Sunday, February 22, 2015

To Pelham or Not to Pelham

Kelly had me lesson on Thursday in a short shanked rubber Pelham with a converter (I don't have enough dexterity to manage two reins) and honestly? I liked how she went in it. Ellie can get a little heavy in her front while I try to engage her hind and whether it was the early morning chill or the new bit she seemed to carry herself in a more uphill and balanced way.
I tried it again today, Sunday funday, but since I came prepared with no plan we tootled around without getting that same focused ride.

I'd like to use it again in my lessons this week and continue to evaluate.
I know this group has a penchant for bits so I'm curious to hear examples of Pelham use and how it has aided your rides.

I think Ellie likes the extra bling. She's so vain.


  1. That can be a very handy bit, personally I might use that when you are jumping and still use D for flatting or hacking...?

    1. Good shout out- that's what Kelly suggested as well. To use for jumping and the occasional flat.

  2. I don't have any advice because I've never had a horse who went in one, but I'm interested to see what others have to say!

  3. I don't have any advice because I've never had a horse who went in one, but I'm interested to see what others have to say!

  4. I used one on a biiiiig boy who thought it was awesome to let you carry his mouth for him. A short-shanked pelham gave me just enough leverage to lift his front end and boot his hind end under him. If she goes well in it, I'd say keep using it.

  5. I like them over fences, but have always used two reins. If it works for you and her... try it!

  6. If you're worried about getting dependent on it, I would just ride in it once every few rides. Enough to remind her to have respect, but not enough to get comfortable with it.

    I use pelhams a lot, actually. I like them for strong or bratty horses. I also rode in one for a long time to get myself used to riding with two reins before moving to the double. It's a lot more forgiving than a double when you flub up the double reins. I actually like riding it with two reins, because I prefer to ride on the snaffle 90% of the time. When an e-brake or a little more curb action is needed, I just raise my hands forward to engage the curb. Boom done and then right back to the snaffle.

    I'd suggest giving two reins a try, though there's nothing wrong with riding on the converter. You might find you're more coordinated with two reins than you think...after the first fumbling "OH MY GOD HOW DO I SHORTEN MY REINS? THIS IS TOO MUCH!" moment passes, of course. ;)

  7. I jumped my old man in a pelham with converters. I tried it with two reins, but dammit he liked those converters. It was the perfect bit for us. I flatted in a Dr Bristol D. :-) Enjoy.

  8. Miles went in one before I bought him, and I think the leverage can be very handy for lifting up a heavy horse. I found with Miles that once he gained strength, he no longer fell on his forehand so I stopped using it.

  9. This is a great bit, especially for tune ups!

  10. glad it seems to be working for you! (and that's the point, right?)

    re: worrying about it becoming a crutch, when i asked a similar question on my blog about martingales, one recommendation was to ride with it for a while, then see if the horse is better after. if they are, it's a useful tool that's working. if they're worse, then it's a crutch just masking the issue.

    regardless, good luck!

  11. I, too, suggest forcing yourself to learn and be comfortable with two reins. It gives you so much more finesse when you get the hang of them!