Bit Advice

Bertie

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Nov 6, 2003
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I have always ridden my pony for the past 18-months in a happy mouth style jointed hanging cheek snaffle (http://www.frogpool.com/product-5542.htm) but have been thinking about showing classes etc and the possibility of a double bridle or maybe using a pelham instead with 2-reins.

* I currently have no problems with brakes or control
* She hates anything much stronger than what she currently has in
* Although she lowers, engages and works beautifully in a double/pelham style bridle (I believe)

So my question being a complete dunce when it comes to bitting is would something like a Happy mouth jointed pelham be a good idea for the show ring with her? And not be too harsh? (http://www.frogpool.com/product-5540.htm)

Honest advice please :)
 

Barrel

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Sep 24, 2008
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You do not have to show in a Pelham or a double bridle even though a lot of people do. It is not compulsary for you to do that! I suggest stay with a snaffle. If she works nicely in a good outline, then this is what you favour for showing as this wows the judges, so stick to what you already have I say.
 

Barrel

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Sep 24, 2008
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If you want to have double reins, then go for the Happy Mouth Pelham. The straight bar Pelham are nasty, and a lot of horses hate them. But if I owned your horse and wanted to show I would stay with a snaffle.
 

Daffy Dilly

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Dec 5, 2004
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I'd avoid joints in a pelham - the pelham cheeks aren't designed to work independantly of one another and although some horses like a jointed pelham, the majority don't. There are variations on height of port etc, or even no port, so it's worth trying to see what suits. If she likes a jointed bit generally, she might like a cambridge mouth pelham.

Daffy's preference is for a double bridle (currently cambridge mouth weymouth and jointed bridoon), I can't ride him in a pelham (of any sort, tried many) but I'm hoping to get hold of a bridoon with a lozenge to try that instead of the jointed bridoon.

Use an elasticated or leather curb, and simply don't put pressure on the curb reins if you don't need to use them. :)

And on the showing side, most judges actually prefer two reins to a snaffle, I've only seen it go in somebody's favour in equitation, riding club pony etc, not open working hunter classes.
 

Quickstep

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Jul 2, 2008
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In general I agree with Daffy Dilly above, however, in your case, if you are totally happy with the jointed hanging cheek happy mouth snaffle and are merely looking at a pelham for appearances sake, it would be well worth trying him in the happy mouth pelham with the same jointed mouthpiece.

You aren't changing the bit in order to have a curb chain and pressure on the curb groove, therefore the fact that using a jointed pelham means that the curb doesn't really work doesn't actually matter to you in this instance. You can ride on the top snaffle/bradoon rein and not take up the curb rein - as long as you have good enough hands to be able to operate the two reins independently - and apart from having the curb chain fitted your horse should not really notice a difference. Having said that, your horse might decide it doesn't like the pelham for no particular reason at all so do make sure you are both happy about it before show day!

If you have a play with a pelham, and you really don't want to have much curb effect, you could try an elastic curb "chain" rather than metal or leather as this will have a much milder effect.

You need to consider though whether the conformation of your horse's mouth allows the pelham to sit in the right place - in particular, check whether the curb chain actually sits in the curb groove or not - if not then your horse might not be happy with it and you risk the curb chain rubbing.

Also, what sort of showing are you intending to do (sorry, not aware what sort of horse you have or anything)? For affiliated showing it is "usual" for novice classes to have horses in a snaffle bit and for open classes to have horses shown in 2 reins, whether that is a double bridle or a pelham. It isn't wrong to show in your current snaffle if that is what your horse is happy in, but depending on the type of class you are going to do if you are on equal marks with someone showing in 2 reins then it might edge them ahead.
 

Bertie

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Thanks you've all been really really helpful.

daffy - as usual a fountain of knowledge (did you ever get your tweed situation sorted or is it still on hold due to funds?)

Quickstep - I have a 14.2hh 14year welsh x arab mare (registered part bred arab), intend on doing local shows only starting at novice but will hopefully be advancing to open ridden show hunter classes and staying in novice working hunter classes.
 
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