What Tack Should a Horse Wear to Attend a Showjumping Competition?

There are certain tack requirements for your horse when competing under British Showjumping rules in the senior classes; these rules quite often apply to unaffiliated showjumping events too. Here we explain a brief overview of the 2021 British Showjumping Member Handbook rules.

Saddles

What should a horse wear showjumping: Saddle
  • Your horse should compete in either an English or Continental style saddle with a pommel, cantle and flaps. This includes treeless saddles. Side saddles are not allowed.
  • Stirrup leathers must be attached via the stirrup bars and hang freely outside the saddle flap.
  • Competitors are not allowed to restrict or attach themselves to the saddlery, with the exception of an inflatable body protector that is required to be attached to iron bars of a saddle via a ‘D’ ring attachment, which connects to the body protector lanyard.

Bridles

What a horse should wear British Showjumping: Bridle
  • The horse must wear a conventional bridle.
  • A standing and/or running martingale is permitted. However, a standing martingale must only be attached to a cavesson noseband.
  • A Market Harborough rein and any other running, check reins or reins acting through sheaves or pulleys are not allowed in the competition arena.
  • Rein handles or rein loops are not allowed (unless a special dispensation has been granted for medical reasons).
  • Leather, sheepskin or similar materials may be used on each cheek piece of the bridle (as long as the material does not exceed 3cm in diameter when measured from the horse’s cheek).
  • Blinkers and tongue straps are forbidden.

Bits

What a horse should wear British Showjumping: Bits

Most bits and bitless bridles are permitted, however these are the conditions and exceptions:

  • A gag snaffle may be used.
  • Pelham, Kimblewick and Weymouth bits must have a correctly fitted curb chain. Metal chains are not permitted on any other type of bit. Curbs may only be used when the measurement does not exceed 6cm from the top of the mouthpiece to the top of the cheek purchase when measured at full extension. A stabilizing strap (made of leather or nylon) must be fitted to a Pelham, Kimblewick or Weymouth, exceeding 6cm from top of the mouthpiece to the top of the purchase when measured at full extension. The stabilizing strap must be a minimum of 1cm in width. Chains are not permitted.

Horse Boots

The following FEI/British Showjumping rules apply regarding horse boots and leg protection to the following classes*:

  • Senior British Novice Second Rounds
  • Senior Discovery Second Rounds and Final
  • Senior Newcomers Second Rounds and Final
  • Foxhunter Second Rounds and Final
  • Talent Seekers Qualifiers and Final
  • All Age Classes
  • Children on Horses
  • All Amateur Classes and Club competitions
What a horse should wear British Showjumping: Boots

The maximum total weight of the horse boot or leg protection allowed to be added to a horse's leg is 500g (per leg). This relates to both the front and hind legs and can be a single boot or multiple boots including fetlock rings.  All hind leg protection must have a maximum interior length of 16cm and a minimum exterior width of 5cm. The inside protection must be smooth and the fixings must be made of non-elastic Velcro type fasteners with no hooks or straps permitted. The rounded rigid part of the protection must be placed around the inside of the fetlock.

Hind boots that have an extra flap for protection should be allowed providing the flap is soft and clearly intended for protection only. Fetlock rings may be used in addition or independently for protective purposes providing they are properly adjusted and the total weight of equipment on the horse’s leg does not exceed 500 grams.

Bandages may be worn instead of boots. However, boots and bandages may not be worn together.

Whips

What a horse should wear British Showjumping: Whips

The competitor may carry one whip when competing. If a whip is carried, it must be held in the hand by the handle, with the handle at the top. The maximum length of the whip is 70cm and must be no less than 45cm. There must be no binding within 17cm of the end pad part of the whip. The minimum diameter for a shaft is 1cm and should run through the entirety of the whip. The overall weight must not exceed 160 grams and the weight should be evenly distributed throughout the full length of the whip. The contact area, must be 2/5’s (two fifths) of the overall length of the whip and must be covered with a pad. The pad must be smooth, with no protrusion or raised surface, and be made of shock absorbing material throughout its circumference such that it gives a compression factor of at least 6mm. There is to be no wording, advertising or personalisation of any kind on the pad part of the whip. The whip should not be used no more than three times after entering the arena and the rider should not hit the horse before the start of the course, as this may result in elimination.

All saddlery or equipment must be correctly fitted and used as intended by the manufacturer without any adaptions.