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Dressage Finals - GP bit choices

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  • Dressage Finals - GP bit choices

    I was reading the CoTH article this morning on the Open GP winners and noticed three of the top five were ridden in snaffles.

    https://www.chronofhorse.com/article...ressage-finals

    Out of curiosity, does anyone know if it’s becoming more common or if this is just coincidence?

  • #2
    Interesting. I thought a double bridle was required equipment above a certain a level.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GreyDes View Post
      I was reading the CoTH article this morning on the Open GP winners and noticed three of the top five were ridden in snaffles.

      https://www.chronofhorse.com/article...ressage-finals

      Out of curiosity, does anyone know if it’s becoming more common or if this is just coincidence?
      It is not a coincidence, it is now allowed at National shows for all levels and so, people are riding in snaffles.

      (There are some exclusions to the rules - Qualification for High performance and Young riders comes to mind - So always check it out.)
      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

      Originally posted by LauraKY
      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
      HORSING mobile training app

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Toblersmom View Post
        Interesting. I thought a double bridle was required equipment above a certain a level.
        I think it changed 2015 or thereabouts.


        2. or Training, First and Second Level tests, FEI Tests for Children, and FEI Pony tests, a plain snaffle bridle is required with a regular cavesson, a dropped noseband, a flash noseband (a combination of a cavesson noseband and a dropped noseband attachment) or a crossed noseband. Except for the buckles and a small disk of sheepskin, which may be used in the intersection of the two leather straps of a crossed noseband, the headstall and cavesson/noseband of the bridle must be made entirely of leather or leather-like material. However, wear tabs on cheek pieces and reins may be made of non-leather or other material. A padded cavesson/noseband and crownpiece are allowed. Nylon or other non-metal material may be used to reinforce leather in the headstall but must not come in direct contact with the horse. Elastic inserts are permitted in the crownpiece and cheekpieces only. A browband is required, and except for the parts that attach to the crownpiece or headstall, is not required to be made of leather or leather-like material. The crownpiece of the bridle must lie immediately behind the poll and may extend forward onto the poll, but it may not be fitted to lie behind the skull (see diagram). A throatlatch is required except when the combined noseband or Micklem bridle are used. A jowl strap is considered a throat latch and can be used to replace, or be used in addition to, a traditional throat latch. In order to meet the requirements of this rule the jowl strap must be fitted around or immediately below the horse’s jowl. Nosebands with one or two lower (chin) straps must also have a throat latch, as described above. BOD 11/12/18 Effective 12/1/18 BOD 7/8/19 Effective 9/10/19

        3. For Federation Third and Fourth Level tests same as (2) above, or a simple double bridle (bridoon [snaffle] and bit [curb] and curb chain, cavesson noseband only). The curb “chain” can be made of metal, leather or a combination. A lip strap and rubber, leather, or sheepskin cover for curb chain are optional. 4. For FEI tests ridden at national competitions, a plain snaffle bridle or simple double bridle may be used, as described above in DR121.2-.3. However, for USEF High Performance qualifying and championship classes, USEF Young Adult qualifying and championship classes, USEF Junior championship classes, and USEF Young Rider championship classes, a double bridle is mandatory. Snaffle bridles are permitted for NAYC qualifying classes, USEF Junior qualifying classes and USEF Young Rider qualifying classes. Double bridles are mandatory for NAYC and USEF Junior and Young Rider championships. Only snaffles, curbs and bridoons pictured under Figure 1-B © USEF 2019 471 and in Annex A are permitted in FEI tests. For the FEI Dressage Tests for 4, 5, and 6-year-old horses and the USEF Dressage Test for 4-year old horses, a plain snaffle bridle is required, as above (DR121.2). Either a snaffle or double bridle may be used in the FEI tests for 7-year old horses. However, when a snaffle is used in FEI tests, a snaffle is required as described in Figure I and as pictured in Figure 1B and Annex A. The crossed (figure-8, Mexican) noseband is not permitted for the FEI Dressage Tests for 4, 5, 6, and 7-year-old horses and the USEF test for 4-year old horses.
        Custom tack racks!
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        Comment


        • #5
          Snaffles are allowed at all levels of USEF national shows, including PSG-GP tests. Regionals and US Finals are USEF sanctioned, but not FEI sanctioned. They are still required by the FEI at Jr/YR and PSG and higher (in other words, required at CDIs), which is why they are also required for high performance classes where people are trying to qualify for other things.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            I know it’s legal - just hadn’t realized it was that common.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by GreyDes View Post
              I know it’s legal - just hadn’t realized it was that common.
              Another poster upthread didn't know it was legal.
              "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

              Comment


              • #8
                Interesting that 3 of 5 were in snaffle. To me that seems unusual. At shows I attend in Florida, I typically see only a couple horses doing FEI classes in snaffle. But they are out there for sure. I work my horse often in snaffle but in the show ring...I want the double.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Around here it is definitely getting more common. One of mine did about half of his shows in the snaffle this year.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Three of the top six in the GP freestyle were in snaffles. I'm very glad to see people taking advantage of the rule change.
                    "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      At the shows I attend which are all in Arizona or Southern California, it's really become commonplace to show FEI in a snaffle. Especially so for the pros.

