FINE CONTACT COMPETITIONS – DRESSAGE – Tack

TACK

We must presume that those who wish to compete in Concordia events online will always put the needs of their equine first.  At fixed-venue competitions organisers must ensure that these rules are applied at all times, be that working in or in the test itself.

Online dressage competitions must video the bridle close up at the end of the video and demonstrate that the bridle is correctly fitted.

Bridle Fitting Rationale

Concordia encourages riders to be considerate of the horse’s comfort and to listen to the horse. It’s the hands of the rider or handler that carry the most influence on a horse that is either bitted or bit free.  Sensitive handling and bridle fitting must take into account:

  • The lack of padding around the bones of the skull.
  • The fragile nature of the nasal bone.
  • The proliferation of sensory facial nerves.
  • The sensitive tissues of the tongue and lips, the bars of the mouth and at the base of the molar teeth.

The type of bridle and bits allowed in Concordia competitions are a reflection of the fact that the bit or bitless bridle should be for communication and not control, and that Concordia Fine Contact Dressage competitions are held in a regulated environment.  To keep the rules as simple as possible only a simple snaffle bridle or bitless bridle may be used.

Allowed Bridles
  • A simple snaffle bridle with no nose-band, or a correctly fitted cavesson nose-band, or a correctly fitted Micklem bridle, or a mild bitless bridle.
Allowed Bitless
  • Mild bit-free bridles that exert no poll pressure or only a very small degree of poll pressure.
  • NO shanked hackamores.
  • NO chains or covered chains as any part of the bridle.
Allowed Bits
  • A simple snaffle, preferably one with a double joint and a lozenge.
  • A rubber snaffle.
  • A Nathe or Happy Mouth snaffle.
  • Bits must be as comfortable as possible for the conformation of the horse’s mouth.
  • Bits must create as little poll pressure as possible.
Bridle Fitting
  • If a nose-band is worn, then it must be correctly fitted to enable the horse to softly open his mouth and move his jaw.
  • The tightness of the nose-band should be measured at the nasal mid-line where there should be room for at least two average adult sized fingers.
  • For fairness and objectivity, it is recommended that organisers use an *ISES taper gauge to check looseness.
  • For Micklem and bit-less bridles care must be taken to ensure the bridle is well away from the narrow, delicate end of the nose bone.
  • A correctly fitted Micklem should have absolutely no pressure on the horse’s head around the mouth or jaw.
  • The brow band on all bridles must allow the horse comfort around the base of the ears and the poll.
  • Padding under the head-piece of the bridle is recommended to give the poll some protection.
  • In order to give clear aids, bitless bridles should offer an instant release of pressure.
  • Competition organisers have the right not to allow a person to ride on the show ground or in the competitions if their equine is in an incorrectly fitted bridle.
  • Online dressage competitions must video the bridle close up at the end of the video and demonstrate that the bridle is correctly fitted.
Saddle
  • Any type of safe, correctly and comfortably fitting saddle may be used.
  • A safe and secure bare-back pad may be used in online competitions.
  • A safe and secure bare-back pad may only be used with permission from the organisers of fixed-venue competitions.
Horse Boots
  • Protective boots may be worn in all competitions.
  • Correctly fitted hoof boots may be worn in all competitions.
Neck Straps
  • May be worn in all competitions.
Martingales
  • Martingales are not allowed.
Training Devices
  • So called training devices including draw-reins are not allowed.
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