Bit picture and Pelham information

Bit picture of Pelham family

There are so many bits on the equestrian market, performing different actions to suit the horse.

If you know your horse, he will tell you if the new bit is suitable.

If there is a problem, a horse will work with it until he cannot cope with the pain, then his behaviour will usually change as he will try to find ways to avoid the pain.

Examples are trying to snatch the reins from your hands and caring his head low to the ground.

Raising his head high in the air, getting his tongue over the bit and you are then unable to turn him and so on.

The Pelham family has many types of bits and can be a strong bit when used by the inexperienced or uneducated rider.

The Pelham bit is sometimes used as an alternative to a double bridle. This bit is used with two reins. The top rein is known as the snaffle rein, which asks the horse to go forward, while the bottom rein, known as the curb rein will ask for flexion.

Double reins can be a handful for children or inexperienced adults to manage; so most people attach Pelham rounding’s which are leather straps in the shape of the letter D that connect to the top and bottom rings and a single rein is attached to the Pelham rounding’s.

Another option is dividing reins which are two reins running into one rein through the riders hands.

These split reins look smarter than the Pelham rounding’s, however they will cost more to buy.

Mullen mouth bit picture

The Mullen mouth Pelham bit is a well-known bit that is available in various mouthpieces and the length of cheeks can range in size. The longer the upper cheeks on the bit, the more poll pressure is applied.

Single jointed Pelham bit

The single jointed mouthpiece puts pressure on the sides of the tongue, lips and bars.

Rugby link

The Rugby link Pelham is designed to look like a double bridle and is used widely in showing.

The bradoon ring is linked to the Pelham cheeks, which gives the look of a double bridle.

This bit has proved useful for horse’s that are not responsive and strong in a snaffle. It has a definite curb action.

Hartwell Pelham bit picture

The mouthpiece is curved with a sweeping port.

The bit works on the bars of the mouth and some palate pressure described as mild.

The design of the bit gives plenty of space for the tongue and can also prevent a horse from putting its tongue over the bit as the sweeping port will relieve the pressure on the tongue.

Arch mouth Pelham

This Pelham is a straight bar bent at the cheeks.

It is designed not to rub the sides of the horse’s mouth or cheeks.

Swales Pelham

This is a strong bit popular with showing and seen on polo ponies.

The loose rings are attached to the cheek pieces, which produce a squeezing action to the side of the face.

The curb action is very severe and little poll pressure is applied.

This bit assists a pony or horse to turn sharply.

In the right hands, it can be a strong but effective bit.

The Swales Pelham is commonly used with the very small jumping ponies as the riders are young and unable to hold them in a milder bit.

Care must be taken with a severe bit such as the Swales.

No child or adult should be allowed to take their temper out on the horse by “yanking” in the mouth no matter what bit he is in.

Please remember its cruel, bad practise and will only lead to other problems such as the horse becoming harder in the mouth.

SM Pelham

This bit has a wide flat plate, which is bent, in the middle, which forms a flat arch.

The position of the mouthpiece never changes as it works on a swivel so it rests on the tongue and bearing pressure on the bars.

Hanoverian Pelham

This bit has a ported mouthpiece with cherry rollers on either side of the port.

A lower wider port allows more room for the tongue while a very high port can be extremely severe for the horse.

Coscoquero Pelham bit picture

A high ported Pelham with a copper wheel in the middle of the port.

It can help prevent a horse from getting his tongue over the bit and useful for horses that tend to lean on the bit.


This is a modified Pelham designed for the use of one rein and used with a curb chain, which applies some poll pressure, it is a popular bit used when jumping and hunting.

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Equine mouth conformation

Gag bits

Horse control

Curb bits

Horse bit information

Horse bit evasions

Snaffle bits

Horse biting problems

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