Saturday, 14 August 2010

Thinking Purely of Brakes

Further to the post below, where I publicly state that I wish to take my barmy pony out in company and hare across the countryside and all the obstacles it has to offer whilst trying not to maim or injure other participants...I was thinking about brakes. Mostly because I'm offshore and thinking of ponies keeps me sane :D

Now, I'm not for overbitting instead of proper training. Far from it, I like as little tack as possible (less to clean!). But I have to remember that there will be lots of other people and horses who will not appreciate having Quadi's flared nostrils rammed up their backside, or making enthusiastic banana shapes around them at speed. He's already strong in hand just doing fast work around our current hacks, although this tends to ease off as he becomes fitter.

I was thinking about a pelham with two reins. My reason for this is that I don't want to have to use a strong action until it's necessary, so would have the bottom rein in hand but looser. I'd also pad the curb chain. He's worn a pelham before so wouldn't be too surprised about it in the first instance, although obviously I'll be trying out new tack way before we go anywhere.

My only concern is that he might need a breastplate with running martingale, and I wouldn't want to use a martingale with a pelham. He's worn a martingale before, not with me, so again wouldn't be totally surprised if it came in to play.

I'm really not into lots of tack but don't wish to be left wanting for safety at a critical moment, far away from home. Thoughts are, as always, very welcome.

I guess the title is a lie because I'm not thinking purely of brakes, I wanted to ask a question. Can anyone recommend a good liver supporting addition to feed? Something that will aid and heal minor liver damage in an equine?


  1. Milk Thistle this is where I get mine
    They have a 5kilo sack which is excellent value for money.

    I think i'd go for the pelham with two reins,thats what I will use if I ever go again with Ali.
    I think safety is paramount here, particularly the first couple of times when he's going to be excited with his blood up.
    Dunno re the martingale? You could get a breastplate with a martingale attachment and play about with different bits too?

  2. Don't know about the feed supplements, so I'll leave that one.

    A Pelham is a good choice. The martingale is as well. You could use just a standing one which will help keep his head down without affecting the bit. Some horses actually like them as it helps them balance for jumping.

    A vee shaped breastplate with a ring allows you to attach a martingale to it so you don't need a separate strap. It would also allow you to use either a running/standing rig interchangeably.

    Remember, if you do go with a running rig that you will need to put rein stops on to keep the martingale from hanging up on the bit.

  3. If he responds to the curb rein will you need a martingale or does he throw his head up when jumping, is that why you are thinking of the martingale? I'm nervous of jumping in a standing but aren't you starting off without jumps?

  4. Thanks for the link Nicola, will forward that :)

    And thanks for the thoughts all. Claire messaged me similar views via FB, I hope you are able to comment soon Claire! Blogger can be a little touchy sometimes *lol*

    We'll need a breastplate regardless. But am favouring the thought of a pelham only. As you say Trudi, if he responds to the curb (which he does) then a martingale would be overkill. I'm sure I've seen people use running martingales on the pelham top rein but I'm not sure I'm comfortable with that. I was more concerned about him throwing his head up to pull away from my hand but in that instance a pelham is a good bit to use anyway. I only really half thought-through my reasoning!

    Yes, we'll be starting off without jumps, I hope anyway!