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Description, Action and Uses of a Western Pelham Bit


Western style pelham.

A Western style pelham bit with a copper mouthpiece.

2005 K. Blocksdorf


Western pelhams are curb bits with rings to attach a snaffle rein. This bit has a jointed copper mouthpiece. They are very similar to an English Pelham.


This is a training bit. With its nutcracker action in the mouth and long shanks this could be a very harsh bit in inexperienced hands.

How it Works:

The mechanics of a Western Pelham are very similar to the English Pelham. With the curb rein the rider is able to lower the head and this is useful when schooling and encouraging proper carriage. Activating the curb rein puts pressure on chin, poll and if there is a port, the roof of the mouth.

With the snaffle rein the rider is able to lift the horse’s head. As with all snaffles the pressure will be on the bars of the mouth. For general riding, the rider would be most likely to ride on the snaffle rein, using only the curb rein when necessary. This requires steady knowledgeable hands.

From the collection of Rose Danko, Coates Creek Stables

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