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Waterford Pelham? Thoughts?

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  • Waterford Pelham? Thoughts?

    I was surfing looking for Waterford Bits and came across one in a Pelham.

    Here is the link (scroll down to see the Pelham)


    What do y'all think of this bit for hunting? I used to use a Pelham but switched to a Kimberwick/Kimblewicke. A recent thread about hard pullers and the Waterford bit got me to thinking..... and then I saw this.

    I didn't even know they came in anything but a D, loose ring or eggbutt.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling

  • #2
    Well, I suppose that it's no worse than any other jointed pelham. They're all awful...
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


    • Original Poster

      I agree about the jointed Pelham - I never saw the point. But the Waterford action - I thought - was different than a jointed bit. It's a new one one me.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling


      • #4
        That looks to me about as useful as "screen doors on a submarine"
        \"I have lived my life-it is nearly done-.I have played the game all round;But I freely admit that the best of my fun I owe it to Horse and Hound\".


        • #5
          I'm a contrarian, I think the hoopla about how awful jointed pelhams (or tom thumbs) is uninformed. I've hunted a couple of different horses in jointed pelhams and they loved 'em. ANY bit in the wrong hands is awful, the worst damage I've ever seen to horses' mouths was from plain old snaffles, because the uninformed assume that a snaffle can't harm a horse's mouth. It sure can if uneducated hands are at the other end of the reins. One that comes to mind, 8 yo dressage horse, 'nothing but a snaffle' ever in its mouth per its proud owner...old healed laceration about a third of the way across the tongue...from the bit.

          As for the waterford mouthpiece in a pelham, I'm intrigued, but can't really weigh in as I've never used any waterford mouthpieced bit so not qualified to comment.


          • Original Poster

            Is is the type of bit (Waterford) that y'all dislike or is it the fact that it's stuck in a Pelham?

            I saw the Waterford in a Baucher, too. I guess I'm showing my ignorance but I didn't think there were that many bits out there. New ones keep popping up all the time.

            I was thinking that the Baby Horse (a tank) was going to need a Waterford out hunting when his time comes. That's why I was surfing. The horse that I currently hunt pulls like a freight train - and I'm pretty doggone strong. He pulls me right out of the saddle with no effort at all and I'll struggle to get him back. And of course - the fitter he gets - well - you know how it goes. I could write a book on the half halt.

            The horse has a bull neck, is downhill and short and stocky. I can do dressage all day long to lighten him up - but it goes out the window when hounds are screaming.

            The Waterford piqued my interest since a horse isn't supposed to lean on it. Then I saw this Pelham and I'm thinking - but those bits work against each other - but I thought I'd check. Not really work against each other - what I mean is that the Waterford is supposed to lighten (head up - not flexed), and the curb acts on the poll. Or - maybe what this bit "does" is act on the poll as well as giving nothing for the horse to lean on - so the horse has no crutch at all?

            Perhaps a Waterford a full cheek or D ring might obtain the result I seek - a gag sure didn't! Uxeter Kimberwicke/Kimbelwicke works well most days - but sometimes that jaw gets set and that neck straightens...... and we're off.
            Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
            Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
            -Rudyard Kipling


            • #7

              I just sold mine on Ebay...otherwise I'd have happily loaned it to you to try. Exact same bit, the Neue Schule.

              I liked the bit, but wasn't using it. Current horse goes XC in a plain snaffle. Nice bit, though. Very interesting to hold it in your hands and move the shanks and see how the mouthpiece works. A little bit like the myler concept, with a curb chain.


              • #8
                Ugh.. Waterford.. The only thing i'd ever use that for would be to loosen a horse at the poll and get them to bend. I dont really think it would be useful at all for a horse that pulls. Pelhams are harsh in the wrong hands, as are most bits, but they do help against pulling.
                thats all i have to say. If i was going to use a waterford, ever.. I would use it once or twice to fix a quick problem. I would never use it for longer than that.


