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- - Pelham vs Elevator Bit? Or none? (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-training/pelham-vs-elevator-bit-none-102723/)
Pelham vs Elevator Bit? Or none?
My mare has gotten into a horrible habit. Everytime I ask for the canter she throws her head up into the sky and takes off. I cant slow her down because she avoids the bit. I have tried doing cirlcles but it pisses her off more. And yes I use my seat but she just ignores my aids and runs. I talked to a trainer and she recommended a stronger bit like a pelham or elevator. And no she doesnt need her teeth done. What should I do? Should I use the stronger bit and which one? Or do you have any ideas to help?
When and how did she start this habit? What triggered it? Did she used to be fine about picking up the canter?
I know this mare. Used to be perfect, great pleasure pony. Easy as pie to ride and you could ride on fairly loose reins. Out of nowhere she started acting like this. Pain/discomfort/sickness all ruled out completely. She gets very violent about it and already has a 'marish' attitude so when she gets mad, she gets pissed.
"Out of nowhere."
So no event precipitated it, no one else was riding her, and she's had a completely thorough physical exam, including dental stuff and reproductive tract issues? How does she act for an expert trainer?
Well if all health/pain issues have been ruled out, a stronger bit isn't going to be your answer...especially an elevator bit. They are meant to elevate the horse's front end, which is what she is doing when she throws her head in the air.
If it truly is 'mareish' behaviour, I'm sorry to say that for me it would either be pain, or rider error.
How does she lunge? If she's done this for a while, she'll probably do it on the lunge first too. I'd suggest lunging in gummi reins, so she has nothing to pull against except herself, after a couple of sessions, side reins. If its a learnt behaviour she will have to learn that a) she can't take the piss and throw her head up or b) fighting doesn't help. That way you aren't in the saddle. When she start messing round, send her forward forward forward. Let her run, let her run. If she wants to knacker herself out, let her, when she tries to break in to trot, send her forward again. She isn't going to relax straight in to an outline, but as soon as she releases that pressure in her neck, allow her to trot, or slow the canter down.
Please don't fix her head with side reins though, leave enough room to tighten them up, and don't ride in them. if she goes up she can't use her front to balance herself, and may tip.
Don't use a stronger bit, look at buying a thinner version of what you've got in her. If she's having problems and you change to this bit, three weeks time you'll have to change again. Find out why she's doing it. If she goes under saddle, get a jesus handle, and let her get it out of her system, knot your reins, and make sure they're secure, don't pull, and let her run as much as she likes providing she doens't try and buck you off, just hang on,she'll realise fighting is futile if she has nothing to fight against.
Have you tried putting a martingale on her?
ErikaLynn, I'm a fan of martingales, but in this case, if you have it too long it won't make a difference, and if the mare is being mareish, she needs to realise tossing her head up in the air won't make any difference, and the martingale will give resistance...
I don't really understand what you're saying. You should adjust the martingale so it's not too loose.
But if you use a martingale, a standing martingale, then the horse wont be able to throw her head up and avoid the bit. Once the horses head goes in the air then most mouth contact is lost which makes the horse some what out of control.
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