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Legal Bridles for Schooling Shows?

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    Legal Bridles for Schooling Shows?

    Hello, I am a retired hunter rider (by a decade or so) turned eventer. I have a young TB now who I want to start competing in some local hunter shows. He currently goes in a PS of Sweden bridle which he really likes (and yeah, I thought anatomical bridles were a fad until this one who is soooo much more pleasant with it). It has a crank noseband (which I of course don’t crank), and the noseband is patent. I know this is “unconventional tack”, but is it illegal? He would be doing walk trot and cross rails, so being competitive is not really my concern, as much as getting an E right when he comes in. Attached pic of bridle in question. Thanks

    Personally, I would not think of that bridle as cause for elimination. It doesn’t even look terribly unconventional to me. However, one of the features of schooling shows is they are not run under uniform rules, unless it happens to say in the prize list that they follow USEF rules. So some judges might be bothered by that bridle more than others.


      Only way to know, I think, is to contact show management.


        It all depends on the judge. Some won't care, or even notice. Others will count it against you.

        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now). Spy is gone. April 15, 1982 to Jan 10, 2019.


          I think the answer depends totally on what type of open hunter show you are going to. There are open hunter shows that everyone is turned out like they would be at a rated show. There are open hunter shows where the kid wear jeans with a red fleece square pad can win their division.
          I think the advice given by Toblersmom hits the nail on the head. Call the organizer and ask if you can ride in that bridle.


            If you're just schooling then what does it matter. IME there isn't any fuss, the judge just doesn't place you even if you were the best in the class.


              I think it is fine. I would be somewhat critical if the bit were unconventional, but not the bridle.

              Enjoy and let us know how he does!


                it's not a drop or figure eight noseband, you are unconventional, not against the regs (assuming they follow USEF regs, which is an assumptions, but not a bad one)
                Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.


                  Thanks. Hopefully it will be a good experience!


                    1. Snaffles, pelhams and full bridles, all with cavesson nose bands, are required. a. Judges may penalize, but may not eliminate, a horse or pony that competes in a snaffle, pelham, or full bridle that is unconventional. Unconventional snaffles, pelhams, or full bridles include, but are not limited to, hunter gags, kimberwickes, etc. b. Judges must eliminate a horse or pony that competes in illegal bits or nosebands. Illegal bits include, but are not limited to, three rings, gags (other than the hunter gag), et cetera… Illegal nosebands include, but are not limited to, drop, flash and figure eight nosebands.


                      A crank noseband is perfectly legal and conventional.
                      Patent leather might be a bit too "flashy" but I wouldn't think it would be considered unconventional.


                        I wouldn't run out and buy a brand new bridle to ride in a schooling show. This one looks OK to me. If the judge or the show doesn't agree, and don't place you in a class because of a bridle like this, who cares? If they are that petty and foolish, who wants their opinion anyway? Just ride as a "non-competitor" if someone objects to it. It's a schooling show, the purpose of which is to school your horse.


                          You are fine, the bridle is perfectly legal. A good judge would not count the non-traditional nature of the patent leather against you in any way at a schooling show. There is a slight possibility of getting a foolish judge that puts a ridiculously inappropriate level of importance on minor details of tack (I have seen this happen on rare occasions at local shows) and that would be unfortunate, but also sort of a "whatever" situation.

                          FWIW, I have only seen that happen at really little local shows where an idiot judge is putting more emphasis on horse/rider pairs "looking the part" vs. quality of performance/horse/rider.