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roxxy 01-16-2013 11:40 AM

Pelham Bits?
 
I currently ride my horse in a hanging cheek/baucher french link, he goes really nice in walk and trot and hold himself nice and balanced (not all the time as he's a bit undermuscled!) But when I ask him to canter he just rushes and I cannot hold him! Bear in mind in walk and trot i have to hardly touch him. He gets really strong and fast I can't even attempt to do anything except hang on for dear life! On the lunge he is on the forehand still a bit and at first he may go a little bit too speedy but will soon go steady.
I'm not sure if he is like this due to a past loaner rushing him and just going full gallop on hacks and bombing him round the arena over jumps and letting him canter whenever he wanted! (which was against my rules as he still needed to learn his balance and when I found out the loan ended!) So I'm not sure if he goes fast as he thinks this is whats is 'expected' or what.
I have been reading that Pelham bits can be good for balance etc..
As i don't really want a 'stronger' bit as he is good in walk and trot.. but just a bit more control in canter to say.. 'hang on no we're not going to rush'
So do you think a Pelham would be a good idea just to have that bit more control in canter? As it would be like a hanging cheek on the top rein? But then the bottom would aid in canter as an extra aid?
Thanks

boots 01-16-2013 05:41 PM

I don't have a problem with using a pelham to school a strong horse. It's not inherently harsh. The curb action for checking can be beneficial.

Sometimes horses rush due to muscle weakness/imbalance. Sometimes it's personality. Sometimes it's habit.

I'd give the pelham a try for a couple weeks and see if you are getting the results you're looking for. Good luck.

Kayty 01-16-2013 10:41 PM

I don't think your horse needs a stronger bit.
I think YOU need to develop a correct seat that can hold your horse together in canter. Yanking on a horse's mouth won't help you at all.

boots 01-16-2013 10:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayty (Post 1847986)
I don't think your horse needs a stronger bit.
I think YOU need to develop a correct seat that can hold your horse together in canter. Yanking on a horse's mouth won't help you at all.

Wow. Who said anything about "yanking on a horse's mouth?

Eolith 01-16-2013 11:22 PM

I will say from personal experience that my mare and I have also been working on organizing and controlling the canter. We have improved greatly, and it didn't involve upping the ante with the bit. I found that if anything, I was holding her rein too tight. She would sometimes tend to over flex and would thus wind up travelling primarily on her forehand which in turn led to the canter being out of control.

So, I let out a little extra slack on the reins. When she acted as though she was going to over flex, dive down, or take off, I gave her a check through the reins and a half halt through my seat. Once she was a little more gathered, I would give her a bump with the leg to encourage her to drive from the hind a bit more.

While it took some time, her canter has now become quite pleasant to ride... and I'm not having to be in her mouth too much.

Kayty 01-17-2013 01:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by boots (Post 1848004)
Wow. Who said anything about "yanking on a horse's mouth?

Yanking was probably the wrong word. But I don't believe bitting the horse up is the solution here. From the OP's description, it sounds like a typical green horse that is unbalanced in canter, with a rider that is not engaging their seat to dictate the speed, and is instead relying on the bit to do the job of the seat.

boots 01-17-2013 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kayty (Post 1848178)
Yanking was probably the wrong word. But I don't believe bitting the horse up is the solution here. From the OP's description, it sounds like a typical green horse that is unbalanced in canter, with a rider that is not engaging their seat to dictate the speed, and is instead relying on the bit to do the job of the seat.


Could be, but I'm not going to assume that.

roxxy 01-17-2013 09:14 AM

I do NOT intend on using a bit to yank nor just rely on it. I use my seat, legs and use fingers to control him. I have tried to use My seat but it is virtually impossible to even sit to never mind trying to use it as you get dragged out of it when he grabs the bit and pulls his head to the floor or straight out due to lack of balance. I need to get him steadier before My leg or seat aids can be used effectively. i have tried giving him rein but this resorts in him practically tripping over himself. I don't want the pelham to rely on its as you seem to be implying more of an extra aid if needed to help him relax as i heard they help relax the jaw which Then relaxes the rest...
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roxxy 01-17-2013 09:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eolith (Post 1848023)
I will say from personal experience that my mare and I have also been working on organizing and controlling the canter. We have improved greatly, and it didn't involve upping the ante with the bit. I found that if anything, I was holding her rein too tight. She would sometimes tend to over flex and would thus wind up travelling primarily on her forehand which in turn led to the canter being out of control.

So, I let out a little extra slack on the reins. When she acted as though she was going to over flex, dive down, or take off, I gave her a check through the reins and a half halt through my seat. Once she was a little more gathered, I would give her a bump with the leg to encourage her to drive from the hind a bit more.

While it took some time, her canter has now become quite pleasant to ride... and I'm not having to be in her mouth too much.

I have tried this with him but hasn't worked unfortunately. I'm sticking to just walk/trot work and transitions and circles at the minute to build up his balance and strength also to help with his flexibility and sticking to canter on the lunge to help with balance. I have the odd canter under saddle but it's just hard to use my seat with him pulling me out of it and he drops his shoulder to despite me trying to use my legs to guide him! But yes i tried giving him his head more and using seat, etc but this just resulted in him going faster and even more unbalanced.. i hoped itd help him learn to get his balance by himself but nope! It worked with my other horse she now has a lovely smooth steady canter lovely and balanced..! took time but she got there but this one he is harder to work with balance wise.

Kayty 01-17-2013 05:44 PM

Are you cantering him on a circle, or straight lines?
Try working him on a 20m circle, leg yield in off your outside leg in trot down to an 8-10m circle, then leg yield back out. As you get to about 15-18m, ask for canter but continue to ask for leg yield. Only canter until you get back to a 20m circle, then back to trot and regain suppleness and rhythm before asking for canter again.

How about taking him out on a trail/wide flat field? Can you get off his back, go two point, keep your hands on his wither and just let him canter forwards until he finds his own feet.


It really does sound like he is just unbalanced, and putting more bit in his mouth isn't going to fix that. It might temporarily give you more leverage to pull him up, but it won't take long for him to go back to what he was. I would strongly advise to NOT go to a harsher bit at this stage. This is just a baby problem, if you start bitting up now, you'll run into harder problems later, and then where do you turn? Bit up again?
Stick with riding balancing exercises, not gripping onto him (if you're struggling to sit, you're going to be slamming into his back which will encourage him to run more. Try riding in two point for a while to save his back and yours) and simply letting him find his feet. Keep riding forward, never backwards. As soon as you start trying to pull backwards without putting leg on, you're going to throw him straight onto his front legs, which will encourage him to run on even more as he will be MORE unbalanced.


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