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Anti-Pelham?

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  • Anti-Pelham?

    I'm sure this thread has been done before, but it just came to my attention in the Confession time... that people found pelhams as a big no-no. Personally, I don't seen the problem with them if used correctly. If not they are definitely a bad thing and can make a horse go incorrectly. But my horse has great flat work and at home goes in a D-ring and jumps course at 3'9"-4ft in them but at shows we switch to the pelham. It gives me a little more leverage and he can get low in the corners so it lets me pick him up subtly. It also lets him use his front end better because I can set him farther on his hind end. So in his case I don't see the problem...He goes great in the D at home and can do all the flat work in it and goes in it up until we put on our show cloths and step in the ring at a show, then we switch to the pelham. As his training gets better and he learns to not get as low and I learn how to fix it in the D at shows, then maybe he'll go in it all the time, but as for now, it helps and makes him go better at shows.

    What do you all think?
    Last edited by Sundown; May. 15, 2009, 11:19 PM. Reason: I'm spelling challenged :/

  • #2
    Sorry. Saw the title, and thought 'what the heck is a phelam?'

    I personally have no problem with pelhams.
    Rebel Without Cash!

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Sorry! I just realized that and changed it...I'm terrible at spelling

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree, pelhams, when used correctly sometimes give that extra little bit that you need when you take your horse off the property.

        I'm fairly confident that even George Morris said one time in a Practical Horseman Equitation critique that some horses just inexplicably go better in a pelham.

        My now retired horse was always show in a pelham in hunters. She was just better in it. Sometimes I would switch to a full cheek at the end of a long show just because she didn't have as much 'go'. My new boy I show in a loose ring snaffle in the jumper ring because he doesn't need any more than that.

        I wasn't really aware that there was so much anti-pelham stigma out there, I don't understand why. Kimberwick's I understand because it is less controlable but if used correctly in my books a pelham is a-okay.
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        • #5
          Who cares about a pelham? 93% of big eq horses go in pelhams. The only time I'm bugged by a pelham is when someone has bit converters or only one rein (hooked to the curb, of course.) Oh, add to that list a horse who's so overflexed he's staring at his own feet. But a plain ol' pelham? Again, I say, who cares?

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          • #6
            I think its an issue for dressage. There its illegal, but there are vastly different reasons why it isn't desireable for dressage. I used a pelham on my mare hunting and cross country. I like the reasons the OP uses it for her horse - makes alot of sense for her. Used correctly.
            Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

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            • #7
              Sorry to get all hard-a$$ purist on you guys, but why distinguish between dressage and hunters? If you horse isn't as strong and broke as a dressage horse, why would you want to point that out.... like it's a feather in the hunter cap? In fact, I think its an even bigger problem for the Big Eg, and 93% of those huge, tired WBs moving stiff and jumping flat under their riders calls does not bode well for the dressage education we are theoretically rewarding in that ring.

              I don't mean to start a trainwreck. Really, you can ride in whatever is legal and suits your agenda. But think about why pelhams are illegal in dressage. Do the powers that be over there have any legitimate reason for outlawing them? If so, pay attention.

              But reading the posts explaining what the "correct" or "legitimate" applications of the pelham are, it seems to me that these are a quick and temporary correction for horse that are too strong or too low for the show-ring job they are asked to do. More dressage, I'd say.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat

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              • #8
                Actually, to me a pelham says a horse has a more educated and well schooled mouth. I don't put one on a horse because he's pulling like a freight train. I use it because I want more subtle and intricate communication.


                And to add, it makes no difference to me if they're illegal in dressage. I don't care b/c I don't ride dressage. I school dressage movements, but that's as close as I get.

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                • #9
                  As my kids grew up we went to some those shows they used to have - mixed breeds, mixed disciplines. So I had to take two bridles for the pony. If it was an Arab judge judging the childrens' hunters, I'd use the little Pelham, if it was an hunter show judge, we would use the snaffle. Pony went completely differently in the different bridles.
                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                  • #10
                    just my 2 cents

                    Originally posted by mvp View Post
                    In fact, I think its an even bigger problem for the Big Eg, and 93% of those huge, tired WBs moving stiff and jumping flat under their riders calls does not bode well for the dressage education we are theoretically rewarding in that ring.
                    .

                    But reading the posts explaining what the "correct" or "legitimate" applications of the pelham are, it seems to me that these are a quick and temporary correction for horse that are too strong or too low for the show-ring job they are asked to do. More dressage, I'd say.
                    I agree. I personally don't have a problem with a pelham when used correctly and with an educated hand and horse. But that's the key...correctly. Can't tell you how many times I see a horse in a pelham that's behind the bit, stiff neck, flat back, stifled shoulders, no hind-end engagement (is that a word? ). The textbook "false frame" .

                    Now when I see a horse in a snaffle do the reverse (on the bit, strong topline, swinging shoulders, hind end engaged, and suspension) now that impresses me! In essence, that horse has self-carriage. And that can only be achieved with lots of quality flat work (regardless of the type of bit).
                    www.englishivyfarms.com
                    Hunters, Jumpers, & Welsh Ponies
                    All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown

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                    • #11
                      Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that pelhams and double bridles were among the most traditional bits for hunters back in the day. I'm happy to show a hunter in a pelham - frankly, I'd rather go around looking controlled and beautiful with a pelham as opposed to feeling like I'm wrangling a raging snapping turtle on crack in a snaffle. It doesn't mean that my horse is less educated than those that go in snaffles...it's just how my horse goes.

                      (Here's a jaw dropper for you: I ride my ex-junior hunter junior jumper in a Paso Fino bit at home. It works rather like a long shank pelham mostly on the curb rein. Is it harsh? When it needs to be. But in educated hands, it's just as soft and kind as a rubber pelham. She has excellent flatwork, and can do just about anything that is asked of her [save for tempi changes and other upper level dressage movements].)
                      Last edited by supershorty628; May. 16, 2009, 08:38 AM. Reason: Had to elaborate on the fact that my wild snapping turtle does have flatwork skills.
                      http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
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                      • #12
                        I school my horse in a pelham at home and on the show grounds and at schooling shows, and switch him to a D-ring at the bigger shows.

                        The pelham fine tunes him at home.

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                        • #13
                          I agree that they are only bad if put in the wrong hands. A certain girl at my barn insists uses a happy mouth pelham on her TB who really does not need it. He gets a little quick sometimes, really no big deal, and she runs crying to her trainer because he's "dragging her all over the ring". Now he goes in the pelham waaaayyy overflexed and unhappy because she doesn't want to build a little muscle.

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                          • #14
                            When I was a kid I learned how to use a pelham as it was very common in the hunters. Look at some of the threads featuring "old timers" and their photos. Pelhams everywhere. Today for some reason the pelham has the reputation as the bit for the "hard ride" or a puller.

                            I do know that back when hunters went on hunt courses that I liked having a pelham, even if I didn't need it.
                            F O.B
                            Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                            Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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                            • #15
                              The only issue I have with pelhams is that in the big eq, they are the only bit you see.....seems strange to me that 93% of big eq horses NEED a pelham, so I feel that some of it may be fashion. That I don't like....but if a horse NEEDS it, goes better in it, and is used properly, no problem. I personally have never had a horse go well in a pelham, they always felt overbitted but that's just my experience.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by mvp View Post
                                Sorry to get all hard-a$$ purist on you guys, but why distinguish between dressage and hunters? If you horse isn't as strong and broke as a dressage horse, why would you want to point that out.... like it's a feather in the hunter cap? In fact, I think its an even bigger problem for the Big Eg, and 93% of those huge, tired WBs moving stiff and jumping flat under their riders calls does not bode well for the dressage education we are theoretically rewarding in that ring.

                                I don't mean to start a trainwreck. Really, you can ride in whatever is legal and suits your agenda. But think about why pelhams are illegal in dressage. Do the powers that be over there have any legitimate reason for outlawing them? If so, pay attention.

                                But reading the posts explaining what the "correct" or "legitimate" applications of the pelham are, it seems to me that these are a quick and temporary correction for horse that are too strong or too low for the show-ring job they are asked to do. More dressage, I'd say.
                                Different jobs. Dressage folks look askance at a pelham and hunter people would frown on a full bridle; however neither one is (properly) used as any kind of sledgehammer. In fact, both are used effectively to communicate in a more subtle way with an educated horse.

                                The big eq horses I see in my area may not crack their backs like Rox Dene, but they are beautifully educated, athletic animals that could certainly produce a competent dressage test. Perhaps it's different where you are.
                                **********
                                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                                -PaulaEdwina

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                                • #17
                                  A formally turned out and finished hunter is ridden in a double bridle. Sorry - field hunter.

                                  The Kimberwicke was created for foxhunting. That's my main bit for hunting but my horse is a very strong stocky grade horse (1/2 draft)

                                  Pelhams work great for foxhunting - see plenty of those..... on light as well as heavy horses.

                                  I'm not up to speed on hunter stuff but in foxhunting you just use the bit that works for the horse and rider. Never thought of it as which horse was better trained..... though like other disciplines there are people who use bits as a substitute for training. Maybe that's the issue?

                                  Pelhams in dressage - not an expert on dressage just a mendicant... but ignorant people might use it to get that "frame". Or as one dressage master put it - a general in front but no army marching behind.

                                  If you have heavy hands or haven't developed an independent seat any leverage bit is probably a really bad idea.

                                  For hunters, is it a fashion thing or a rule or an unspoken rule/tradition? If you're riding in a ring, shouldn't they all be able to go in a plain snaffle - at least in the under 3'?
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                                  • #18
                                    The only time you see a pelham in dressage is when someone is using the leverage to force a heavy horse into a frame or someone has trouble stopping their horse.

                                    I think you can risk doing the same thing on a hunter, using the curb for leverage and holding the horse in a frame to force changes or slowness which is not what a hunter judge is looking for.
                                    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                                    • #19
                                      [quote=For hunters, is it a fashion thing or a rule or an unspoken rule/tradition? If you're riding in a ring, shouldn't they all be able to go in a plain snaffle - at least in the under 3'?[/quote]

                                      Fashion for sure. Certainly not a tradition! I think some of the "snaffle mafia" is driven by the stunning assortment of mouthpieces available (and accepted) in the showring today. Back in the "dark" ages, when most hunters showed in pelhams, there was no acceptance of the twisted wire, segunda, triangle, MIkmar(not invented yet),ported Dee mouthpieces that are now common. Just because a Segunda or a DTW has Dee cheeks, it isn't a mild bit by any definition. And don't even mention jointed pelhams. Close to the worst bit ever invented, and accepted by those who have no understanding of how a bit works (or doesn't). Definitely a fashion item.

                                      Of course, back then, even show hunters went up and down hill out in the open on outside courses.

                                      madeline the dinosaur
                                      madeline
                                      * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

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                                      • #20
                                        I had a super sweet horse that I would try to jump in a snaffle and it was always disaster. He wasn't strong, he wasn't forceful. He just LIKED the pelham. The talk about George Morris and the inexplicable liking of the pehlam is dead on. You could (and did because I was stupid) jump him in a halter, but if you wanted him to look nice, or jump well, he just liked the pehlam over anything more than a cross rail. He also did western pleasure and had to have a HUGE ported and covered roller bit. Not because he was strong, becuase he liked something to play with in the arena.

                                        I'm with the school that says as long as they look nice and the rider is educated enough, who cares. I'm in this for the comfort of the horse, not for the fashion of the day.

                                        That, and the safety of my riders. Horses first, riders second.

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