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Snaffle or Double Bridle - Now you can choose

Something that has been a topic of dressage discussion over the ages are bits and bridles; what you can and cannot use.

Riders are now able to be more selective in their bitting and bridle options, following FEI rule changes put in place at the beginning of the year.

As of January 2019, the FEI has implemented a new rule change surrounding the use of snaffle bridles in some of the upper levels of dressage competition.

While for CDI3, 4 and 5* and U25 classes, Championships and World Equestrian Games events, a double bridle must be used, bit rules have been amended for CDI1* and 2* classes and now riders have an option to use either a snaffle bridle or a double bridle.

This is applicable also to Junior and Young Rider classes, and Small Tour classes at 1* and 2* level.

The specific FEI rules regarding these changes are:

2.2. For CDI 3 * / 4 * / 5 * / U25 and Championships / Games (except Ponies and Children), a double bridle with cavesson noseband is mandatory, i.e. bridle and curb with curb chain. A combined noseband may be used without the lower "flash" The curb chain can be made of metal, leather or a combination. Lip strap and rubber, leather or sheepskin cover for curb chain are optional. Neither a cavesson noseband nor a curb chain may ever be so tightly fixed so as to harm the Horse.

2.2.1. A snaffle bridle or double bridle is allowed in CDI1 * and 2 *, CDIJ and CDIY.

2.2.2. For CDIP / Ch, Ponies and Children Championships, and marked on test sheets, a snaffle bridle is used.

2.2.3. A plain snaffle bridle is required to be used with a regular cavesson noseband, a dropped noseband, a flash noseband, a crossed noseband, a combined noseband or a Micklem or similar design of bridle.

Full FEI Dressage Rules are available HERE

Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia

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