                • Original Poster

                  Isn't that interesting - the Waterford is described as a bit to stop pullers from leaning on the bit. I guess it really does depend on what works for the individual horse, doesn't it.

                  Well - maybe I'll call up the tack exchange and see if they have a Waterford second hand just to see what all the fuss is about. Of course - at home the horse gallops beautifully in a french snaffle.
                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                  -Rudyard Kipling


                  • #10
                    I just ordered a Waterford from Dover... my current hunt mount trains in a French Link perfectly... he gets a little forward over jumps... and recently really started snatching at the bit while hunting... I used a Kimberwick for Opening Hunt, and he did fine... two days later he really put up quite a fight when I went to hook the curb chain... I switched back to the French Link for that ride, and our next hunt... I am anxious to see how he goes in a Waterford.. my other option will be an Elevator..


                    • #11
                      I saw a 2nd hand full cheek waterford today. Two, actually. But one is clearly older, with a different style of "bubbles" to the mouthpiece. Probably 5" if anyone's looking.
                      ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~


                      • #12
                        Hey Bearcombs, I bought one on ebay, maybe it was your's?

                        I would actually be happy to loan it as I've transitioned my horse over to a hackamore.

                        I used it a few times and it's a lovely bit; it just more than my horse needs. While a lot of people rave about the waterford mouthpiece, it backed my horse off too much.
                        Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                        EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.


                        • #13
                          Is the kimberwicke not working well? If it is the actual kimberwicke and not the uxeter with the slots for the rein set, then you moved down in leverage from a pelham to almost nil. Kimberwickes act more like a baucher as the rein slides back up the dee before any leverage comes into play.

                          The jointed pelhams are not going to give you much leverage if at all. When you pull back, the bit collapses, so there is not much tightening on the curb chain. If you want leverage, you would be better to stick with a bit that is solid. Another type would be one that does not collapse so much like a Myler comfort snaffle so that there is some "stop" to the bit, though even those might collapse too much to give effective leverage.

                          I love the Morrs Lotte pelhams that Neue Schule has. My old pony goes wonderfully in this bit and he is a leaner/puller in anything jointed.
                          Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                          Takaupas Top Gold
                          Gifts Black Gold Knight


                          • #14
                            No experience with the Waterford, but I do have a mare that can freight train at times with the best of them. What I found that works pretty well is a Myler combo bit. I got the comfort snaffle mouth and ride off that most of the time. When she gets a mind to ignore me though you have the "bite" of the curb action, including the rawhide on the nose. That nose comes IN and there is only so long my mare wants to do a power collected canter even if all she wants to do is RUN! (We use this bit when legging back up in the spring and mare is feeling fresh. No arena here at home so if she gets a mind to GO there is a A LOT of room to run before we're going to stop. I find I also ride more confidently knowing I have some more input if mare temporarily loses her ever lovin mind.)
                            "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
                            you have a right to be here." ~ Desiderata by Max Ehrmann


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Beverley View Post
                              I'm a contrarian, I think the hoopla about how awful jointed pelhams (or tom thumbs) is uninformed. I've hunted a couple of different horses in jointed pelhams and they loved 'em. ANY bit in the wrong hands is awful, the worst damage I've ever seen to horses' mouths was from plain old snaffles, ...
                              Here's my problem with the jointed pelhams:

                              As the bit flexes at the joint(s) the width of the bit effectively changes and the function of the curb changes. The curb chain migrates up way above the curb groove and starts "working" (if at all)mid jaw. Meanwhile, you have the traditional nutcracker thing happening. If you do up the curb chain so that it comes into play earlier, you've committed yourself to a permanent nutcracker.

                              I've never heard a better explanation than "Nothing else I've tried works on my horsie, therefore you are a bonehead." A simple strand of razor wire would work, and that's not right either. I will listen if someone can use principles of basic physics and biomechanics to explain why broken pelhams are a good thing.

