Part of a series of emails to our exhibitors in an effort to provide helpful information about their interaction with the show office and other staff at the show. If you have a particular question you would like addressed, please feel free to make a suggestion. Please note that every effort is made to ensure that all rule citations are current and correct as of the publishing date, however, USEF and other organizations continuously make rule changes throughout the year and with each new year.
2012 April Newsletter
Expounding to Elucidate Exhibitors on Equitation Equipment
... coats of any tweed or Melton for hunting (conservative wash jackets in season), breeches or jodphurs and boots.
"Melton Mowbray (England) is home to Melton cloth (first mentioned in 1823), which is the familiar tight-woven woollen cloth which is heavily milled, and a nap raised so as to form a short, dense, non-lustrous pile. Sailors' pea coats are traditionally made of Melton cloth, the universal workmans' donkey jackets of Britain and Ireland and in North America, loggers' "cruising jackets" and "Mackinaws" Wickapedia
Really? Any traditional color and shape riding coat will do just fine.
If Competition Management "waives coats," "riders must wear traditional, short or long-sleeved riding shirts with chokers or ties." EQ 110.1 At RMI, coats are always optional; we live in Florida for pity's sake.
Conservative protective headgear with no additional adornments. (I rather liked the "bling" but too many judges thought it was distractive and untraditional!.) Remember, as of April 1 GR 801.3 requires everyone anywhere while mounted on the Competition grounds to wear an ASTM-approved helmet with a properly fitted harness.
Spurs, crops or bats are optional. The equitation rules do not address the length of the whip but HU126.4 and JP111.2 prohibit an exhibitor from using a whip longer than 30" while jumping; carrying anything longer in any equitation class would not be a good idea.
Regulation snaffles, pelhams and full birdles, all with cavesson nose bands, are recommended. "Two-ring bits, three-ring bits and gags are not considered conventional equipment for hunter seat equitation classes."
Boots and conservative colored bandages are permitted (keep the hot pink polo wraps for the jumper ring).
Type of saddle is optional (probably shouldn't use a stock saddle.) Equitation rules do not state it, but HU 126.3 and JP111.4 prohibit securing/tieing the stirrup, stirrup leather or foot; such a tactic should not be used in the Equitation either and certainly does not demonstrate good riding form.
Martingales are permitted in classes over obstacles and in the jumping phase of classes requiring both jumping and flat work. Changing of bits between phases IS permissible.
EQ 110.13.k - USEF Talent Search
Blinkers are forbidden. Not sure why the Equitation Committee felt it necessary to specify this item in the Talent Search class, but probably not an acceptable piece of equipment for any equitation class.
Only RUNNING martingales used in the conventional manner are permitted in the jumping phase. Standing martingales, draw reins, or restricted running martingales are PROHIBITED. To repeat: no martingales in the flat phase of this or any other equitation class (e.g. ASPCA Maclay).
Reins must be attached to the bit(s) or directly to the bridle. (Wonder where else someone tried to attach them?) Gags and hackamores are not allowed in the flat phase; so by implication, gags and hackamores ARE allowed in the jumping phase.
The rules do not say anything about drop-nosebands or figure-eights, but since "cavesson nosebands" are recommended but not the only traditional option in the jumper ring, any reasonable noseband would probably be accepted.
EQ 110.15.g - WIHS Equitation
Only running martingales used in the conventional manner are permitted in the Jumper Phase.
"Boots and conservative colored bandages are permitted in both phases." That should be no surprise since that is in the general equitation rules.
Nothing about bits, gags, hackamores, etc. but conventional wisdom would suggest using traditional "hunter" equipment in the Hunter Phase and anything not terribly outlandish that you might see in the Jumper Ring for the Jumper Phase.
In conclusion, tradition and workmanlike are what is expected in the Equitation ring. Look around, if you don't see your equipment on any other competitor, better leave it for schooling at home or in the Jumper Ring.