Bitless bridles at shows

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Bitless bridles at shows

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  • Am i allowed a bitless bridle to show?
  • Bitless bridle rules for horse shows

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    09-16-2012, 11:54 AM
Bitless bridles at shows

Does anyone know the rules for riding in a dr.cooks bitless bridle at a local fall fair show?
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    09-16-2012, 12:21 PM
In Kansas, the 4H rules state that any horse older than 5 needs a bit...westerns have to have shanked bits, and english must have a snaffle...which I don't agree with because I would much rather go out and ride in a bosal (and so would my horse). But im sure rules vary. Are you thinking of Open Classes? Or 4H?
    09-16-2012, 12:33 PM
Super Moderator
I think you would have to put that question to your individual organiser.
I can't see why a western horse can't be shown in a snaffle if the rider usually uses one and if a horse is safe in a Dr Cook or bosal then why not be able to use them - though I can see why a bosal might not look right in an english class a Dr Cook looks like an english bridle just minus the bit
The only way these rules will change is if people petition show organisers
    09-16-2012, 12:47 PM
Green Broke
I've also been wondering about this because I know in some shows you can be disqualified. My mare goes wonderfully in a sidepull as opposed to a bit. Not sure if she can't feel it after she was hit by a drunk driver or what but I think it varies on which shows you go to.
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    09-16-2012, 01:21 PM
Exactly! My gelding is extremely hard mouthed after his previous rider, so I've been working with him and shanked bits are just too much for him...He rides great in a rope halter, bitless bridle, and rides perfectly with only a neckrope! I asked the judge last year if in my reining class I could just ride him with a neckrope and she said no because it was an "unfair advantage" to the others...well if I put the extra time and practice into my horse, then im pretty sure we deserve that advantage....oh well life goes on.
    09-18-2012, 03:13 PM
I was just asking this question today elsewhere lol. I went directly to the organizers of a show series I want to go to. My old man is very uncomfortable in any type of bit I've tried on him (a jointed copper mouth snaffle being the least uncomfortable thus far). I don't know his history, but when he arrived his teeth were grown out way too long, and he has a lot of odd scarring on his tongue. I tried a bosal on him and he rode like a gentleman, so I decided to get a bitless bridle for local shows. The show personnel wrote me back saying it would be allowed because of medical reasons, but would be considered unconventional tack.
    09-18-2012, 05:30 PM
I have seen people jump in them but never in any western classes...
    09-18-2012, 05:48 PM
Jumpers and the xc phase of eventing allow bitless bridles/hackamores. Western classes horses 5 and under allow bosals. Anything else it's considered unconventional tack and a judge can choose to not place you because of it from the research I've done today. Apparently some judges also say black tack in hunter classes is also unconventional. Silly, I know.
    09-18-2012, 07:25 PM
Super Moderator
It sounds as if they are allowed in Cowboy dressage
I can't see why the colour of your tack should make a difference but Jewellery is not allowed in UK showing classes!!!
    09-18-2012, 07:38 PM
I am pretty sure, all showing of horses over 5 years in most associations in rail classes are required to be bridled. Under 5 in western you can use a snaffle or bosal, english (not jumping), you must have a bit.

bitless, bridle, show

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