring..why?

    It seems that 90% of the eq horses I see in the showring wear pelhams and I have hard time believing that they all need that type of bit. Then again...I guess in retrospect, none of them seem unhappy in a pelham.

    So, is this a trend or something else?

    BTW, this isn't supposed to rile anyone up and is merely just my curiosity.

    As always, you guys are my horse encyclopedia
    Barn rat for life

  • #2
    Personally, unless a horse is absolutely perfect in a snaffle, I want them in a pelham. It is easier to collect them and there is no lugging or pulling by the sheer nature of the bit. In the right hands it can help keep a fussy horse a bit more rideable...jmho

    It has been my bit of choice since I was 12 years old.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think it's mostly a trend.... but there are people on here who will argue it's easier to collect the big warmblood type which is why they are so common now - I wouldn't know, haven't ridden in a pelham in about 30 yrs. I fully agree with you, I'm sure 75% of them don't need it, but it's the trend... and you will see those who do double duty in the hunters going great in a snaffle in hunters and then switch into a pelham for eq. It's part of the "look" nowadays.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Due's Mom View Post
        Personally, unless a horse is absolutely perfect in a snaffle, I want them in a pelham. It is easier to collect them and there is no lugging or pulling by the sheer nature of the bit. In the right hands it can help keep a fussy horse a bit more rideable...jmho

        It has been my bit of choice since I was 12 years old.
        Then you have been very poorly taught. Collection doesn't come from the bit.

        As for the original question - I'm sure there are many reasons. It is probably partly a trend, but it is also about the subtlety of the ride. Watch this year's USEF Medal Final - that course was a beast. A pelham would have gone a long ways toward making that course just a little smoother.

        Unless of course the pelham was in the mouth of a horse that wasn't perfectly taught in a snaffle. Correct carriage of the bridle is taught, not inherent, and slapping a bigger bit on a poorly trained horse doesn't improve the horse any.
        "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
        -George Morris

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mayaty02 View Post
          I think it's mostly a trend.... but there are people on here who will argue it's easier to collect the big warmblood type which is why they are so common now
          Especially when you remember that many of those big, heavy, 1200 pound warmbloods are ridden by a little slip of a teenage girl who barely weighs 100 pounds dripping wet. Some of those kids might need a little leverage.

          I'm not saying it's right or wrong. Just a fact.

          Comment


          • #6
            The pelham allows the rider to be a bit more subtle, usually. Having the bit of extra leverage with the curb can definitely make it a bit easier to keep the horse in the shape you want (obviously combined with the appropriate leg, etc... a pelham is just a bit, not a magic wand.)

            My horse has brakes a reining horse would be proud of and is very well broke, but I often use a pelham in the eq because i like being able to wiggle my little pinky the tiniest bit if I need to make an adjustment to smoothly change his step. And I promise I am no "slip of a girl," LOL.

            He goes great in a dee ring snaffle for the hunters where I can let him stay on one canter all the way around the course without needing to answer any question other than, "how pretty is his jump?"
            **********
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
            -PaulaEdwina

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            • #7
              Trend? I think not. It has been a bit of choice in the eq ring fro decades, and until the 90's, the bit of choice in the hunter ring also. It is a lovely bit for many horses when used correctly. Many of the top eq horses have higher level dressage training, and were likely used to a double bridle. A pelham's action is most likely closest to the double bridle's action and quite useful in maneuvering a good eq course
              Save a life...be an organ donor! Visit www.Transplantbuddies.org

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              • #8
                Trends are short term fads driven by appearance. The pelham has been a go to bit for bigger fences forever-or since they quit using a double bridle anyway.

                I watched about 20 or 30 middle of the pack rounds of the Medal last week. At least half of them were in dee ring snaffles-who knows what was inside-but would have been greatly improved by more bit, specifically a pelham.

                They were having problems keeping them packaged off the corners and after landing a spread or to a roll backs...and a few did not listen in the long to short and simply ate the short out fence.

                Subtle use of more bit over big fences in small, spooky rings produces a much higher scoring trip then obvious use of too light a bit on a horse that does not want to listen. You can only do so much at home to prep them for somthing like this.

                I don't know about anybody else but I don't see the Jumpers at anything over 3' rated levels doing it in plain snaffles either.
                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by SaturdayNightLive View Post
                  Then you have been very poorly taught. Collection doesn't come from the bit.

                  As for the original question - I'm sure there are many reasons. It is probably partly a trend, but it is also about the subtlety of the ride. Watch this year's USEF Medal Final - that course was a beast. A pelham would have gone a long ways toward making that course just a little smoother.

                  Unless of course the pelham was in the mouth of a horse that wasn't perfectly taught in a snaffle. Correct carriage of the bridle is taught, not inherent, and slapping a bigger bit on a poorly trained horse doesn't improve the horse any.
                  No I haven't been poorly taught and I am sorry that my rather short answer gave you that impression. I like to have a very light feel on a horse's mouth and I want them to be responsive without trying to pull through my hands. I prefer a much lighter contact than the average rider. I understand and do practice that it all comes from behind, so please do not assume that I am just "bitting my horse up"

                  A pelham is not a "bigger" bit it is merely a bit for a more educated hand. In the right hands a pelham can be a wonderful aid and I can get a horse to do more things in a pelham correctly than the average person can do in a snaffle. Many times I can work a horse in a pelham for a short while and then put it back into a snaffle and find a much more responsive and lighter horse. Most of the horses that I get have been ridden in snaffles and because of the way they have been ridden by their ex owners tend to be pretty dead in the mouth.

                  On this level of eq rider I am sure they utilize a pelham very much like I do and have found that if you learn how to use one properly that you can be amazed at the responsiveness of your horse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by findeight View Post
                    I don't know about anybody else but I don't see the Jumpers at anything over 3' rated levels doing it in plain snaffles either.
                    I feel like I was seeing more snaffles in the GPs a year or two ago. I remember it was not that uncommon to see an upper level jumper in a magazine or article going in a loose ring/figure eight.

                    Now I'm seeing more and more of those long-shanked hackmore/eggbutt combos.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      I don't know about anybody else but I don't see the Jumpers at anything over 3' rated levels doing it in plain snaffles either.

                      My trainer is a big user of snaffles and our horses are shown in the 4' jumpers, hunter derbies, etc at AA shows in full cheek snaffles



                      I think that it's not the bit, but how the horse is trained and the level of the rider. Señor McLain Ward was riding Antares F in a loose ring snaffle at the Pan Ams!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ponyjumper525 View Post
                        I think that it's not the bit, but how the horse is trained and the level of the rider. Señor McLain Ward was riding Antares F in a loose ring snaffle at the Pan Ams!
                        I disagree, and can't stand when people say this. As an example, do you think Hickstead isn't trained well or that Eric Lamaze isn't an amazing rider? I would say a plain snaffle is the exception, not the norm, in the bigger jumpers.

                        There are a few people on here who know my mare personally and can back me up that while she is lovely on the flat and over fences, you would NOT want to jump her around a big track in a snaffle, no matter who you are!

                        Back to the original topic, as Lucassb said, a pelham affords a degree of subtlety that may/not be there with a snaffle.
                        http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                        Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I like the adjustability you get from a pelham. I love the fact that MY tiny( 45lb) daughter gets just that extra bit of leverage in the corners with her small pony in a pelham, I HATE that people tell us we will get knocked "HARD" for using it
                          but in the end if it is used correctly that is all that matters. Hunters are expected to maintain one pace around a course, Eq horses are asked to answer questions around a course, the pelham helps the rider and the horse answer the questions.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I believe that each horse is different and need different things in their mouth. My dressage horse goes in a snaffle, and my twh trail horse goes in more of a walking horse shank style bit. He's a great boy with great manners but my husband likes to ride with loose reins on the buckle and voice command, if needed its the lightest touch to the reins and the horse is responsive. I'm sure he could go in something lighter but this is what he was in when we got him and he was a little crazy, now that he is well trained and calm we haven't changed it just use a very light touch if needed. Also had a barrel horse that was amazing on the flat and on trails was great. Could go in a snaffle and usually did but put a barrel in front of him his job took over and I would use a 3 ring elevator gag on him. Sounds horrible but there was no fighting because a light touch and it just let him remember that its not all about how he wants to do it but I'm up here to and need the ride I ask for. I believe some horses brains just get so amped up that they could have amazing training but they know their job is to jump or do barrels etc... and that takes over. They don't care about the smoothness we want they just want to do it so some horses need a little extra so a light easy touch is all you need instead of ranking them in the mouth. In the right hands most bits are gentle enough, its the wrong hands that make the bad.
                            Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ponyjumper525 View Post

                              I think that it's not the bit, but how the horse is trained and the level of the rider. Señor McLain Ward was riding Antares F in a loose ring snaffle at the Pan Ams!
                              That is actually not true at all. There are plenty of horses ridden by fantastic riders that need a different bit and it has nothing to do with the level of rider or how the horse is trained. You are doing your horses and yourself a disservice if EVERYTHING in your barn goes in the same bit (snaffle, pelham, or otherwise)
                              ....Of the younger variety

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Because they will not allow a Myler with hooks? No kidding, on some horses, that is a really nice bit. I wish it were not considered "unconventional".
                                Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                                  The pelham allows the rider to be a bit more subtle, usually. Having the bit of extra leverage with the curb can definitely make it a bit easier to keep the horse in the shape you want (obviously combined with the appropriate leg, etc... a pelham is just a bit, not a magic wand.)

                                  My horse has brakes a reining horse would be proud of and is very well broke, but I often use a pelham in the eq because i like being able to wiggle my little pinky the tiniest bit if I need to make an adjustment to smoothly change his step. And I promise I am no "slip of a girl," LOL.

                                  He goes great in a dee ring snaffle for the hunters where I can let him stay on one canter all the way around the course without needing to answer any question other than, "how pretty is his jump?"
                                  This makes a lot of sense.

                                  Thanks everyone, for your two cents; I always come away from threads like this considering things I hadn't before!
                                  Barn rat for life

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    there are some pretty crazy ideas posted here about using the lever action of a bit to help collect a horse, and make it a more manageable ride. proper movement and responsiveness to the aids shouldn't have much to do with bit choice.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by cadance View Post
                                      there are some pretty crazy ideas posted here about using the lever action of a bit to help collect a horse, and make it a more manageable ride. proper movement and responsiveness to the aids shouldn't have much to do with bit choice.
                                      Responsiveness to the hands sure does. You really mean that you'll get the same reaction in the same amount of time using a rubber snaffle versus a double bridle? For some reason, I doubt it.
                                      http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
                                      Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Ammy Owner View Post
                                        That is actually not true at all. There are plenty of horses ridden by fantastic riders that need a different bit and it has nothing to do with the level of rider or how the horse is trained. You are doing your horses and yourself a disservice if EVERYTHING in your barn goes in the same bit (snaffle, pelham, or otherwise)
                                        I agree with this completely. Part of training/riding a horse is knowing what makes them go best and knowing how to make their best attributes come forward.
                                        Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine - Class of 2014

                                        Chance Encounter
                                        RIP Tall Tales

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