THE Hanoverian, a type of Pelham bit, is widely used for stronger horses. We find out more about this old-fashioned bit.

What makes it different?

THE Hanoverian has a large port, which applies tongue pressure, and rollers on the mouthpiece that help to encourage the horse to relax the jaw and accept the bit. It can also prevent the horse from leaning.

Who uses it?

SHOW producer Lizzie Briant, who shows The Queen’s horses, uses the Hanoverian Pelham on some of her mounts, saying that it encourages them to back off the rider’s hand and helps contain enthusiasm.

“I produce Highlands and Fells and find it a very useful bit. Because it is ported, it lifts them off their forehand, and I have found it to be excellent for the stronger, more enthusiastic ponies,” explains Lizzie.

“Producer Roger Stack lent me one for one of my Fells, and I then went out and bought my own.”

Show jumpers Geoff Luckett, Robert Smith and Marie Edgar have also tried the Hanoverian bit.

How does it work?

THE bit applies poll and curb groove pressure, which further improves rider control in stronger horses and also works on the points of control in the mouth.

Martyn Welsh, bitting expert at Equiport, believes the Hanoverian has a number of advantages.

“The Hanoverian Pelham is quite an old-fashioned bit used on show jumpers, eventers, show horses, polo ponies and driving horses — it’s very versatile.

“The large rollers on either side of the mouthpiece stop the horse getting hold of the bit. The rollers are said by some riders to calm highly-strung horses, for example, if the horse has nervous tongue movements,” he says.

“It is mainly used for older horses that have become keen or excitable and ‘dead in the mouth’. It is available as a jointed or fixed port; the latter is the stronger of the two. You can also use the Hanoverian mouthpiece on snaffle rings.”

Where can I buy one?

PRICES start at £65 — contact Equiport Tel: 01606 351685

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (21 June, ’07)