Pelham in Hunters? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 26 Old 07-26-2012, 02:25 PM
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Now, I'm not a US Hunter rider, but in under saddle hunter classes in the UK it's often seen as a mark of having a more mature-mouthed horse if it goes well in a pelham or double bridle. A better horse in a snaffle will win, but for the tie-breaker the pelham gets it. Not that all horses in pelhams are better - too many people shove pelhams on to try and force an outline in the show rings here (not accusing you of that, just a point). But I can't see them marking you down for it if it's a legal bit, as horses are supposed to be further in their training to properly accept a pelham or double bridle.
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post #22 of 26 Old 07-26-2012, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by minstrel View Post
Now, I'm not a US Hunter rider, but in under saddle hunter classes in the UK it's often seen as a mark of having a more mature-mouthed horse if it goes well in a pelham or double bridle. A better horse in a snaffle will win, but for the tie-breaker the pelham gets it. Not that all horses in pelhams are better - too many people shove pelhams on to try and force an outline in the show rings here (not accusing you of that, just a point). But I can't see them marking you down for it if it's a legal bit, as horses are supposed to be further in their training to properly accept a pelham or double bridle.
A pelham and a double bridle are very different. Generally with hunters people will try and use a snaffle and if that's not enough bit then they will switch to a pelham for the extra leverage. The reason why some people might think that a pelham will be a tie breaker is that the judge is looking for the horse that looks like the nice easy ride that will float along down the lines with minimal effort and they might get the idea that the horse is hard to ride if it goes in a pelham. But I agree with what KayKat is saying. It's better to have a really nice trip in a pelham then a mediocre trip in a snaffle. If your horse goes better in it, why not? But if your trainer thinks its best to put her in a D ring I would try schooling her in the pelham to get her tuned up and switching right before. Altough watching the video it didn't look like most of those horses were going in a great frame anyways (I see a lot of head tossing, inverted necks, nose poking, etc) so I wouldn't stress about it either way, I think Sandie will be fine. PS, I think I say this every chance I get but she is ADORABLE and I love her. ;)
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post #23 of 26 Old 07-26-2012, 03:45 PM
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Another thought, have you tried her in a Dr Bristol? It's got a little more then a snaffle but can easily be found in a D ring!
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post #24 of 26 Old 07-26-2012, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by upnover View Post
A pelham and a double bridle are very different. Generally with hunters people will try and use a snaffle and if that's not enough bit then they will switch to a pelham for the extra leverage. The reason why some people might think that a pelham will be a tie breaker is that the judge is looking for the horse that looks like the nice easy ride that will float along down the lines with minimal effort and they might get the idea that the horse is hard to ride if it goes in a pelham. But I agree with what KayKat is saying. It's better to have a really nice trip in a pelham then a mediocre trip in a snaffle. If your horse goes better in it, why not? But if your trainer thinks its best to put her in a D ring I would try schooling her in the pelham to get her tuned up and switching right before. Altough watching the video it didn't look like most of those horses were going in a great frame anyways (I see a lot of head tossing, inverted necks, nose poking, etc) so I wouldn't stress about it either way, I think Sandie will be fine. PS, I think I say this every chance I get but she is ADORABLE and I love her. ;)
The point of a pelham is that it's a less sophisticated double bridle - it doesn't have two separate bits, so you don't separate the action as much, but it is supposed to ride like the combination of a snaffle and curb. It also has less disastrous results if used improperly, and is less metal in a horse's mouth - very useful as a halfway stage between a snaffle and double bridle. There are always some horses who work great in a double but need the curb action separated so never pick up the contact properly in a pelham (like my horse), and there are some who find the double simply too much metal in the mouth, but in general the traditional showing progression of bits is from snaffle to pelham to double bridle in terms of training.

When we show hunters here, accepting the pelham or a double bridle (both can be used in the show ring, but you see more pelhams than doubles) is a sign of having a mature mouth. If the horse looks like it's carting round and needs the leverage to stop, then obviously it won't place as well as a good horse in a snaffle, but a horse working well, properly accepting contact and working in an outline in a pelham is going to beat an equally good horse in a snaffle here as it's just a sign of having reached the next level of training. Traditionally, hunters were ridden 'on the curb', and whilst that isn't the case now, a pelham or double is still the correct way to bit hunters here for showing, unless they need a snaffle as they haven't reached the point of accepting a pelham or double.

That's here though, and I know things are pretty different here. I can see why needing a leverage bit to control your horse would be frowned on, but I struggle to understand why you would be marked down if your horse went nicely in a pelham. Crazy old showing, huh?
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post #25 of 26 Old 07-26-2012, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah from what I keep hearing it all depends on the judge. Some see a Pelham as a question mark as to how the horse behaves since it is a stronger bit so as much as possible I guess you should try to go in the softest bit possible to show that your horse is calm well trained and easily controlled.

I don't think Pelhams are all that strong especially when compared to some other bits but just going by the reasoning I was given.

I am glad that at least my trainer thinks that the Pelham will be a good training tool in between shows however
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post #26 of 26 Old 07-26-2012, 10:05 PM
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If you're most comfortable riding in the pelham, go with the pelham. The point is for you and your horse to have the best ride you can have. Besides, if you horse carries herself wrongly in a snaffle, she'll be sore and using the wrong muscles, throwing away all of the hard work you put into proper muscling.

Let's put it this way: If I were to slap my horse into a dee ring instead of his pelham, his nose would be dragging on the ground and he'd be strung out and heavy. Long story short, he was trained to peanut roll before I got him.

Have fun at your show!

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Vlogging about Midwest trail riding here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_u...tIjwnOxjKzOfjA
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