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Bitting up from a Pelham?

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  • Bitting up from a Pelham?

    Looking for opinions here.

    I may need stronger brakes on the mare but I'm not sure I want to bit up from the Pelham.

    My hunt bridle is flat. I have a feeling she'd be more attentive with a drop nose, or a flash, something to keep her mouth from gaping. Don't really want to put a non-trad nose on my hunt bridle though...I do have a flash attach that I can use with it, but it looks clunky and out of place on the bridle.

    Her Pelham is one with a straight flex rubber mouth. She historically likes mullens and hates anything metal. (clamps her teeth on it and sorta panics when bridling) So I've always used these nice mullen plastic mouthpieces.

    It is early in the season though, so maybe when the hunts get faster and she settles in, she won't be so frustrated by the slow starts and run off on me once we finally do get going.

    Any opinions on what you might suggest trying? I'm thinking my options are:

    1) add flash to hunt bridle
    2) use different pelham with broken mouth piece
    3) ?

    She's not horrid and settles after the first run or so, but man, last Saturday's hunt really took me by surprise when I asked for "slow down" and she said "Wha?" and kept on truckin' as I dug my knuckles into her withers with a double bridge at 21mph going down hill over a wet hayfield.

    She finally did say "oh, you meant slow down?" but it got me thinking that I might at some point, need some more options.

    She's only ever been in snaffles and pelhams.
    http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
    http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

  • #2
    Ah, this sounds familiar to me. I used to show the particular horse a full bridle and say 'this is next, pal.' Worked for him (though usually I was just happy to have steering knowing I could never count on brakes!).

    Seriously, I'd keep straight mouth in favor of jointed, and maybe give the flash a try, though if it were me I'd probably go with a figure 8. I don't know whether addition of a martingale (if you aren't already using one) might help also?

    In my experience, another very helpful thing is when a particular day's hunting has lots of uphill gallops- they tend to learn to save themselves a little better after such experiences.

    Comment


    • #3
      I had a draft cross who went fine in a pelham for slow hacks, but once he motored up in the open his brakes stopped working. I used a Mikmar pelham with him and it worked wonders.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Daatje View Post
        She's not horrid and settles after the first run or so, but man, last Saturday's hunt really took me by surprise when I asked for "slow down" and she said "Wha?" and kept on truckin' as I dug my knuckles into her withers with a double bridge at 21mph going down hill over a wet hayfield.
        This might be something to try...

        Hands up, leg on steady and strong, sit up tall and still, squeeze and release on the reins.

        Most spirited horses will bear down and lean if you bridge the reins. They get out of balance, get on the forehand and keep barreling on with no effective way to stop. Getting their hind end under them with leg, picking up the front end with your hands instead of pulling it down with hands knuckled into the withers, and not giving them anything to brace on can be effective.

        Its not easy to decease speed on a downhill once a horse is on the forehand. They're falling forward and need to really get the back end underneath them to slow down. It's like leaning forward while running. You need to straighten up and get your butt under you to slow down or you'll just fall on your face unless your legs keep spinning faster.
        Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
        Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
        Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)

        Comment


        • #5
          You could just keep a similar bit but find one with a longer shank...so the curb action will be stronger.

          But it just sounds like you need to re-install the half halt a bit earlier (maybe a few pulley reins)....once they get rolling down a hill....doesn't really matter what bit you have in.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

          Comment


          • #6
            Are you using a converter on the pelham or two reins. I find a pelham more effective with two reins.
            A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Hmm.

              With the new girl I tried a pessoa three ring... she hated it and tried to evade on her right side.... tried a kimberwick.... same reaction... today i intended to take her out in a pelham (mullen mouth) with two reins, and last minute I opted to take her in her dressage bridle with french link snaffle.

              Guess who was a perfect angel, and didn't root or try to blow through my hands in the bit she prefers. Yup, sometimes I'm dense. Although it was a SLOWer day, so we'll see what happens down in VA for the COTH hunt this Saturday!!!

              She was light off my leg and seat, we did plenty of lateral work and she was quite content that I finally got the message. I do hope I got the right message though...

              I have been told that a figure eight and pessoa work well with a good many horses....
              http://www.pleasantmeadowfarm.org

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by gypsymare View Post
                Most spirited horses will bear down and lean if you bridge the reins. They get out of balance, get on the forehand and keep barreling on with no effective way to stop. Getting their hind end under them with leg, picking up the front end with your hands instead of pulling it down with hands knuckled into the withers, and not giving them anything to brace on can be effective.
                I agree 100%. Use the top rein and your leg to collect and get them balanced back onto the haunches, sit down hard, and then tap the air brakes as necessary to achieve 'whoa'.

                I have two horses that came as serious runaways--they'd lean into a pelham and accelerate because they were allowed to do so. Now, I very rarely need the bottom rein because they know what's coming when I collect them and sit down.
                ---------------------------

                Comment


                • #9
                  air brakes

                  Originally posted by WildBlue View Post
                  tap the air brakes as necessary to achieve 'whoa'.
                  can't wait to use "air brakes" in a sentence. great description.
                  A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Are you using a curb chain? Would it help to tighten it up a bit?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Just going to throw this out there, but sometimes at a certian aage hock injections make it easyer for them to keep that back end underneath for more controle.
                      Just a thought.
                      To me it depends a lot on how they are built and how they travel. She doesn't like copper? Or a roller to keep her playing and not clamping down?

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                        Ah, this sounds familiar to me. I used to show the particular horse a full bridle and say 'this is next, pal.' Worked for him (though usually I was just happy to have steering knowing I could never count on brakes!).

