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.
The Mullen Mouthpiece
The Mullen mouth is a very mild mouthpiece; it is an unvarying mouthpiece, which means the pressure on the mouth doesn’t change very much, as it is a fixed mouthpiece. The bit puts pressure on the tongue and lips (corner of the mouth), it does use slight pressure on the bars depending on the size of your horses tongue. This bit is very useful for those horses who have a very soft mouth and don’t like complicated mouthpieces, it may also be useful for horses who back off the contact and need that extra bit of confidence in the bit.
This mouthpiece would not be suitable if your horse leans on the bit or if they tend to take hold of the bit, also may not be suitable for the breeds with larger tongues as they may find this uncomfortable. An alternative for the horses with larger tongues may be the Cambridge (ported) mouth bits, which have that little extra tongue room or a double-jointed bit, which follows the curvature of the tongue.