What is the difference between using a Pelham or a set of Double bits?
We are constantly giving rider’s advice on this subject either when sourcing a double set or Pelham for the first time or alternatively from riders who are experiencing difficulties in their current bits.
There are pros and cons to be considered:
The advantage of doubles i.e. the Weymouth and Bridoon is one that we can always totally differentiate between the snaffle (Bridoon) and the curb action of the Weymouth. It is the action of the Weymouth that promotes a much rounder outline and also offers the rider more control if needed. The distinct advantage is when the horse responds to the curb the rider may give and soften through the curb rein instantly rewarding with the Bridoon.
The advantage of the Pelham is if the horse/pony has very little room in the mouth then one mouthpiece may be the more appropriate choice. The disadvantage is one can never totally differentiate between the curb and the Bridoon action. As a consequence if your horse is likely to over bend the Pelham may well exacerbate this.
We now have many modern ergonomic designs in Pelhams and Doubles that accommodate the variants in mouth conformation and promote correct outline, feel and response. Remember a happy horse is soft, relaxed and consistent in the contact and a horse that is not comfortable will be tense and resistant (not a happy ride).
Popular Double combinations
The Slimma Weymouth and Verbinded Bridoon – Offers extra lift and control. For maximum help employ the longer 9cm shank on the Weymouth.
The Aachen Weymouth and Tranz Angled Lozenge Bridoon – Very popular, all purpose ergonomically designed double set. Designed to encourage the horse to lower at the poll and lengthen the neck. Promotes a softer, more consistent contact.
The Thoroughbred Weymouth and Tranz Eggbutt Bridoon – Reduces pressure over thinner, sensitive outer edges of the tongue and bars. Designed specifically to accommodate the Thoroughbred mouth conformation.
The Warmblood Show Pelham – Recommended for tongue evasions (tongue relief). The Show Pelham also allows some play for horses that block through the rein.
The Butterfly Pelham – Highly recommended for the child rider. Incorporates the mild Tranz Angled Lozenge mouthpiece which helps the child achieve a correct outline, offers more control and is hugely beneficial for ponies that snatch and pull the child forwards. May be used with split reins.
The Waterford Pelham – Only to be considered by riders with an independent seat and “good hands”. Recommended only for horses that fully understand the aids but ignore them. Ideal for strong horses or horses that lean and pull down.