View Full Version : Bit Advice for Hunting
6th Nov 2008, 10:20 AM
Went hunting yesterday for the first time in 20 years on Tilly my forward cobx mare.
All was fine had great fun accept had no brakes:eek:. As it turned out it was very stop and start with quite a bit of roadwork but basically I was relying on people in front of me slowing down and stopping in order to control Tilly which I am sure you will agree is not wise :rolleyes:. Before you ask no response to half halts etc which from memory can usually be the case when hunting;).
I took her out in her everyday french link eggbutt snaffle with flash and the addition of a running martingale but I know for safety and in open field situations I need something different. I have just found an advert for a bit bank nearby - could I please have some suggestions.
PLEASE DO NOT TURN THIS INTO ANOTHER RIGHTS AND WRONGS OF HUNTING DEBATE :cool:.
6th Nov 2008, 11:01 AM
If she likes the bit you currently ride in I would try and keep it similar to that. Maybe a hanging cheek snaffle (similar to the eggbutt) with the french link?
Or something like a ported mouth Kimblewick, then you can add a curb if needed.
6th Nov 2008, 11:12 AM
Mrs P has worn a Cheltenham gag with a French link mouthpiece when she's been out with the bloodhounds. She gets very strong, puts her head down very low & hoons off, the gag action brings her head up and gives me some chance of stopping her! I ride with two reins so when she is being good I let the gag rein go slack & use the snaffle rein only, then the bit acts as a french link snaffle which is her normal bit. So far this seems to be working pretty well :)
6th Nov 2008, 11:36 AM
A pelham with roundings seems to be a popular choice, which is what I used the first time we went out, but not the second, and wished I had :D Not so good if you have a horse that will drop behind the contact though. Like you say there's no problem ultimately stopping when everyone else does, but having some say about what happens in between is sensible :D
6th Nov 2008, 12:14 PM
I bought a globe pelham (a 1 rein bit) for fast exciting stuff - but depends what sort of mouthpiece your horse likes.
I school in a french link hanging cheek and normal hack in a ported kimblewick wih no curb chain. Molly likes a ported mouthpeice but I am trying to school in dressage legal bits in case we get as far as entering a test one day :p
I need more brakes though for sponsored rides and the like as she gets very excited with the atmosphere and galloping and just tanks off - I had to use other horses as a buffer which is not safe - half halts work in normal environment but not when her blood is up ;)
6th Nov 2008, 12:34 PM
Many thanks for the replies. acw know what you mean about using other horses as buffers was just hoping I would not get past them and leave everyone behind;)!
Always thought of pelhams as 2 rein option and did not fancy that out hunting. What are your thoughts on roundings and having continual stronger contact? I suppose as long as she responds I should be ok - don't want to damage her mouth but for both our sakes we need some control.
A waterford has been suggested. I am totally in the dark having mostly used snaffles and roller so any opinions gratefully received :D.
6th Nov 2008, 12:42 PM
If you end up needing to keep a contact using a pelham, the extra pressure won't be on her mouth (which will just have an unjointed mouth of some kind) but on the poll and chin groove. If you're concerned try using an elastic curb rather than a metal chain, apart from that I don't think it causes any problems, and like you say you can simply give when they stop pulling. Most people ride with some contact on the curb anyway when using two reins, so there's not that much difference and the curb can't max out in the same way because of the roundings.
6th Nov 2008, 12:42 PM
I went for the globe pelham on recommendation from her old owner - and like the fact it is only designed for 1 rein as I haven't mastered using two yet, especially when jumping :o
I don't imagine that a normal pelham with roundings would do any harm for occasional use - you'd just have to to try it and see :)
6th Nov 2008, 01:53 PM
Just a word of caution on pelhams - they are not a great option for a horse that sticks it's head down & runs onto its forehand, because they can encourage more of the same. For a horse that chucks it's head in the air they can work really well though :)
6th Nov 2008, 02:57 PM
Thanks Yann I appreciate the explanation.
IM Tilly is a stick her head in the air type of girl so pelham may suit her.
6th Nov 2008, 02:59 PM
Rio is too, it works well with her.
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