Flexi Bits – Jointed Pelham
The Pelham bit is often used for horses that prove to strong in a snaffle, the Pelham is a very popular bit. It uses a variety of pressures, which all in all seem to work together to prove a very useful bit. Basically the Pelham is an incorporation of the Weymouth and bradoon, and should theoretically be used with 2 reins, the first rein is attached to the snaffle rein, and the second rein attached to the ring at the bottom of the shank, when the first rein is used the Pelham acts like a hanging cheek snaffle, putting slight pressure on the poll and carious pressures in the mouth depending on the mouthpiece, when the second rein is brought into play, this increases the leverage and lip pressure, and also the curb chain comes into play, the greater the distance between the cheek slot and the mouthpiece the greater the poll pressure, the greater the length of shank the greater the amount of leverage. The curb chain should be fitted so that the curb chain tightens when the second rein is brought into play, but there must be a bit of give so not to tighten up straight away.
The Pelham can also be used with Pelham roundings for the young or the novice, as dealing with 2 reins may prove too much of a handful but the actions of Pelham become less differential. The Pelham should though be used with 2 reins for showing. For jumping it may prove useful to use a elastic curb chain as some horses don’t like jumping in a curb as when the horse jumps it needs to stretch and if the reins are not ‘given’ in time it will cause the curb to tighten and maybe jolt in the curb groove, which the horse is obviously not going to like.
Single Jointed Bits
The single joint puts pressure on the sides of the tongue, on the lips and on the bars due to the nutcracker. The single jointed bits also may have a head raising action so would be less suitable for your horse if they ride with a high head carriage or above the bit. Also breeds such as Irish Draughts, may have particularly large tongues, therefore having less room in the mouth for a single jointed bit as this pushes the bit nearer the roof of the mouth, also Arabs and alike may have a low palate, both of these examples may not benefit from the single jointed bits as the nutcracker action may cause brushing of the roof of the mouth.