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Showing a Hunter in a Double Bridle

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  • Showing a Hunter in a Double Bridle

    The horse I'm riding and showing this year is going really nicely in a double bridle. He's mostly a snaffle ride, but occassionaly turns of the thought processors in his brain and just leans. Lots of leg and a bump with leverage re-engages the brain and we continue on. A pelham is ok, fine but I feel like it muddies what I'm asking from him and he flusters more easily. With the double, communication is just that much clearer.

    So here's the million dollar question: Is it still "legal" according to USEF/USHJA to show in the double and is it accepted by judges?

    I would check the rule book, but my workplace has it blocked (go figure) and my home computer is acting squirrely. So if someone can copy and paste the rule verbiage I would appreciate your help!

    Thanks all!
    "Beware the hobby that eats."
    Benjamin Franklin

  • #2
    Originally posted by JumpWithPanache View Post
    The horse I'm riding and showing this year is going really nicely in a double bridle. He's mostly a snaffle ride, but occassionaly turns of the thought processors in his brain and just leans. Lots of leg and a bump with leverage re-engages the brain and we continue on. A pelham is ok, fine but I feel like it muddies what I'm asking from him and he flusters more easily. With the double, communication is just that much clearer.

    So here's the million dollar question: Is it still "legal" according to USEF/USHJA to show in the double and is it accepted by judges?

    I would check the rule book, but my workplace has it blocked (go figure) and my home computer is acting squirrely. So if someone can copy and paste the rule verbiage I would appreciate your help!

    Thanks all!
    Technically it is legal but it is very uncommon. This is one of those things that is going to vary by the judge, I think. Old school judges who saw lots of doubles "back in the day" may not mind one at all. However, I would guess that a lot of judges will potentially consider it an indication of the horse being difficult. I don't think it would ever be a reason they would automatically eliminate you from consideration - unless you are having to use that curb rein a lot - but it's probably a tie breaker.

    Personally, I'd be looking for a different solution. Maybe a waterford, a ported snaffle (not necessarily a segued) or a pelham, all of which would be a less "controversial" choice.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina

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    • #3
      You can show in it, and you won't be disqualified, but a judge can chose not to place you based on it.

      Comment


      • #4
        A good thing to remember is in a sea of snaffles, if your horse needs a double bridle, the judges might not need your horse.
        Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would look for something else. Although it is traditional and not illegal, a judge that wasn't around back when it was commonplace to have a double bridle, would likely take it as an indication of a horse with some problems vs all the other horses in snaffles and pelhams.
          Mendokuse

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          • #6
            While legal, it could easily be considered "unconventional." Maybe do 75% of your warm up in the double and then switch to a pelham for one or two jumps before you go in?

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Hmm, ok. Thanks. Kind of disappointed as he goes so well in the double versus the pelham. Guess we'll start experimenting with some my snaffles again. I don't particularly want to switch down to the pelham (less clear communication) just for the sake of looks, if I'm going to carry two reins I'd like to use the two bits since I knopw what I'm doing with the bridle and so does the horse.
              "Beware the hobby that eats."
              Benjamin Franklin

              Comment


              • #8
                Honestly, if it's a short shanked curb the judge probably won't even notice [that it's not a pelham]. And if they do it's because they are properly educated in which case I doubt it would count against you.
                Power to the People

                Comment


                • #9
                  As a judge, it wouldn't bother me. I can't speak for all judges, but it would make no difference to me unless you used a giant shank on the curb.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    SUBCHAPTER HU-4 ATTIRE, TACK AND EQUIPMENT.
                    HU125 TACK.
                    1. Regulation snaffles, pelhams and full bridles, all with cavesson nose bands, are recommended.
                    A judge may penalize for non-conventional types of bits or nosebands.

                    So double/full bridles are considered conventional.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by caughtintheact View Post
                      SUBCHAPTER HU-4 ATTIRE, TACK AND EQUIPMENT.
                      HU125 TACK.
                      1. Regulation snaffles, pelhams and full bridles, all with cavesson nose bands, are recommended.
                      A judge may penalize for non-conventional types of bits or nosebands.

                      So double/full bridles are considered conventional.
                      True, but it's called "judging" and not "scoring" so a judge can subjectively penalize the horse with lots of reins/bits over one that's in what appears to be a plain D-Ring. I say "appears" because some of those bits that appear to be just a big D-ring snaffle have big ports and other stuff on the inside. Worth trying out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I think you should show in what your horse goes well in. Its conventional although not seen often these days. I doubt the judge will notice its not a Pelham and if its a nice round its not going to be counted against you. Go find the jumps and do the changes and carry a pretty step = bit: irrelevant.
                        You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by equisusan View Post
                          Go find the jumps and do the changes and carry a pretty step = bit: irrelevant.
                          This is simply untrue. Some judges won't care/notice that your horse is in a double bridle, and others will. You can have a perfect round, and if another horse has an equal round the judge may place the horse in the snaffle over you. Or you can have a perfect round, another horse has a not so perfect round, and they still place better than you because the judge chose not to use you simply because of bit/bridle choice.

                          It is the judge's discretion and its true a double bridle may or may not affect your placing. But it is untrue to say it would definitely be irrelevant to your placing.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would agree that it is not illegal and it wouldn't bother me. I would also agree that younger or less well rounded judges might hold it against you.
                            "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                            carolprudm

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rel6 View Post
                              This is simply untrue. Some judges won't care/notice that your horse is in a double bridle, and others will. You can have a perfect round, and if another horse has an equal round the judge may place the horse in the snaffle over you. Or you can have a perfect round, another horse has a not so perfect round, and they still place better than you because the judge chose not to use you simply because of bit/bridle choice.

                              It is the judge's discretion and its true a double bridle may or may not affect your placing. But it is untrue to say it would definitely be irrelevant to your placing.
                              I don't believe I said "definitely" but I'm pretty sure definite doesn't apply to much in hunter judging. LOL A judge may like the way one horse looks over another and that can effect placings too. Judging is subjective when rounds are close in performance. My point is that the OP should ride in what her horse goes best in. I think judges care more about the performance than the type of conventional tack they have on.
                              You don't scare me. I ride a MARE!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would show in what works.
                                I think it is sad that hunters have devolved into what is "in" rather than what is allowed in the rulebook.
                                Proud to have two Takaupa Gold line POAs!
                                Takaupas Top Gold
                                Gifts Black Gold Knight

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Look at the rule. A double bridle is one of the "recommended" choices. Are judges really so ignorant that they would not know that, just because it's not often seen these days?
                                  I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Oh, and for what it's worth (or not) I'm only 28 so can't claim "back in my day" about the double bridle.
                                    "Beware the hobby that eats."
                                    Benjamin Franklin

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Lori View Post
                                      I would show in what works.
                                      I think it is sad that hunters have devolved into what is "in" rather than what is allowed in the rulebook.
                                      If your horse goes in a pelham or double most judges know because he's strong and needs more bit.

                                      It's not about what's "in", it's about a horse you want to ride for hours of Hunting! Judging is subjective. I have yet to meet a judge that picked the winner because of a fashion statement.
                                      If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Goldie locks View Post
                                        If your horse goes in a pelham or double most judges know because he's strong and needs more bit.

                                        It's not about what's "in", it's about a horse you want to ride for hours of Hunting! Judging is subjective. I have yet to meet a judge that picked the winner because of a fashion statement.
                                        Did this make anyone else's head hurt? *sigh*
                                        Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
                                        www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com

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