Not keen on pelham roundings? Check out an interesting alternative used by Scott Brash

  • This bit connector is an interesting alternative to traditional pelham roundings, commonly used to prevent a rider having to cope with two reins. The difference here is that it allows the rider to adjust the amount of pressure to the upper and lower part of the pelham, influencing the amount of curb action felt by the horse, while allowing the rider to use a single rein.

    How can they help?

    Walsh Harness & Saddlery is among those manufacturing these bit connectors. The company describes this piece of tack as “ideal for getting the response necessary from a two-rein bit without the hassle of holding two reins”.

    Each leather connector has a few holes and a buckle so that you can adjust the amount of action you want on the curb. For example some people might tighten the bottom buckle and loosen the top for more leverage on a pelham, or you can leave them on both the same holes for equal pressure between the snaffle and curb.

    Ema Odlin-Baxter, senior bitting advisor at The Horse Bit Shop, which supplies these connectors in the UK, explains why they are growing in popularity.

    “Traditional leather roundings don’t provide a fixed position for the rein, which means they aren’t very accurate when it comes to how much curb action you would like on a pelham,” she says. “Bit connectors are more precise thanks to the double buckle system which means you can play with the strength of the curb action you require, gaining more accurate results with pressure down the rein.”

    Scott Brash uses these roundings, as does event rider Pixie Thomas. She said: “They offer finer tuning than standard roundings as you can adjust how much you’re using the snaffle vs. curb action. I didn’t have an issue with rein position and they are an ideal alternative to going cross-country with two reins.”

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    Where can you buy them?

    These bit connectors can be bought online from a number of suppliers including British company The Horsebit Shop, where they cost £28 and are available in small, large sizes, in a choice of black and havana.

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