Going from a snaffle to a Pelham - what are my options?

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A bit of background about us: my horse is an 8 year old, 15hh traditional cob, who I have had since he was 4. He was advertised as “not your average cob” and has proved to be exactly that! I would describe myself as a novice and have only ever ridden him in a simple French link/lozenge snaffle for everything including XC.

Anyway, after a lot of hard work and quite a few tears, he’s finally going sensibly enough to be allowed out showing in public, and this year we managed to qualify for the Royal London Championships.
Well… I was the only one on the whole Royal London showground in a snaffle (as the steward helpfully pointed out to me…!) so my task over the winter is to get him (and me!) used to riding with double reins. He did used to be in a loose ring standard French link, but he seems more comfortable with and is currently in an NS team up:



so I thought to start with I would try a Pelham but with the team up mouthpiece. I’ve had a look on the NS website and they don’t seem to do this as an option – the closest I can see is a trans angle lozenge Pelham,



but the lozenge is the other way around, and the side bits that attach to the lozenge (sorry if they have a proper name) look more angled. Can anyone tell me how this would act differently?
Do you think it’s worth going back to the French link mouthpiece with the Pelham sides? Or are there any other options that I haven’t thought of?
Any opinions and/or suggestions welcome, many thanks in advance!

oh, and this is us at a practice show the weekend before we went to Royal London.
 
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I've got a traddie cob and he goes really nicely in a French Link Rugby Pelham. He goes like you'd expect a horse to go in a double bridle basically, but you've only got the one bit in the mouth.

Here's a picture of it (hope you can access the link):0

http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgu...0yUsrfIqyM0wX9xIGwDg&ved=0CE0Q9QEwAA&dur=4015

Its a bit tricky to fit initially; basically you'll need a spare leather strap for the extra ring on it........... it might be an idea to ask your trainer/instructor to fit it for you; plus you could use the opportunity to have a few lessons with you using the two reins!!!

My boy goes really nicely in it and I find it a really handy little piece of kit.
 
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Cortez

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I believe it is totally "legal" to use a snaffle bridle; why not just hold your head high and go it alone in the snaffle, if that is what he goes best in?
 

TandD

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As Cortez has said....if you can use a snaffle use it!!!! There is no point in putting more in the horses mouth if it isn't needed!!

However if you really want to use a Pelham I'd go for a curved Mullen mouth piece. I have always been told that a Pelham with a joint (or two) looses the curb action therefore there is no point in using it!!!
 
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it might be an idea to ask your trainer/instructor to fit it for you; plus you could use the opportunity to have a few lessons with you using the two reins!!!
Thanks MiJods, I will definitely be having some lessons whichever bit I choose to go with! My instructor is great but i have visions of getting myself in knots...!
 
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I believe it is totally "legal" to use a snaffle bridle; why not just hold your head high and go it alone in the snaffle, if that is what he goes best in?
As Cortez has said....if you can use a snaffle use it!!!! There is no point in putting more in the horses mouth if it isn't needed!!!
I was of this opinion before I went to the show, and he does go fine in the snaffle, but I worry that it makes me "look" like a novice, and I know with showing that, shallow though it is, it's all about the "overall picture"
 
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However if you really want to use a Pelham I'd go for a curved Mullen mouth piece. I have always been told that a Pelham with a joint (or two) looses the curb action therefore there is no point in using it!!!
Me too. My traddie loves his Mullen mouth pelham.
^^^ this
Try a rubber Mullen mouth Pelham.
Mullen mouth seems like a popular choice!
I do agree about the jointed mouthpiece negating the curb action, but i don't really need the curb for brakes, i just wanted to look a bit more the part!
Looks like the bit bank will be my friend this winter!
Thank you everyone for the suggestions xx
 

Pinkvboots

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I still show my horse in a snaffle one judge said it made a change to see a horse in a snaffle, but I also feel it made me look like a novice and I wil be doing the same over the winter, but if my horse is not happy in it or is not ready I will continue with the snaffle until he is, so be proud your horse is going so well and I think the judge was wrong to single you out, I am going to try the llow ported myler pelham.
 

