What bits are allowed in the hunter show ring?

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What bits are allowed in the hunter show ring?

This is a discussion on What bits are allowed in the hunter show ring? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Prohibited bits for hunters
  • What allowed for hunter class

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    11-11-2010, 11:49 AM
What bits are allowed in the hunter show ring?

I am going to be showing in a hunter show in a month. I am currently working my horse in a happy mouth pelhem bit with two sets of reins. The show is a schooling show, but it's a really classy farm. I don't want to look like an idiot if I'm riding around in the wrong type of bit.

I could use a D ring on her, but I never jumped her in it...so I'm not entirely sure how she would jump with it. She tends to get really strong and she throws her head around a lot with the D ring.

Is it Ok to keep using the pelhem, or should I try something different.
If so, what type of bit is comparable to a pelhem?
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    11-11-2010, 11:57 AM
I showed about half a year using a happy mouth pelhem on the A circuit with no issues - at least no one ever mentioned anything to me, and I don't think it affected our placings at all. I ended up buying a nice Myler pelhem for the remainder of the year so that it didn't look so "bulky" on my already big guy (plus I love Mylers). But I don't see any issues with it :)
    11-11-2010, 12:14 PM
Hey, Just wanted to let you know out here alot of riders ride in Pelhams.. so I woulden't worry.
    11-11-2010, 12:21 PM
It somewhat depends on whether you're talking USEF hunters or QH or other breed show hunter divisions.

In USEF classes, a pelham is absolutely fine for an over fences class. You absolutely won't look like an idiot. Some judges may look askance at a pelham in a flat class, with the logic if you need a pelham to control the horse in a flat class, they may not be an ideally quiet and calm hunter. That's some judges, not all. If I saw a pelham in a flat class, I might give the horse a little extra scrutiny, but if the horse was going in a relaxed, hunter-appropriate frame and had prompt transitions, I wouldn't penalize for it.

The best solution, IMO, is to show in the pelham over fences and the D-ring on the flat, if that's managable for you the day of the show. Lots of riders switch bits depending on the class, so you won't be alone in that regard either.
    11-11-2010, 01:21 PM
Thank you. It's a USEF hunter show. I can bring two bridles and just switch it out for the flat class. She's a little fussy in the D-ring, but she's not out of control at all on the flat.

I haven't shown in a hunter class in 12 years. I remember my mom making me use a different bit, but maybe it was just her being picky. That's why I asked.
    11-11-2010, 09:22 PM
Green Broke
Yep, pelhams are very very acceptable over fences. On the flat, eh. I agree, judges may wonder why your horse can't go in something softer... but I'd rather have my horse happy and quiet in a pelham then fussy in a D ring. But I think the ideal is to teach your horse at home to accept the D ring. ;)
    11-12-2010, 11:22 AM
I think I'll just use the pelhem this time, then I'll practice in the D-ring at home then I can use it for the next show. Thanks everyone.
    11-15-2010, 10:08 AM
Good luck! :)

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