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Rule Question about gadgets in dressage

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  • Rule Question about gadgets in dressage

    I just looked up this rule about dressage saddlery.

    e. Martingales, bit guards, any kind of gadgets (such as bearing, side, running or balancing reins, etc.), reins with any loops or hand attachments, any kind of boots or leg bandages and any form of blinkers, including earmuffs, earplugs, hoods, fly shields, nose covers and seat covers are, under penalty of elimination, strictly forbidden.

    I have grap straps or bucking straps on all my saddles and asked a TD about having them on the saddle several years ago. He said it was fine because it was in effect a safety device (to me a device is different from a gadget). Anyhow I didn't differentiate my question into it being legal to have and/or also legal to use during the test. FYI, I've never been E'd for having it on my dressage saddle but I honestly don't remember if I've ever actually used it during my dressage ride. If I didn't, I probably should have!

    So my question is "Is it legal to have the bucking strap on the saddle and to use it during the test?"

    TIA to any rule gurus

    Mary in Western NY

  • #2
    both bucking straps and neck straps are fine, although some dressage judges look askance at the neck straps.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by scubed View Post
      both bucking straps and neck straps are fine, although some dressage judges look askance at the neck straps.
      But is it ok to hold onto the bucking strap while riding your test?

      And have you heard of the RS-TOR safety device that attaches to the saddle?



      • #4
        Originally posted by scubed View Post
        although some dressage judges look askance at the neck straps.
        Until I enter the arena, and then they thank god that I have one! (My horse thinks peril abounds in those arenas...)


        • #5
          Originally posted by Black Points View Post
          But is it ok to hold onto the bucking strap while riding your test?

          And have you heard of the RS-TOR safety device that attaches to the saddle?

          If your horse is bucking, the last thing you are worried about is whether the judge will frown upon your using your bucking strap!

          If, however, you can't ride a test without one, perhaps one is not ready to be eventing?
          Click here before you buy.


          • Original Poster

            Deltawave, Agreed you should be able to ride without bucking but sometimes these wild ponies with "ponytude" love to buck when asked to canter. At least that's been my experience. I certainly don't plan to ride my test holding onto the strap but it's nice to know it's there is I need it. I consider it a safety device sort of like using a frangible pin to keep the horse from getting hurt...this is to keep the rider from falling off. Tongue in cheek of course.


            • #7
              If you did hold it throughout the test (because you can't sit the trot? to steady your hands?) would the deduction be up to the judge, then, since it is not illegal equipment?


              • #8
                on their website:
                The RS-tor:
                Attaches simply to the saddle; the rider holds the end-piece comfortably – rein contact unaffected
                Allows the rider can carry their hands as normal when schooling
                Assures no ‘fixing’ of the hands, which can occur when a saddle balance strap is used
                Facilitates riding through spooks and bucks with less chance of the rider losing their reins / balance
                Is ideal for home schooling, but may not be used within affiliated dressage competitions
                As far as holding the bucking strap throughout, I would think that would give you very low rider effectiveness scores and possible horse submission as well. I think you are better off with a neck strap or breastplate and only grabbing it if something bad happens, as which point, you've lost the points anyway. Goodness knows the number of times I've received comments along the lines of "good job staying on and in the arena" are large enough that I recognize the value of non-gadget ways to improve safety.
                OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                • #9
                  I've worn a neck strap for a few years and no one has ever commented until GMHA last weekend! At the top of my test: "Chestnut, LH sock, neck strap". I'd like to wear a strap around my reins to keep my hands together and above the neck-think anyone would mind?
                  Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


                  • #10
                    I have been told, though don't know if it is true, that a certain very BNR would often hold on to his breastplate through a dressage test on certain horses to be dead steady in his hands. I have no idea how true this is....I may have been told that when I was doing it to steady MY hands, to make me feel better. If it's true, I don't think it effected his scores.


                    • #11
                      I wear a bucking strap, and will sometimes use it (discreetly) during the test.

                      Perfectly legal, but if you are OBVIOUSLY using it a lot, I would expect it to affect the "use of aids" part of the General Impressions

                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Janet View Post
                        I wear a bucking strap, and will sometimes use it (discreetly) during the test.
                        How does one wear a bucking strap?

                        I've used a breastplate for this reason in the past!
                        Pisgah: 2000 AHHA (Holsteiner x TB) Mare (lower level eventing, with a focus on dressage)

                        Darcy: 7? year old Border Collie x Rottweiler? Drama Queen extraordinaire, rescued from the pound in Jan 2010


                        • #13
                          Interesting... neck straps are now forbidden in all tests at all levels here in Ireland.


                          • #14
                            I definitely grabbed my saddle pad with my outside hand coming back from the free walk in Prelim B a couple weekends ago- the movement is right in front of the judge.

                            There was no comment and my score went up a point since she didn't go all llama-esque when I shortened my reins. Maybe it would have gone up 2 if I hadn't held my saddle pad, but...
                            Big Idea Eventing


                            • #15
                              I have to admit my best Prelim dressage score (landing me 8th out of almost thirty in an Open division at a spring season Area II event) was achieved with my pinkies hooked under the edge of my saddle pad for most of the test to cut down on 'fiddling'!

                              Third Charm Event Team