highland pony bit advice

louise pugh

New Member
Oct 1, 2017
I have a strong willed highland mare, she was 9years when I got her but untouched and pretty wild and aggressive. We have been together for 15 years and have a good relationship, however she can still be very mareish and kicky especially when tacking up. All her health has been checked and tack fine, I accept this is how she is! When going out for hacks she loves it and is still forward going and seems to love it, however typical highland brakes! I have tried various bits through the years but have used a pelham with the rubber mouth piece as found this best for her, she carries herself better and her brakes are much better, I don't have to pull her. I had a discussion yesterday and was advised this is a strong bit so wondered what other people use with their highlands. My previous highland worked best in a pelham also?? I always thought a bit is only as bad as the person using it. Thanks for any advice. Louise


Well-Known Member
Jan 15, 2010
strong bit for a strong pony? what’s the problem with that, why does someone having advised you it’s a strong bit bother you?

there is only a problem if the hands on the other end of the reins don’t know how to use it properly ;)


Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
What are typical Highland brakes?
Does the pony go well in the bit, yes, keep it.

I don't have a Highland but she does have a hulk of a neck with opinions. We use the NS beval on the snaffle setting. Like yours she now carries herself better.


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
Not on a highland (the only one I've ever ridden was in a snaffle and beautifully soft mouthed) but I use a pelham at times on my QH mare, she's horribly hormonal and just occasionally forgets her manners, I ride with double reins to ensure the harsher curb action only comes in to play when really needed. I would prefer to use a harsher bit gently than a less harsh one roughly.

louise pugh

New Member
Oct 1, 2017
Thanks for your advice and guess all like minded in the use of bits, I agree and would prefer to use a harsher bit gently rather than being rough with a less harsh bit. I use the double reins and only use the curb when doing faster work if she gets a bit to forward going. Its funny how conversations with people make you doubt yourself.
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May 29, 2017
Our welsh/shire x cob wore a Pelham: as said above, better to use a strong bit gently than be too strong in a gentle bit. She had a heavy neck and shoulder for pulling carts and liked to White Van Man the horse in front. She braked like a dream in the Pelham without any pulling at all.
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