Tell Me About Pelhams. - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 12 Old 09-05-2011, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 8,450
• Horses: 1
Tell Me About Pelhams.

Okay. Going to make this quick.

I've had little experience with Pelhams. I finally have a safe and forgiving gelding and time to learn with one as we're moving up to higher classes. I've been playing around with the two sets of reins and I've got my hand position down, but now its time to actually buy the bit.

Basically i just want to know which pelhams you all have had success with. Mouthpieces, brands, etc. I'm going shopping with the team tomorrow and figured I'd look around, if I don't find one I plan on buying online just for convenience purposes.

And before you say it, I am an experienced rider, but I still have a trainer to help me. Last time I told someone I planned on getting a pelham I got the "You're-sixteen-and-shouldn't-be-touching-that-bit" speech. And while I by no means know everything, I have done some homework and like I said, have a great 50yrs+ trainer to help me with the transition from cowgirl to....dressage. Wierd.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
SorrelHorse is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 12 Old 09-05-2011, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 5,289
• Horses: 0
Actually, I would much rather see a rider use a pelham than a kimberwicke or another type of straight leverage bit. The advantage of a pelham is it's flexibility - you can choose to ride off just the snaffle rein or you can choose to shorten the curb rein and engage the curb if the situation requires. You can even knot the curb rein and leave it lying on the horse's neck as sort of an emergency brake.

The mullen mouth, rubber pelham is the least severe, then the rubber and metal broken mouth pelhams, the thinner metal being more severe than the thicker, and then those with a port.

Here's a diagram that shows how the reins should be held/ridden:

maura is offline  
post #3 of 12 Old 09-05-2011, 08:34 AM
Super Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Posts: 16,405
• Horses: 0
You say you are doing dressage? Pelhams are not legal for dressage....just FYI.

If you really need a pelham, and few people really do, Please go for a straight mouth, not a broken mouth. Broken mouthed curbs are unusually harsh by combining the curb effect with the "nutcracker" effect of the broken mouthpiece. I like mullen mouth or one with a very low port. I also like very short "shanks".

I like this one;

Mullen Mouth Tom Thumb Pelham Bit < Pelham Bits|Dover Saddlery .

and this one;

Comfort Mouth Short Shank Pelham Bit < Pelham Bits < Horse Tack|Dover Saddlery.

I avoid rubber mouthed bits as they are often too thick to be comfortable in many horse's mouths.

If, for some reason, your trainer insists on a broken mouthed pelham (try to talk them out of it, if you can) go with a three piece mouthpiece like this one;

Mikmar Pelham Bit with Ergm Lozenge < Pelham Bits|Dover Saddlery .
Allison Finch is offline  
post #4 of 12 Old 09-05-2011, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 646
• Horses: 0
I think it's a good bit, when it's really needed. I'll go to a pelham before I go to a elevator, and then kimberwicke is my very last choice.

Mouthpiece shape, depends on the horse though. I try to stay away from single joints, especially on a leverage bit with more action than a snaffle, but it's what some horses prefer.

Aside from what AF posted, Mylers are more expensive, but I fell seriously head over heels in love over this bit-Toklat - Horse Tack - Saddle Pads - Horse Riding Apparel - Myler Bits - Bits - Pelham

I really almost bought it just to add to the tack collection. The action of it was so much nicer to the mouth, and I felt it would be really effective in the correct moment, compared to a mullen or single joint. The picture doesn't do it much justice, but when your holding it in your hands, and really studying the action of it, and comparing it to a single joint, I naturally loved the Myler mouthpiece better.

Pelhams aren't dressage legal though. Keep that in mind. It's fine for schooling for temporary training purposes, but really for dressage, you want them working smoothly in a simple snaffle.

"You're just as sane as I am."~Luna Lovegood.
DejaVu is offline  
post #5 of 12 Old 09-05-2011, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 8,450
• Horses: 1
Allison - Now I feel like an idiot xD I never really thought about it, I assumed. We were moving up in dressage, doing some saddleseat just for fun, and there's a couple other classes.

Thanks guys, all your help is appreciated.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
SorrelHorse is offline  
post #6 of 12 Old 09-07-2011, 12:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 8,450
• Horses: 1
Adding on, I really do love that Myler bit. I love most of what Myler makes, I got a snaffle that I'll be starting all my colt in and a couple barrel bits/shank bits that my horses have been SO quiet and controlled in. They're absolutely wonderful, but being the western showgirl I have zero experience with english bits above a snaffle.

I think I'm going to ride him in a couple bits of my trainers first. She has several differant pelhams, so we'll see. Apparantly the bit I had been showing him isn't legal for some of the classes I want to show in....But that was also sai by the lady who is only right about 75% of the time, so I'm going to do more research.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
SorrelHorse is offline  
post #7 of 12 Old 09-07-2011, 12:35 AM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: WA
Posts: 1,400
• Horses: 3

Page 9 has a list and description of legal (show) dressage bits :)

That doesn't mean you can't school in a pelham however.. hope that helps a little!
Dressage10135 is offline  
post #8 of 12 Old 09-07-2011, 01:28 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Saskatchewan
Posts: 13,224
• Horses: 2
I have the Myler Pelham and I love it, I bought it to use for Mr G when we are out and about, just to give me a little more stopping power, and I also have used it with Bert. Bert LOVES that bit, even just using the snaffle rein she is really light and responsive.

I really would like a full cheek Myler for her.
Golden Horse is offline  
post #9 of 12 Old 09-07-2011, 03:29 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,009
• Horses: 1
...I was about to suggest the low port comfort barrel pelham, bu I see I was beaten to it.

Seriously though. Buy that bit (then gift it to me! lol). will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. ... Explore. Dream. Discover.”
–Mark Twain
aspin231 is offline  
post #10 of 12 Old 09-07-2011, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
Posts: 17,193
• Horses: 0
I'm gong to jump in here. The Pelham has a fairly straight mouthpiece with a gentle curve to it. If this gal is beginning dressage a pelham is fine. As she and the horse advance the time will come when she will go into a double bridle. The other bits are not true Pelhams. I strongly recommend you buy good quality, not chrome plated but but a nickle alloy or stainless. The style of the Tom Thumb Pelham bit is what you need but I'd go with 5" cheeks, not the 4. PS, at 15 I was using a double bridle. I didn't know there were age limits. Lol.
Saddlebag is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome