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luv my horse hinke 03-19-2013 11:59 AM

SM Pelham Bit?????
My mare is pretty good in a regular pelham, but she prances and doesnt like to walk... We have that down pretty good though. SO I wanted to know what you guys think of this bit. Have you used it before? did it work? We have the bit already idk why we got it though. lol

Saddlebag 03-21-2013 10:45 AM

Your saddle may be pinching her. Have you tried her bareback? If she does this when bareback, then put her in a snaffle and as soon as you feel her body tighten immediately turn her so as to reverse direction. It works best along a fence. Keep about 6' off the rail and turn toward the rail. She'll stop but keep turning her and walk, again about 6' away. Continue to turn her toward the rail each time until she figures out that by wanting to prance she's working a lot harder. The tight turns gets her back end under her and she'll be collected, at least for a few strides. Be sure to allow her to walk straight until she tightens, then immediately turn her back.

luv my horse hinke 03-25-2013 05:07 PM

No, its not her saddle shes had a lot of them tried on. But the one we use was professionally fitted.

luv my horse hinke 03-25-2013 05:09 PM

Thanks though

Viranh 05-11-2013 02:54 PM

That bit looks awful, honestly. Usually when a horse is getting too strong for a rider, the answer is NOT a stronger bit, it is more/better training for BOTH the horse and rider. I would put her back in a snaffle and work it out in the arena. Are you working with a trainer? That might be a good idea for a while. If you are unable to ride her in a snaffle in an enclosed space, then find someone who can help you. Please do not make another hard-mouthed horse. :(

bsms 05-11-2013 07:24 PM

You can try it with her while walking beside her on the ground and simulating rein cues to get an idea of how she will react.

My mare has always been prancey with snaffles. What seems to be working with her is A) let her prance sometimes, and B) switching her to a curb bit. When she just has extra energy, I let her prance away. If it gets too annoying, or if she is doing "I'm nervous" prancing, then I bring her to a stop. And this is part of her ongoing "Nothing is better than stopping" practice - using stops as rewards, and insisting on perfect stops every time.

When nervous-scared with a snaffle, she'll fight and never learn that it is OK to relax. With the curb, she is learning to stand still...and then when nothing bad happens, she starts to learn that she didn't need to be nervous to begin with.

My 3 horses have different bits. Our gelding is a snaffle kind of guy, but my mare is calmer with the curb. Mia liked a Waterborn better than a normal snaffle, although some folks say that is harsher. She also prefers one joint snaffles to french links.

Since you already have the bit, why not try her out with it on the ground and see how she reacts? If she doesn't respond well, ditch it. BTW - I don't show, compete in anything, have vast experience or train anyone in anything, so take my comments with a big steaming cup of FWIW!

VelvetsAB 05-11-2013 08:20 PM

Is there a picture? I googled it, and although had some pictures come up, I wasn't sure which one was the right one you were talking about.

If the OP rides English and competes, a western curb bit would be inappropriate to try... Besides, wouldn't a Pelham and a curb be "somewhat" similar? Both with a leverage type action? (minus the Pelham having a snaffle and curb rein...)

OP, what about going to a straight mouth Pelham? It could just be that she doesn't like the breaking of the regular jointed Pelham.

bsms 05-11-2013 09:12 PM


Originally Posted by VelvetsAB (Post 2487753)
...If the OP rides English and competes, a western curb bit would be inappropriate to try... Besides, wouldn't a Pelham and a curb be "somewhat" similar? Both with a leverage type action? (minus the Pelham having a snaffle and curb rein...)...

Don't know if the OP competes. She may ride English, or not. I considered buying a pelham bit for Mia, to use with a western or Aussie saddle. I've used various snaffles, a kimberwick & a waterford with Mia while riding western. Just looking at them, I'd guess a curb might have a bit more leverage and poll pressure. In any case, my main point was that changing bits can make it possible to do certain types of training, and that a 'stronger bit' can be a training device to get a horse's training to a point where it can accept a 'milder' bit.

I was also trying to make the point that what a horse likes or responds to can be different with each horse, so if you have a bit and want to try it, why not? Just start from the ground so that if the horse freaks, you are safer.

Viranh 05-11-2013 10:12 PM

I agree that sometimes a strong bit can be a good training aid, in the hands of an experienced rider or trainer. However, many riders who are over mounted or inexperienced are quick to go to a stronger bit when they have trouble controlling the horse, which often makes the problem worse, and at best makes a hard mouthed horse. I think a stronger bit as the default to a situation like this is bad. Usually what is needed is training, maybe a small correction in the way a person rides, or a change in the way some piece of tack fits. The pictures I saw of the SM Pelham make it look like an enormous chunk of metal in the horse's mouth (kind of like some mikmar bits), and I just can't imagine that being a solution.
Maybe the horse is uncomfortable in the current bit? Is she current on her dental work? Does the bit fit her mouth properly? Is there anything in the bridle that could pinch?
I've also had some luck with stopping and resting a nervous horse when she is prancing, as bsms suggested. Worked wonders for a high strung Peruvian Paso I was riding.

Saddlebag 05-12-2013 08:17 AM

The turnbacks on the rail work. It teaches the horse to maintain the pace you ask for or it gets to work hard.

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