Question about War Horse

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27 October 2011
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I've noticed on the trailer for the film that Joey has only one rein on his bit which is a pelham (correct me if I'm wrong) and this is on the bottom ring.

I know that this is wrong but what are peoples views on it - were the film directors trying to get a old-fashioned look and used a pelham and not a gag (which in my mind would have the same action?). How harsh would this bit be without a top rein?

I don't want to cause a rant so please be nice :p
 

CorvusCorax

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I've ridden a horse on the continent with this arrangement, just trail riding. Horse was a plod, all the horses there were schooled on a very light hand, I wasn't hauling away at his mouth, so I don't see the issue.
TBH at a certain stage of WWI they would have probably used whatever they could to steer the horse with as long as it was made of metal and leather.
 

be positive

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The continental gag has not been around very long and to use it in this film would be wrong, in WW1 they would have probably used any bit that they could but at that time probably only had doubles, pelhams, driving bits and various types of snaffle, bits were much more simple then.
 

Orangehorse

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I haven't seen the trailer, but the army used a universal bit that had a smooth or rough mouthpiece, and with two positions on the curb.

Remember that a mounted soldier would have one rein and have to have instant control.
So long as the rider could stay on, stop and steer it was probably as much as required in a war situation.

It wasn't particularly refined horsemanship, although the Pony Club manual was based on the old Army horsemanship teachings.
 
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Riding on the bottom ring of a Pelham was very fashionable for show jumpers in the 1940s, 1950s, see Pat Smythe on Tosca for example. For the period the whole thing is wrong, the bit is too modern, the blanket under the saddle, most saddles of that era would have been wool or linen lined so the blanket would have been superfluous, the breastplate on a farm horse??
Don't get me started.
To be reasonably correct the horse would probably have been bitted in a flat ring snaffle.
 

fallenangel123

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What Orangehorse said.

The army reversible was designed to be used on anything, but keep a uniformed look throughout. It had a smooth mouthpiece one side, rough the other, (reversible) the sides had three rein positions depending on the need for brakes of each horse.
Not seen the trailer but guess this is what they were aiming for?
 
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The head shot shows a Pelham which looks quite modern, ie stainless steel with an almost eggbut mouth piece if I remember correctly. I had noticed this, but the average person would not. I suppose the military bit would have looked better historically.
 
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