Why do they use such harsh bits (kimberwicks, pelhams, elevators) when they don't even touch the horses mouth? Like honestly, I always see loops in the reins and it drives me crazy. Don't overbit your horse.
Obviously I'm not saying all hunters do that, and I'm not saying its just hunters either, but the hunter ring is mainly where I see it being done.
I don't rider hunters but I think its because they don't use so much rein. They need a light touch and quick response which those bits deliver better then a snaffle.
(?) that's just my take on it. . .
Hopefully someone experience will see this thread lol
You'll see Kimberwicks at low level as people try to cheat at a headset. Those I've seen use pelhams needed the control. Hunters is alot about the way of going, so it needs to be a pretty picture, much like western, this leads to a horse being bitted up.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but elevators are illegal in the Hunt ring. At least they were when I showed.
Interesting note is that tack goes into judging, if you have two horses with perfect rounds and one is in a snaffle and the other a pelham, the snaffle should pin above (all other qualities being equal).
In every discipline you'll find people taking shortcuts to produce the results the winning team has produced.
I have never seen a horse pinned lower because it was in a pelham. Many top hunters go in pelhams and are very successful. It is a common "old world" hunter bit that is still used in the hunter ring. Some horses go better in them. And the hunters is all about the horse so you want to show them at their best. My old hunter went in a pelham...he could get a little strong and a snaffle wasn't enough. Kimberwicks are really only seen at smaller schooling shows. I don't think I have seen one out of there. They are kind of frowned upon and thought of as a "cheater bit." Elevator bits are illegal in the hunter ring but many people will school their hunters in a 2 ring elevator.
I've also seen some bits coming in and out of style. Some years the pelham is "in" and some years it is "out". So sometimes I'll see horses that don't really need a pelham in one because it is the style.
I ride my pony in a tom thumb with the double reins (in the hunter ring) because it is the easiest and quietest and most effective way of getting what I need out of her. It makes our ride look a lot more effortless with smaller movements. It's also my pony's favorite bit out of all of of the ones I ride her in :P