Pelham?

Pippity

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I currently ride my 7yo cob mare in a fulmer happy tongue. This is great in the school, and mostly fine out hacking - until she sees another horse and wants to follow it. She locks her neck, becomes completely non-responsive to leg aids, and I feel completely out of control. At that point, I have to resort to being really strong with the bit to haul her back round.

My understanding is that the curb rein on the pelham would encourage her to drop her head, which would make it harder for her to lock her neck and easier for me to keep control. Is this correct? If so, does it sound like it will help with my issue?

(I know this is a schooling issue, but I want to be able to stay in control while working her through the schooling issue!)
 

Wheels

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If she is locking her neck then can you not just bend her one way and then the other if needed to keep the flexibility?

You can practise in the arena riding straight along the fence, ask for inside bend only whilst riding straight, just a few strides, sometimes straighten the neck afterwards, sometimes straighten and then bend to the outside, sometimes bend inside and then come onto a circle (keeping pronounced inside bend) and then let the horse stretch down on the circle. That way you are teaching the horse to be supple and when you ask out hacking she will know what you want.
 

Pippity

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If she is locking her neck then can you not just bend her one way and then the other if needed to keep the flexibility?

You can practise in the arena riding straight along the fence, ask for inside bend only whilst riding straight, just a few strides, sometimes straighten the neck afterwards, sometimes straighten and then bend to the outside, sometimes bend inside and then come onto a circle (keeping pronounced inside bend) and then let the horse stretch down on the circle. That way you are teaching the horse to be supple and when you ask out hacking she will know what you want.
Yes, that's exactly what I've been working on with her, but it's something that will take effect further down the line. At the moment, if she locks, I might as well be riding in a headcollar, because she loses all responsiveness to the bit.
 

SK123

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I think if you're having to work too hard in your normal bit then there is no harm trying it for a while and seeing if they become more responsive! Sometimes all it takes is a few rides in something a little stronger for you to get some respect from them, I have also had great results with a horse that had similar behaviour to yours in a Universal (with the offset rings like an NS or Cotswold happy tongue) As I always say, the bit is only as strong as the hands its in! Might actually be more enjoyable for the horse and you if you only have to give a quick squeeze of the reins every so often rather than as you say hauling at something milder ;-) Hope this helps and best of luck!
 

Micky

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Never found a Pelham helped at all when my boy locks his neck, esp in a straight line enjoying himself too much in canter, turning on a circle helped. Really, schooling on a hack and her understanding you’re aids/asks and responding is the best way, but I do like Pelham’s, rather than hauling you can get to the stage of gently asking with the reins together with body aids.
 

Pippity

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I've hired a pelham with the same mouthpiece as her usual bit to try (Bomber happy tongue) but am a bit stumped with the curb! I've always understood that the curb is attached underneath the bit rings, like so:

1560002036901.png

But the Bomber has its clips pointing outwards, rather than backwards, with the result that they dig into her skin if I attach like that. Help!
 

Meredith

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I've hired a pelham with the same mouthpiece as her usual bit to try (Bomber happy tongue) but am a bit stumped with the curb! I've always understood that the curb is attached underneath the bit rings, like so:

View attachment 33280

But the Bomber has its clips pointing outwards, rather than backwards, with the result that they dig into her skin if I attach like that. Help!
Do you mean this?

https://e-venting.co.uk/2013/02/tip-of-the-day-hooking-on-a-curb-chain/
 

C1airey

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I love a Pelham for giving back up when you need it and only if you need it (assuming you use two reins). Worked a treat on my little neck-setting cob who had interesting ideas about speed and direction.

I always fasten the curb through the bit rings so that the hooks are on the outside and away from the horse’s face.
 

YorksG

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Anyone know why so many people don't use lipstraps these days? I always have and was always taught that they were correct.
 

milliepops

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Lots of the newer style bits either don't have a slot to accept a lip strap or they are too tiny to actually fit one through.

I use them if I cant bend the curb hooks to keep the curb chain securely attached to the bit but otherwise don't bother unless for showing.
 

OrangeAndLemon

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Do it.

A Pelham has revolutionized my horse.
Mine too; we lost all steering and brakes! We were trying it before showing where a double bridle was expected. He goes perfectly in a snaffle and is light and responsive. It was the opposite with a Pelham.

We went back to the snaffle for more control. :D
 

Pippity

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Thanks, everyone! I hacked her out in her snaffle today and we were fine until we hit the little grass track to get back to the yard, at which point she tanked and I had absolutely no brakes. (She has a surprisingly nice canter for a brick shithouse of a cob, though!)

I've got a leather curb to go with the pelham, so I'll give that another go during the week and see if the brakes are any more effective with the curb attached through the bit rings. If it's not, I'll have to investigate other possibilities.
 

