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Someone put me out of my misery

If anyone would know, it would be the eventing community.
Long have I admired Ballynoe Castle RM. However I have never been able to quite identify the bit Buck Davidson rode him in during cross country. It always looked like a weymouth…a curb, and I told myself it couldn’t be…I am a dressage rider but as a child in the 70s started out hunt seat and had it drilled into my head that one never jumps in a curb. This is driving me crazy…could someone educate me?

As per FEI rules, a weymouth is legal in all three phases of competition (see page 26).

No idea what the actual mouthpiece is, but “never jumping in a curb” sounds more like a barn specific rule, as even hunters are ridden in pelhams which are functionally not so different from a double bridle. Kimberwickes are also legal in hunters, although they’re generally punished in the ring for being unconventional It’s also not uncommon to see leverage bits during XC phase, as many of the horses get pretty amped up. Show jumping photos of Reggie often have him in snaffles and the occasional gag.

Leverage-style bits aren’t an ideal choice all the time, and they are not nearly as forgiving as, say, a plain loose ring snaffle, but they’re certainly not verboten.


I feel like Bruce Davidson used to jump on a double a lot. It definitely used to be more common when there were fewer options.

Click on pic it opens up bigger:

This is def a Weymouth type bit.



Yes he did.

A double is still acceptable for foxhunting and used to be common in polo. I believe the logic was if one rein broke you’d still have some control.


I thought the reason it was acceptable/common was that back in the day, a finished horse very ofteen went in a full bridle as a matter of course.


Yes, a finished rider as well. In polo it separated the gentlemen from the plebs.


Likewise the step up in Western (Vacquero) to the light touch bosal.


The end of that article totally got me hahah

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Looks like a walking horse curb bit to me.

In this it looks like a pelham with just the curb rein. If you look close you can see the larger ring for the snaffle rein.

And the story :laughing:


I’ll be the one to derail based on the article, it is just – a lot! :laughing:

“We all know that Reggie has balls of steel when jumping cross country, but we were still surprised to learn that he really does have actual balls,” Buck said.

What made this discovery even more extraordinary was the fact that Reggie was gelded in his younger years, meaning that he actually had two sets of testicles.

I could understand that such balls of steel might need more of a curb bit on cross-country …


FWIW I actually think that the bit in the picture is a pelham though!


That would be my take on it.



Your correct. Blown up it does look more like a Pelham.


I concur now that I can see it really blown up.





Thanks everyone for indulging my frivolous curiosity
It does look more like a pelham doesn’t it?
I know hunters go in pelhams (used to be nearly exclusively D rings but pelhams seem “in style” more …but…with pelhams or full bridles the snaffle rein is always there and Buck had only the curb rein so I was just wondering. The horse had to have had balls to tackle those courses the way he did…I was always rather in awe of the two of them

Does anyone know if they ever ended up breeding him?

Maybe you didn’t notice the article’s publishing date.

Apr 1, 2015 3:00 pm



You know, I even thought to myself, “surely this is satire” but I closed the tab before I remembered to check the date and was too lazy to go back and see :joy:

Probably shouldn’t have bought that bridge this morning, either… :wink: