Questions & Answers

25th March 2019

Please help I don’t want to give up on what has been a fabulous partnership

I’m an experienced rider, I own three horses and show occasionally for other people, but I currently have a major problem with my own beloved show cob who is shown both under saddle and workers. He is just to say manageable in the show ring but when it comes to workers or even fast fun work at home, he is extremely strong and his usual trick is to overbend, set himself and go, once he has tucked his chin in I have lost him.

I should mention he is 16 years of age, I have owned him for 7 years, he fully understands the aids and I am confident that there is absolutely no underlying physical reason for this behaviour. I have tried doubles with a high port, Waterford Pelhams, Hanoverian Pelhams , I have also tried Gags for control even though I know they are not acceptable for the show ring, all to no avail. Unfortunately if I cannot obtain more control the situation is now so dangerous I will sadly have to reconsider our future together or seriously curtail our activities.

Heather from Neue Schule answers:

We have taken everything on board and under these circumstances we would recommend the Swales Pelham, also known as the three in one. This piece of kit is often controversial owing to the fact that in many instances it is misused. You have pointed out that once your horse is over bent you have ‘lost him’.

The Swales is the only Pelham to remove poll pressure, thus greatly reducing the tendency to over bend. This clever design increases the curb action which is brilliant in combating strong, over enthusiastic or rude horses. It is also beneficial for horses with a tendency to lean, pull and snatch down. Control and outline is usually established with a much softer rein aid, therefore saving the mouth and any tendency to over bend is generally eradicated.

The Swales Pelham is actually a very popular choice in the show ring as opposed to more traditional pelhams which employ the poll, as many cobs will over bend when poll pressure is introduced. This particular Swales incorporates the ergonomically designed ‘Slimma’ mouth piece, This bit is often the key for horses such as yours who fully understand the aids given by an experienced rider such as yourself with sympathetic hands. However we would like to emphasise that this bit is not recommended for the green horse or novice rider.

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