Pippity

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Well, it was like riding with the handbrake on. Even when I took off the curb rein and chain completely so was essentially riding in a snaffle. Back to the drawing board for finding some brakes and steering when life is too exciting/scary.
 

milliepops

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My oldie Millie used to hate a pelham. I tried one when I was needing control on XC courses, but she stopped jumping :oops:
What worked for us was adding a kineton noseband to her normal bit. She responded really well to the pressure on her nose and wouldn't run through the bridle in that combination. They are a bit old fangled but might be worth a try if you think she might be similar? I could always hold her by her nose if she was being daft in the field etc which gave me a clue that it would be a good thing to try.

I used to have a spare one but I lent it to someone off here years ago and they never sent it back :( otherwise I would have popped it in the post for you.
 

The Fuzzy Furry

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My oldie Millie used to hate a pelham. I tried one when I was needing control on XC courses, but she stopped jumping :oops:
What worked for us was adding a kineton noseband to her normal bit. She responded really well to the pressure on her nose and wouldn't run through the bridle in that combination. They are a bit old fangled but might be worth a try if you think she might be similar? I could always hold her by her nose if she was being daft in the field etc which gave me a clue that it would be a good thing to try.

I used to have a spare one but I lent it to someone off here years ago and they never sent it back :( otherwise I would have popped it in the post for you.
Agreed on a Kineton, OP could also try a Market Harborough, saves changing bit and horse can jolly well lean on itself :)
TFF, still happy to use older stuff if it works....
 

Pippity

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Thanks for the suggestions!

I don't think a market harborough would work - she tends to put her head down and curl in a little when she tanks, rather than throwing it up. Also, my instructor and I are trying to encourage her to carry her head a little higher, so I don't really want to use anything that would discourage her from that.

A kineton is a possibility. I'll try playing with her nose a bit and see how she responds to that. How essential is it that the bit be a little bigger? I'd prefer to change as few variables as possible, so stick with the same mouthpiece as her current snaffle, but those bits are bloody expensive!
 

Pippity

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I used mine on her normal bit. there was room as it wasn't too snug.
Her current bit is perhaps a little big, so hopefully it'll be okay. I'll look out for one second-hand and see how we get on. Thanks!

(In the meantime, the schooling continues. My instructor seems to have dreams of her piaffing at some point. He's optimistic.)
 

SK123

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Have you thought of trying a universal? I had tried a pelham on my little girl and it had no effect...i have her in a neue shule universal now and it is like a different pony! She is enjoying herself a lot more too and is much more responsive even in a snaffle for dressage! If you didn't want to splash out straight away, hire some from the bit bank or they have cheaper ones on 'Cotswold sports bits'
 

redapple

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I'm having some control issues with my mare at the moment and am also considering a bit change. She sounds similar to yours pippity as she tucks her head in and I too might as well be in a headcollar! However she *hates* a pelham. Will just rear at the pressure according to her other rider, i'm wondering if universal action will be too similar and have the same response. If you find something that works I'd be interested in knowing!
 

Pippity

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I think I might have found a bit that works. It's the highly complicated, expensive and esoteric french link snaffle.

Still to be thoroughly tested but I hacked her out in this evening and had effective brakes the whole time, whether in walk, trot or canter. Fingers crossed that's all it takes!
 

Meredith

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I think I might have found a bit that works. It's the highly complicated, expensive and esoteric french link snaffle.

Still to be thoroughly tested but I hacked her out in this evening and had effective brakes the whole time, whether in walk, trot or canter. Fingers crossed that's all it takes!
That sounds interesting. Would you post more information please.
 

Auslander

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Sometimes, it doesn't need to be a stronger bit - just a different one!
I don't have an issue with bitting up to hack, and I don't really subscribe to the theory that unwanted behaviour out hacking is a schooling issue. Alf is not exactly unschooled, but he can be an absolute idiot out hacking, and will throw everything in his repertoire at me if he decides that my decisions about speed and direction are not to his liking. I could school him til I'm blue in the face, and the only result will be that he's even more amazing to school. The gloves will still come off when we're hacking, so I just bit him up and resort to somewhat agricultural methods of staying safe!
 

Wheels

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I suppose it depends what you mean by schooling. If we are talking about flatwork / dressage then no, I don't see how that automatically would make a good hack. But an all round education should have incorporated hacking in the early days and I would expect a 'well schooled' horse to be able to hack and jump in a mannerly fashion. (I realise you didnt have kira in the early days mp so not a pop at you, just an observation)

I'm reading a book by general decarpentry at the minute and he was of the opinion that a horse shouldn't be started in academic equitation until he was a mannerly outdoor ride.

(Sorry pippity, a bit off topic lol)
 
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