What Bits and Nosebands Are Allowed in the Dressage Ring?

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What Bits and Nosebands Are Allowed in the Dressage Ring?

This is a discussion on What Bits and Nosebands Are Allowed in the Dressage Ring? within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category
  • Acceptable tack for dressage shows
  • Tack allowed in dressage

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    05-03-2010, 06:14 PM
Exclamation What Bits and Nosebands Are Allowed in the Dressage Ring?

I'm trying to figure out all the many restrictions set for dressage shows and I can not find a complete list of all the legal bits and nosebands. Anything you know, please post it!

Sorry, I know I should put this in the Dressage board but for some reason I can't find it, maybe my computer just isn't fully loading???
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    05-03-2010, 10:06 PM
Green Broke
The USEF keeps the official rule book for USDF Dressage shows. They've opened things up to ANY noseband, include figure 8 or gackle nose bands. You just can't use a noseband with spikes on the inside (OUCH! Didn't know they made those...). Bits have gotten very liberal as well. You just can't use any gags, bits with "hooks" (like some Mylers), or bits with a middle piece that revolves.

I have the bit part of the rule book saved on my computer. I'll attach it below.

For the full rule book and to check nose bands, go to
2010 USEF Rulebook
And click on "Dressage".
Attached Images
File Type: jpg usdf_legal_bits.jpg (29.4 KB, 842 views)
    05-03-2010, 10:08 PM
Green Broke
Oh, and rubber bits and happy mouth bits are allowed. You're not allowed to wrap the bit with latex or leather wrap. You can use bit guards, though I've never seen that in competition. You can't use bits with twisted wire, slow twist or corkscrew bits, or waterfords. Basically no "funky" bits.

The most common and accepted bits in lower level competition are loose rings. Egg butt bits are also relatively common.
    05-04-2010, 09:45 PM
That helps SO much! Thank you!
    05-04-2010, 09:55 PM
Green Broke
Yes, I've been wondering this as well. Luvs2ride1979 I am confused as you said in your post no bits with revolving middle pieces yet the picture you put in from the rule book shows the Myler comfort snaffle with the roller....
    05-04-2010, 10:01 PM
Super Moderator
No ports? And nothing with chains? I thought about doing some lower level stuff but I think my AQHA approved bit is not. Were those all the approved bits in that photo?
    05-04-2010, 10:05 PM
Green Broke
The myler bit rotates. They're talking about bits with little rollers in the middle that turn or revolve.

Farmpony, no, you can't use pelhams or kimberwicks, or anything with a port or curb chain. It has to be a true snaffle. Dressage is all about communication with your horse, using the simplest of aids as possible.
    05-04-2010, 10:16 PM
Super Moderator
I might try some lower levels. I just tried that one that is number 6 tonight and hated it.
    05-04-2010, 11:07 PM
Green Broke
I would start with a french link or bean mouth loose ring and then go from there. I've found most horses will go well in that or a french link egg butt. You may need some training to get your horse to respond well for stopping or slowing, but with some work you should get it.
    05-05-2010, 04:59 PM
Green Broke
I thought that leather wrapped bits were acceptable but latex ones were not??

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