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Are Bit Guards Legal In Dressage

author
Ava Flores
• Thursday, 21 January, 2021
• 7 min read

Despite emptier streets, traffic deaths soared in 2020 I'm doing local dressage shows for fun on my hunter, and I was planning on using a single ring snaffle, but it has bit guards on it.

(Source: www.horsebitemporium.com)

Contents

It is a version of full cheek snaffle that has loose rings and cheek arms to prevent side to side displacement of the bit, and also will prevent pinching at the corners of the mouth. If you can purchase a Fuller with the same mouthpiece as the snaffle you are using now, it will perform the same functions that the bit guards do now.

I frequently write for dressage judges, and I remember that this season, there was a fabulous test done by a very smart duo, but the pony had bit guards (and we only noticed towards the end of their test), and he had to be disqualified. Definitely contact those running the show to make sure it is acceptable, so you will not be disqualified before you even begin.

Check out the USED’s Weekend Quick Links for links to information including the prize list, ride times, live scores, and more for all the events running this weekend. Whether you are an official, a steward or a competitor confusion does exist as to which bits are legal and allowed in national competitions.

The FEI, according to emails sent last year to Axel Steiner, Janine Malone and finally Linda Gang who followed this issue up does NOT recognize the Butterfly Blucher bit as being legal. Conversely, the FEI now allow the OK snaffle with the vertical small disc in the center of the roller piece, but the USED National Dressage Committee does not.

After all the majority of our members do not compete in FEI competitions, but they do cross over the disciplines at a national level. Once competitors get to the stage of entering an International Eventing competition one hopes that they know the rules or at least consult someone who does.

bit guards acavallo gel bits description
(Source: www.saddlerytrading.com)

If you show, it's important to make sure your tack is allowed in your specific discipline. However, when in doubt, it is a good idea to check the USE For FEI handbook.

Only smooth mouthpieces are legal ; therefore, any twists or alterations along the bars are forbidden. Bit guards are forbidden in recognized dressage competitions and in three-day events.

All loose-ring, D-ring, egg butt, or hanging cheek rings are permitted as cheek pieces unless otherwise specified in the USED Dressage Rules Handbook. In straight dressage, Training through Second Level is required to use a smooth snaffle bit.

Third and Fourth Levels allow the rider to choose to ride in a snaffle or double bridle. Judges may penalize, but may not eliminate, a horse or pony that competes in an unconventional snaffle, Pelham, or full-cheek bridle.

Judges must eliminate horses or ponies that compete in illegal bits or nose bands. It must lie smoothly against the jaw and may be wrapped or inserted into a cover for comfort.

robert bit guards michel horse rubber brown academy
(Source: www.horse-academy-tv.net)

Whenever entering a competition, be sure to check that your bit fits the requirements for that discipline. If you are ever unsure if your bit is legal, you should check with show management prior to competing.

Customer Care can be reached by emailing, online chat or leave a voicemail by calling (859) 258-2472. The purpose of the Rules & Equipment information is to assist Athletes as well as USED Dressage Technical Delegates, Judges and Stewards who officiate Dressage classes at any Federation licensed competition.

All bits/equipment labeled as ‘Pending Review’ are not allowed in USED/USAF competition until determined otherwise in this Annex. However, all existing provisions of DR121, including allowed bridle materials, must additionally be met to be acceptable for competition purposes.

I'm doing local dressage shows for fun on my hunter, and I was planning on using a single ring snaffle, but it has bit guards on it. If you don't want to ride without the guards, you might consider changing to a Fuller snaffle.

It is a version of full cheek snaffle that has loose rings and cheek arms to prevent side to side displacement of the bit, and also will prevent pinching at the corners of the mouth. If you can purchase a Fuller with the same mouthpiece as the snaffle you are using now, it will perform the same functions that the bit guards do now.

bit guard wild western bits turn tack two horse horseloverz equine chasing
(Source: www.horseloverz.com)

I frequently write for dressage judges, and I remember that this season, there was a fabulous test done by a very smart duo, but the pony had bit guards (and we only noticed towards the end of their test), and he had to be disqualified. Definitely contact those running the show to make sure it is acceptable, so you will not be disqualified before you even begin.

My mare marks on her lips easily but have found since moving to a full cheek snaffle there has been none at all and actually she goes better with a more 'secure' bit If your horse really does work lots better in a loose ring I have seen a bit called a stubbed 'golden wings' snaffle. Bloody daft rule though I have to say! A full cheek really has cleared the problem up for me.

Tie 2 big loops of baler twine through the ring. Put your foot in one and stand on it and grab the other in your hands and pull.

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy. Carolyn Henderson replies: Rubber bit guards, also known as biscuits, are useful for protecting the corners of the mouth from pinches or rubs and for keeping the bit central.

Unfortunately you cannot use them in competitions held under BD rules, as, without scrutiny, there is little to distinguish them from the brush pricker variety which are designed for one-sided horses. Also rinse your bit in clean water after you have ridden to remove any saliva or food deposits as once dried these can easily rub the delicate skin around the mouth.

(Source: thehorsebitshop.co.uk)

If he naturally produces lots of saliva, sponge his mouth and lips clean after unpacking to prevent it drying and chaffing.

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Sources
1 november.fasigtipton.com - http://november.fasigtipton.com/
2 www.keeneland.com - https://www.keeneland.com/2020-november-breeding-stock-sale
3 www.bloodhorse.com - https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/thoroughbred-sales/results/2020/9393/keeneland-2020-november-breeding-stock-sale/1
4 www.bloodhorse.com - https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/thoroughbred-sales/results/2020/9426/fasig-tipton-kentucky-2020-november-sale-of-selected-breeding-stock/1
5 www.drf.com - https://www.drf.com/news/justify-weanlings-spotlight-november-sales
6 www.paulickreport.com - https://www.paulickreport.com/news/bloodstock/keeneland-catalogs-4549-horses-for-november-breeding-stock-sale/
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8 www.fasigtipton.com - http://www.fasigtipton.com/2020/The-November-Sale
9 www.dreamhorse.com - https://www.dreamhorse.com/bdg/39/116/aqha-quarter-horse/weanling/colt/horses-for-sale.html