                              But until someone does, I'll continue to believe that a jointed pelham is one of the easiest ways riders have devised to give a horse an
                              ambiguous, indefinite, and confusing signal.
                              * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis


                              • #16
                                I'm in Beverly's camp here, if the horse is comfortable and responsive in the bit, use it. This presume's a thinking, skilled rider is on board using their legs and seat for balance and not the reins.

                                My current riding mare insist on wiggley, jiggly bits- I used an Argentine Snaffle (basically a jointed pelham) on her for awhile with no concerns. Currently I'm using a two ring gag w/ a french link mouthpiece and she is light & responsive.

                                I've owned other horses who wigged out when anything other than solid mouthpieces were used.

                                Bit selection depends on the horse. When I showed IHSA back in the late 70's we didn't look forward to the shows held at Sweet Briar because each horse was outfitted in a fat Egg Butt snaffle, period. Some of those mounts lugged and steamrolled on your arms ignoring leg aids to drive forward....you were whooped after a course or two.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks for the responses and information. All very valuable. The Kimberwicke I use is an Uxeter - but I had moved the reins to the upper slot because he was going just fine.

                                  Perhaps before going on another bit shopping spree - I'll move the reins to the lower slot again and see how it goes - or even go back to the Pelham.

                                  SLW - I know exactly how you felt - can you imagine how tired I get after 3 or 4 hours? And there is no way I'm going to jump a horse that is pulling like that - unbalanced, on the forehand, high speed - yowza. If he acted that way at home I'd be better able to work through it properly.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling


                                  • #18
                                    I think I have the same problem with my freight train (he even does the right sound effects at a canter). He requires loads of strength to ride and my forearms are now super muscular from him. Maybe we should trade mounts next fall when I'm working in DC and see who has the stronger one.

                                    A D ring waterford was nice, but when it came time to try and stop, we were SOL. I've used the myler D with a port and slots on the rings, but those aren't good for a horse that likes to stay on the bit all the time since it gives leverage action when they lean the slightest on the bit. Right now he's in a rubber mullen mouth pelham (with 2 reins) and he does great in it, but it still take along time to stop him in the hunt field if he wants to keep running. He also enjoys grinding his teeth with this bit, which drives me and everyone around me insane, but I can't shut his mouth (with flash or figure 8) or else the only thing he will do is rear. I've always wanted to try out the mikmar bits but I'm a poor college student and don't need to spend alot of money playing with bits.

                                    Also, a great exercise for getting the horse not to rush fences is putting poles in front and behind the jump (your normal jumping height with really heavy wood poles). Keep a contact with the horse but don't do your normal heavy half-halts and let them figure it out. Repeat over and over. I've found this knowledge doesn't transfer very well to the hunt field, but it's worth a shot!

                                    I may think of something later... but I'm going to the tack shop now


                                    • #19
                                      JSwan- when I was a working student at Foxcroft back in the dark ages the head instructor only allowed her advanced students to ride in snaffles. All beginners rode w/ double reins attached to a pelham bit. Her theory was she didn't want beginners trashing out the school horses mouth. One signal on a pelham bit was better than three tugs on a snaffle. I think there is a lot of merit to her theory and I've used it for my own horses.


                                      • #20
                                        J Swan--are you up to the point of suppling and bending with this horse? My horse, a Loxahatchee reject, has been "ridden" his whole life in curbs and had his mouth ruined by all the backyard "riders" he's encountered. When we started to retrain him, we gave him the benefit of our doubts and started in a snaffle. After a year of getting nowhere, we switched to a curb, and guess what? Since my guy knew what it was, life was instantly better and we began making progress in leaps and bounds immediately.

                                        As we would like to get him light on a snaffle, we've been working our way down bits (toward a snaffle) and right now I'm using this bit,


                                        It acts like a Kimberwicke but the port is jointed. I'm quite pleased with it. Otherwise my horse pulls like a freight train, and no amount of leg, whip, spur will change his feeble mind. Starting over with older horses sometimes means doing the unconventional because you're stuck with whatever crap they have stuck in their brains.
                                        T3DE 2010 Pact Group
                                        Barefoot Eventers Clique