May 24, 2022

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Is a Pelham bit harsh?

6 min read

Asked by: Cathy Wallace

Pelham bits are sometimes used by hunters, jumpers, and eventers, but they are not allowed in dressage. Some view them as harsh bits, given the curb bit action that they use. However, when used correctly and with double reins, they can be very humane.

What is a Pelham bit good for?

Uses. The pelham bit is often used for schooling and general riding, providing the rider is knowledgeable about using a curb bit and riding with double reins. An English Pelham bit somewhat mimics the action of the bridoon (small snaffle bit) and weymouth (curb) bit combination used on a ‘double bridle.

Is Pelham a strong bit?

The Pelham is one of those “go-to” bits when a rider finds themselves with a bit of a brakes issue. It’s very common, very widely used from ponies to big showjumpers and everything in between. It is a very effective bit, when fitted and used appropriately, and it can certainly help with brakes.

Can you use a Pelham bit with one rein?

A Pelham bit with a single rein is often used on children’s ponies as it gives the rider better control. Children have small hands and cannot cope with two reins in each hand. As a snaffle bit is very mild, it is easy for a strong pony to pull the reins out of the child’s hands.

What is the least harsh bit for a horse?


One of the most common types of snaffle bit is the eggbutt, which is considered to be the gentlest type of snaffle bit because it doesn’t pinch the corners of the horse’s mouth. It has an egg-shaped connection between the mouthpiece and the bit-ring.

What is the action of a Pelham bit?

A pelham works on several parts of a horse’s head, depending on which rein is applied. The mouthpiece acts when either the snaffle or curb rein is applied and puts pressure on the bars, tongue, and lips of the horse.

What’s the best bit for a strong horse?

Gag bits. Gag bits act on the poll, the tongue and the corners of the mouth. Unlike 3-ring bits and Pelhams, this type of bit is very well suited for horses that lean on the bit or pull downwards.

What is the softest bit to use on a horse?

snaffle bits

The softest bits are generally snaffle bits made of rubber. Rubber offers a smooth fit on the bars of the horse’s mouth, while the snaffle’s rings fit softly in the corners of the horse’s mouth without pinching.

What bit is slightly stronger than a snaffle?

The Bevel provides more brake-power so is ideal for those horse’s needing something slightly stronger than a snaffle. This is a great bit for a novice horse at a competition! A great Bevel bit to choose is the Shires Bevel Bit with Jointed Mouth RRP £14.99.

What is the most common horse bit?

Standard bits are 5 inches wide and are the most common. Pony bits are generally 4 1/2 inches wide, and bits that are designed for Arabians and other light-boned, refined horses are 4 3/4 inches wide.

What makes a horse bit harsh?

Harsh Horse Bits

They all deliver greater pressure to the horse’s mouth and give the rider more leverage in the reins. Twisted bits tend to put more pressure on the tongue and sides of the horse’s mouth, while Port bits, especially ones with tall, narrow ports, place pressure on the horse’s palate.

Are straight bar bits harsh?

A straight bar is quite an unforgiving, if simple, bit. Tongue, bar and lip pressure. Those with fleshy tongus may find a straight bar a bit much, and may prefer either a Cambridge (ported) mouthpiece or a mullen (curved) mouthpiece.

What bit to use on a green horse?

A mouthpiece around 16mm is a great place to start, and 14mm is the thinnest permitted for young horse dressage classes- and most trainers would not use anything thinner than this on a green horse.

How do you soften a horse with a hard mouth?

“Start off at a standstill, and pull out gently, not back, on one rein until the horse bends his neck around without pulling or bracing against the hand. Keep the hand pressure gentle but steady, and as soon as the horse gives to the pressure—even the tiniest little bit—reward him by releasing the rein.

Is a French link snaffle harsh?

Bell says the French link is “old technology”, but it is not a harsh or severe bit at all, and “it certainly does not create any excess pressure on your horse’s tongue.” In a video released on Thursday, Bell shows the differences between the French link and control plate bits.

Is a cherry roller bit severe?

Loose Ring Cherry Roller Snaffle features: Thick mouthpiece with stainless steel rollers in the bars, help to prevent the horse from taking hold of the bit. Bit strength: Moderately strong.

What is a Waterford bit?

It is a flexible bit that moulds round the horse’s mouth, creating an even pressure. It is moveable in all directions and horses find it difficult to lean or take hold of it, giving the rider good levels of control.

What does a lozenge bit do?

How it works. This bit acts mainly on the bars of the mouth and the lips. Dependent on the mouth conformation the lozenge reduces the nutcracker action and takes unwanted pressures off the edges of the tongue as well as reducing the pressure on the palate.

Why is a snaffle bit used?

A snaffle bit is a common type of horse bit that is gentle on the horse’s mouth. Comprised of either a single bar or two to three jointed pieces between large rings on either side, snaffle bits make it easy for riders to communicate with their horse and are commonly used to train young horses and beginner riders.

Are snaffle bits cruel?

Therefore, even if the rider is extremely gentle, these bits cause a lot of pain. Moreover, the design of these bits is very uncomfortable for the horse. Even the slightest carelessness from the rider can cause severe pain for the horse. It is an extremely cruel tool if it comes into the hands of an unskilled user.

Are O ring snaffle bits harsh?

Introduction to Snaffle Bits

The Snaffle configuration by itself is a mild bit and one of the most universally used mouthpieces. It can be thick and mild on the bars and tongue or more severe if it has a thin twisted wire mouthpiece.

Is a twisted snaffle bit harsh?

The single twist wire snaffle is a very severe bit for two reasons. Firstly, the thinner a mouthpiece is, the more severe it is. So, by definition this wire snaffle is very severe. Secondly, the fact that the wire is twisted makes it strong across the bars and tongue of the horse’s mouth.

What is a Tom Thumb bit?

The Tom Thumb Bit – A Bit for the Well-Trained Western Horse

The mouthpiece of the Tom Thumb bit is like other snaffles, available in single or double-jointed styles. The Tom Thumb snaffle bit starts as a regular snaffle, applying direct pressure to the mouth, lips and to the bars of the horse’s mouth.

Are Mullen mouth bits harsh?

Without the nutcracker action of a jointed bit, the mullen mouth and straight-bar are considered milder and encourage the horse to raise his poll.

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