dianchi

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Sorry to say that I think perhaps a French link Pelham is the answer! If he is happy with that mouthpiece and it is just the look that you are going for then why not?!
Would also recommend that you get a smart show cane, just to complete your look :)
 
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Sorry to say that I think perhaps a French link Pelham is the answer! If he is happy with that mouthpiece and it is just the look that you are going for then why not?!
Would also recommend that you get a smart show cane, just to complete your look :)
I agree with this. Normally would say don't get jointed as it negates the curb, but if you don't actually need the curb brakes and your horse likes the link then that would be perfect for the look....
 

pennyturner

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If your horse is mannerly in a snaffle, then he'll be mannerly in a pelham, particlarly if you have no intention of engaging the curb. In this case, the important thing is to give him something that fits his mouth. Most chunky cob types go well in either a mullen or low ported straight bar - both give him tongue room.

Personally I wouldn't go with the jointed mouthpiece, which is a bit of a muddle'd message with a curb, whether you intend to use it or not. Don't worry that the shape is different - he's unlikely to mind, and may actually enjoy something new.

Many of my ride and drive ponies regularly swap from their riding bit (snaffle) to the shared driving bridle (curb). They're quite clever enough to work happily on both - although my shetland was very clear he didn't like a wilkie!
 
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thank you to everyone for all your helpful suggestions (including the show cane one!) I think I will be trying a couple of bits this winter, starting with the mullen mouth and the French link Pelhams. (btw, did anyone have any thoughts about how the tranz angle Pelham and the "team up" bits are different in action?)
I will have to see how he (and I!) get on, but rest assured, if he doesn't like any of them then I will go out proudly in my snaffle!

just for interest, we didn't do badly at Royal London, we came 4th out of a championship class of 7 beautiful horses - any of which I would have had in my stables in a heartbeat, and at least two of which were ridden by professionals...!
my two objectives for the competition were both met.
A) stay on! and
B (assuming A was met!) not come last!
job done, but you can always do better next time...
 
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just for interest, we didn't do badly at Royal London, we came 4th out of a championship class of 7 beautiful horses - any of which I would have had in my stables in a heartbeat, and at least two of which were ridden by professionals...!
my two objectives for the competition were both met.
A) stay on! and
B (assuming A was met!) not come last!
job done, but you can always do better next time...
Ehm.......... thought you said you were a novice OP!!! Sounds pretty blimmin good to me:):):)

Well done you. You just go out there and show 'em, and your traddie cob as well. Stuff the sniffy judges.

Um, do you have a piccie of him you could show us???
 
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Ehm.......... thought you said you were a novice OP!!! Sounds pretty blimmin good to me:):):)

Well done you. You just go out there and show 'em, and your traddie cob as well. Stuff the sniffy judges.

Um, do you have a piccie of him you could show us???
I really am a novice! - I was fully expecting to go and come completely dead last in everything! "Over the moon" doesn't even come close!
I wish I had a photo from the show to upload - I didn't do a "show report" straight away as I was waiting for the pro photos to be uploaded, however there wasn't a single shot of me in 4 classes over 2 days... :(

this is us the weekend before though, having a practice run...
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Cortez

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Having said earlier "be proud of your snaffle", I'm now going to throw something else at you: a double bridle is actually FAR better for showing, and in your case I think a better choice than a pelham because you can so neatly separate the snaffle and curb actions. In other words, if you don't need the curb you can ride almost exclusively on the bridoon, and have the MOST professional look of all. If you do try the pelham and he goes well in it (and you figure out the two reins thing), I would go further and see if the double suits him too.
 

Pinkvboots

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Cortex can i ask your advice sounds like you could help me I ride my Arab in a cambridge snaffle he goes lovely in it, but as i show him i wanted to try either a pelham or a double, he hates any jointed bit so i thought a ported pelham but most i see have huge llong shanks and look really bulky, then i saw a myler and it seemed lighter and looked much neater but very expensive, so do you think i should try a double even though he is not happy with a jointed bit please help! Op sorry for hijacking your post hope you dont mind and hope you solve your problem too.
 
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