Sorry horse people--'nother question

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by miss_thenorth, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    What is your favourite bit? We got our Thundr back today, and he's wonderful. But yes, he is a green broke horse. He was trained using a Pelham training bit.

    of course we will use this now, as we work with him everyday, since that is what he is used to . But that led me to thinking (shh [​IMG], what is everyones favourite bit. What would you recommend for a young greenbroke horse, a well trained horse, for what disciplines etc.

    ETA, I looked up pelham, and read mixed reviews about it., which is why I posted this question...
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2008
  2. bluerose

    bluerose Songster

    Oct 21, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    for crying out loud... a pelham on a BABY?


    you would be best in a D or full cheek snaffle- smooth, either double jointed or curved bars, of medium thickness... IMHO. (the D or full cheek are for aid in steering and so the bit cannot be pulled through the mouth in extreme circumstances- if using a full cheek please use keepers so he doesn't get poked!)

    if you're not an experienced rider please seek pro help- if the horse was started in a pelham it may be interesting to put him in a snaffle at first. if he's super dead quiet you may be OK if but if he is prone to baby moments I would be cautious at first.

    good luck!!!
  3. silkieluvr

    silkieluvr Songster

    Sep 20, 2007
    Marin, California
    I started my boy in a D ring, and now we are using a bouchette (spelling!?) for dressage and jumping. I really like it because it is still a soft bit but it gives you a little extra support
  4. Norman

    Norman In the Brooder

    Aug 10, 2008
    My bit of choice totally depends on the horse. Generally I use the mildest bit to get the job done. I like double jointed bits like french links in medium thinkness (D's or full cheeks). I've ridden horses in hackamores, kimberwicks, big fat rubber bits, slow twists. A Pelham (IMHO) is usually a bit a horse "graduates" up to, not ever for starting baby's. Why was he put in a pelham?
  5. My favorite is NO bit, I just love teaching and riding a horse who responds with a feather touch by neck rein or leg response. I just clip the reins to the halter.
  6. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    3 piece D ring is what I use until I start training them in something specific. If I never train them for a specific task I never have a reason to ride with anything else. Only exception is occasionally I'll use a light running hackamore like a jim warner Depends on the individual horse and what I'm doing with it.
  7. ILoveJoe

    ILoveJoe Songster

    Jun 28, 2008
    Northern Kentucky
    Try reading "A WHole Bit Better" by the Myler brothers. Even if you don't use their bits, the book itself is a real eye opener on bit usage and abuse to the mouth we cause our horses using the wrong bit.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Why would someone start a 2 year old in a Pelham? Are you SURE it is a pelham and not, like, just a mullen-mouth plain snaffle or something like that???

    Edited (replacing a paragraph) because while eating breakfast it occurred to me that this was probably a western trainer, eh?, and probably not an old-style one either. Properly aka traditionally and quite effectively, the western horse, though destined to wear a curb bit, is started in a bosal or snaffle. But a more modern attempted short-cut, though I had *thought* it was becoming less common anymore?, is to start a horse in a jointed curb or pelham. The difficulty is that a jointed curb doesn't really work like people sometimes like to pretend - it is NOT a combination of the best aspects of the two, it is neither educational nor clear in its cues - and neither, therefore, does the curb ring on a pelham. The main virtue of the jointed curb or pelham is that it has the western horse 'look'. The curb does not act like a curb, when the mouth is jointed (it acts oddly); and the snaffle only acts as a snaffle if you have a second set of reins attached so that you can use one that is SOLELY snaffle. (You sometimes see people using these things with reins attached only at the snaffle position, but this is silly as the shank and curb chain are then doing nothing whatsoever except sit there and wiggle around and potentially distract or annoy the horse).

    Some people do get good results with these bits, but frankly its only because of natural-born 'tact' at training youngsters, and they'd get as good or better results in a snaffle, or in a bosal if they knew how to fit and use it.


    I would leave him in the Pelham for a few weeks at least, because it's what he's used to. What is/are the reins attached to? In general I would leave things set up the way he's accustomed to, for now, til you get more mileage in riding him, but you want to move as soon as possible to just riding in a snaffle IMO (first, reins only on the snaffle position of the pelham; then switch to a comparable-mouthed snaffle).

    If he should push through and ignore (or worse, push *against* and fight) the action of the reins, what he needs is more proper training to learn what he's supposed to do. Which is a whole 'nother subject altogether.

    FWIW, my general 'favorite bit' is whatever snaffle the horse can carry most comfortably in his mouth. Different horses have different mouths so some go better in fatter or thinner bits, two or three jointed, different cheeks, etcetera, even sometimes a mullen mouth (unjointed) works best for a VERY green horse not yet used to the whole bit idea (but you can't direct-rein much in a mullen-mouth, so it won't last long unless the horse is well disposed to learning leg and seat cues rather early, which some are).

    I would not use a pelham or full (double) bridle or curb until a horse is quite well trained and does not need the bit much at all, most of the time, certainly not as a normal way of slowing down or 'shaping' the horse. Really I am not a big Pelham fan, except occasionally for a (well trained) horse doing a good bit of very fast galloping across the countryside who occasionally needs a bit more braking power for everyone's safety. (I have hunter-paced and evented plenty of TBs in snaffles, but there are a certain number whose brains jsut start to fall out enough that it's really better to have a way of speaking a bit louder at times). Well ok, I also agree with the school of thought that there are also a few small-pony-hunters out there who do seem to go better, with their young charges, in a kimberwicke (basically a very mild pelham with 'built-in' roundings). That sort of thing is really kind of an exception, though.

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  9. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    In my college days in horse science, we were instructed to use a snaffle (any kind of D;s, copper but thick mouthpieces, no twisted or broken in threes). After the horse was confortable with it, we go to the Argentine snaffle bit.

    With me with Paso finos, I use the rope bridle (bit less) for babies until he gets to a certain degree of training that he needs to be collected, so we go into the snaffle and spoon bit. Gentle hands are a must to keep the contact on the mouth at all times, not pullling or otherwise they would literally flip themselves over you if you are not careful. Patience is the BIGGEST key in training Pasos. I dont believe in spurs just ot get the horse to speed up or correction method.

    I would never had use a Pelham bit for a young horse but if he is used to it and works well with it, why change. If you dont know how to use it, then get an instructor that would help you work with a Pelham bit and would be able to resolve any problems you may have down the road.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  10. UnttouchableRose

    UnttouchableRose Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Blountville, TN
    I generally start and keep all of my horses in a egg butt or d-ring french link or 3 piece snaffle if I use a bit most of my horses go bitless and are taught using voice and leg and pressure commands.

    My main mare that I ride goes in a mullen mouth curb though but she's professionally trained western and 14.

    My favorite bit though in general is a copper d-ring snaffle.

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