                      In our own barn/traning group, I think now that possibly (I haven't done a real study, I'm just thinking off the top of my head) MOST of the FEI horses go in snaffles now at shows as well as at home.The one I take occasional lessons on goes in a snaffle whereas my own horse goes only in a double so it's a great opportunity for me to experience the difference.

                      It's definitely a decision made on a horse-by-horse basis.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        There are horses that, once they go in the double, become nearly impossible to ride in the snaffle. Mine was like that when I bought him. It's taken a lot of time, patience, experimenting with bits, etc, but we're finally having acceptable (translation: I don't cry afterwords ) rides in the snaffle. I'd love to show him in the snaffle, but that's still quite a way off.
                        "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My question is why are they doing it? I thought that the double gave the rider more tools, more nuance in the aids. But it can also help with a horse who is big and strong. Don’t kill me, it’s a fact. Are these riders not needing the double because their horses are so sensitive they either don’t need or can’t handle the double? Clearly if they are winning, it is working, but the double was the standard for a few hundred years. What’s changed?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It would be interesting to hear the background and the thinking behind bit choices. Many did quite well in the snaffle, but there were a couple, at least, that I thought looked heavy in the hand in the snaffle. I wondered if that was unusual for the horse or if there were bigger issues in the double.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                              My question is why are they doing it?
                              Because they can and because they believe their horse is better that way at this point in their training.

                              I thought that the double gave the rider more tools, more nuance in the aids.
                              It still does but those aren’t CDIs and are still at the « beginning » of their education (rider or horse).

                              They are no Valegro or Bella Rose, Charlotte or Isabel W.

                              It gives the horses and the riders more time to learn and make a smoother transition.

                              But it can also help with a horse who is big and strong. Don’t kill me, it’s a fact.
                              We won’t kill you, but there is also a mouvance that says it shouldn’t be that way.

                              People who are against bits, who were convinced riders weren’t able to ride their horse without the double can now appreciate the fact that people always trained their higher level horses with snaffles, they can now see that.

                              Also, there are some horses who won’t tolerate a double bridle in their mouth (lack of space - any other trouble), it gives them a chance to still climb to the highest step of the levels.

                              It removed the rush for some who believed they had to stuck a double in their horse’s mouth as soon as they reached 3rd level. They have a better idea of the progression that can and should be done.

                              Are these riders not needing the double because their horses are so sensitive they either don’t need or can’t handle the double? Clearly if they are winning, it is working, but the double was the standard for a few hundred years. What’s changed?
                              Riding with a double bridle is a progression. There is more time now for it and I believe riders, and horses, are happy about it.

                              The double was standard a few hundred years ago when it took a few months to bring a horse from the field to High school movements as written in Baucher’s books.


                              ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

                              Originally posted by LauraKY
                              I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
                              HORSING mobile training app

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Thanks! "Because they can" is a completely fine answer!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Some people choose the snaffle because the horse won't go quietly with its mouth closed in a double. With a snaffle, you can use a flash or drop noseband and other types of bit pieces (larger D-ring or Eggbutt) that can help a horse with a tough mouth. In a double, those kinds of horses could open their mouths and/or get their tongue over the bit.
                                  Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Mine went better in a double - but I don't have an issue with anyone whose horse is happier in a snaffle or vice versa.

                                    One of the riders in the GP/GPF at finals I know from my area. She rides in a double now, but she has issues when she wanted to move up to FEI levels back before the rule change and her horse would not tolerate the double at all. It took years and lots of different bitting trials to get her happy in the double.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Hilary View Post
                                      Clearly if they are winning, it is working, but the double was the standard for a few hundred years. What’s changed?
                                      What's changed is that horsekeeping in general, and the pursuit of riding and showing dressage up the levels in particular, have gotten more expensive than ever before in relation to income and cost of living.

                                      I believe that is the primary reason behind nearly every rule change and adjustment that occurs over time, compared to how things used to be. (Not sure about the "few hundred years" part, with regard to the double, but the point carries, no matter how long it's been the standard)

                                      People competing had very nice-moving horses who remained more subtly connected in the snaffle, at any level. Horses nice enough to win tests and garner awards and keep working all the way to GP. Switching to the double completely disrupted the process and the progress, for some reasons already stated above by others.

                                      The rules were evaluated and changed to reflect the changing times. There have always been horses who have gone better in the snaffle, and/or took years away from competition to make the adjustment. In the past, riders had to take that adjustment time away from competition, or, forgo competing altogether. The change opened up showing as an option, to more pairs.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Lincoln is fantastic in the contact in both bridles. Showed his Third Level year in the double as was getting him ready for FEI and they were required. After a two year break from showing due to injury, I rehabbed in the snaffle and just haven’t put him back in the double yet as no need They are now also legal at CDIs. I showed Warsteiner in both double and snaffle at a Grand Prix over the years.

                                        Comment

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