                        Seriously, I'd keep straight mouth in favor of jointed, and maybe give the flash a try, though if it were me I'd probably go with a figure 8. I don't know whether addition of a martingale (if you aren't already using one) might help also?

                        In my experience, another very helpful thing is when a particular day's hunting has lots of uphill gallops- they tend to learn to save themselves a little better after such experiences.
                        I've thought of the full bridle. Glad you favor the mullen, she does too. I've hunted with a flash on my hunt bridle, and it was a huge help, but looked so gawd awful. Perhaps a figure 8 would be in order...

                        I'm not currently using a martingale. She doesn't raise her head, so I haven't felt the need for one.

                        It is still early in the season (only been out 4 times so far this year) so I bet she'll settle in after a few more.
                        http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                        http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Well_Worn_Bridle View Post
                          I had a draft cross who went fine in a pelham for slow hacks, but once he motored up in the open his brakes stopped working. I used a Mikmar pelham with him and it worked wonders.
                          Interesting, I'll have a look at them. Thanks!
                          http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                          http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by gypsymare View Post
                            You need to straighten up and get your butt under you to slow down or you'll just fall on your face unless your legs keep spinning faster.
                            This is what I had visions of! I'm thinking "mare, if you don't sit back, you're gonna fall flat on your face!". Honestly, after what seemed like minutes (but was likely seconds) of lifting, squeezing, and finally a few strong pully reins with no response, I bridged them so she could pull on herself as I was getting tired and becoming less than effective at my efforts to get her attention.

                            Only after I bridged them and sat up did she sit back on her haunches and slow down. But that was probably about when she started to get a bit tired herself, so who knows if it was the bridge/half halt that worked or it was just her getting pooped out. :P

                            The bridge was the last resort because I had fatigued trying everything else I could think of! (my right shoulder is still sore.... :P)
                            http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                            http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                              You could just keep a similar bit but find one with a longer shank...so the curb action will be stronger.

                              But it just sounds like you need to re-install the half halt a bit earlier (maybe a few pulley reins)....once they get rolling down a hill....doesn't really matter what bit you have in.
                              I've thought of that too. And I might add a longer shanked pelham to my tackroom regardless. Couldn't hurt.

                              Yup, she took me by complete surprise. This was the horse that fizzled out early on in the hunt and lost interest in keeping pace not 2-3 years ago. All of a sudden she thinks the gallops are the best and must be in the heat of the action! (diet and saddle fit were addressed about the same time her interest in galloping was renewed)

                              I agree, once they get going down hill, it's like riding a freight train!
                              http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                              http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by FitToBeTied View Post
                                Are you using a converter on the pelham or two reins. I find a pelham more effective with two reins.
                                Two reins. I hate the converters. What's the point of riding in a pelham if you're going to use converters? (although I know alot of folks use them)
                                http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                                http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by pleasantmeadowfarm View Post
                                  With the new girl I tried a pessoa three ring... she hated it and tried to evade on her right side.... tried a kimberwick.... same reaction... today i intended to take her out in a pelham (mullen mouth) with two reins, and last minute I opted to take her in her dressage bridle with french link snaffle.

                                  Guess who was a perfect angel, and didn't root or try to blow through my hands in the bit she prefers. Yup, sometimes I'm dense. Although it was a SLOWer day, so we'll see what happens down in VA for the COTH hunt this Saturday!!!

                                  She was light off my leg and seat, we did plenty of lateral work and she was quite content that I finally got the message. I do hope I got the right message though...

                                  I have been told that a figure eight and pessoa work well with a good many horses....
                                  Oh my, what a pleasant surprise! I think I'd get killed hunting her in her dressage bit.

                                  I've thought of the three rings, but I don't think she'd respond well to it. I'd be concerned that she'd just bury her nose in her chest and motor on. The figure eight, though, I'm seriously considering.
                                  http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                                  http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Come Shine View Post
                                    Are you using a curb chain? Would it help to tighten it up a bit?
                                    Yes, and it's set about as snug as I dare.
                                    http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                                    http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by xeroxchick View Post
                                      Just going to throw this out there, but sometimes at a certian aage hock injections make it easyer for them to keep that back end underneath for more controle.
                                      Just a thought.
                                      To me it depends a lot on how they are built and how they travel. She doesn't like copper? Or a roller to keep her playing and not clamping down?
                                      Considering her dressage work is quite easy and she has no problem with 10m canter circles, walk/canter/walk transistions and has a killer counter canter, I think her ability to get her hind end underneath and balance is still there. She was just operating on a different radio frequency last Saturday.

                                      She has never liked any sort of metal. Not holding it in her mouth, just getting it past her teeth. Bridling and un-bridling were quite the ordeal until I switched to the plastic mouth bits. Who knows why, it's just one of her quirks. (I've had her since 6 months, so there's no unknown history)
                                      http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                                      http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        [QUOTE=pleasantmeadowfarm;6555449]last minute I opted to take her in her dressage bridle with french link snaffle.

                                        Guess who was a perfect angel, and didn't root or try to blow through my hands in the bit she prefers.QUOTE]

                                        Now you've got me thinking......I do have a Herm Sprenger KK Ultra B-Boucher that I could try. When I did ride her in the metal bits, they were all KK Ultras......she's fine with metal once it gets past her teeth. I switched to plastic just to make it easier on both of us, but I wonder how she'd be in the Boucher?

                                        Do I dare go out without the curb? :P
                                        http://www.foxhuntingfriesian.blogspot.com
                                        http://www.isherwoodstudios.blogspot.com

                                        Comment

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