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Pelham Bits for Horses

Pelham Bits for Horses
Pelham Bits for Horses
Pelham bits are a multi-action bit, working like a curb bit, leveraging poll pressure, and snaffle bit, with direct pressure to the bars and corners of the mouth. Some say they loosely mimic the action of a double bridle. Pelham bits are available straight mullen mouth and low ported mouthpieces in stainless steel or copper. Shop top brands like FES.
Mouthpiece Style
Cheek Type
Mouthpiece Material
Price Range
FES Low Port Pelham Bit
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How Pelham Bits Work

Pelham bits are popular training bits for both English and western horses although they are slightly different for each riding discipline.

Pelham bits and weymouth bits accommodate two sets of reins, often called "double reins" similar to a double bridle. One set of reins attached to the bottom of the curb and called curb reins. The second set of reins attached to the top ring and are called snaffle reins.

The curb reins on a pelham bit or weymouth bit attached to the bottom of the shank and work with leverage, applying pressure to the poll and chin of the horse. If the bit mouthpiece is ported it will also apply pressure on the top of the horse’s mouth. Typically, the curb reins on a pelham bit or weymouth bit are narrower than the snaffle reins, helping to fit both reins in the hand.

The snaffle reins on the pelham bit or weymouth bit attached to the top rings of the bit allowing it to apply pressure like a snaffle. Generally, the snaffle rein is the same standard size.

Experienced riders can ride with a pelham bit or a weymouth bit using the snaffle reins the majority of the time and only activate the curb reins when extra communication is required.

Pelham Bit Converter

Some riders, and some less experienced riders choose to add a bit converter to the pelham bit. A bit converter runs from the snaffle ring to the curb allowing the rider to use the pelham bit with one set of reins. When using one set of reins, both the shank and the snaffle action is used.

Because a pelham bit and a weymouth bits are a leveraged bit, curb chain or curb strap should be used to keep the bit in the proper location in the horse’s mouth.

A "cowboy pelham" is a western style curb bit that accommodates a second set of reins.

The pelham bit can have a solid or jointed mouthpiece and are made in stainless steel, sweet iron, or copper.

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