What about the bridle?
This can be leather or synthetic and although it shouldn’t be too garish, white piping on the noseband and browband, brass detailing on browbands and the current fashion of bling (diamante) browbands are also allowed.
Must it have a noseband?
Yes, a noseband is compulsory. With a snaffle bridle it can be a cavesson, drop or flash. Grackles (figure eight) nosebands are not allowed (except in dressage for eventing). With a double bridle only a cavesson is permitted.
What bits are allowed?
You can ride in a variety of straight bar and jointed snaffles, and even some Myler bits are now dressage legal. BD rules state:
“Bits of rubber, nylon or other synthetic materials are permitted. Bits must be used in their manufactured condition without any addition to/on any part. Only the bits that are illustrated are permitted (see below). A mix of metals in the mouthpiece are permitted. A plastic snaffle with a cylindrical rotating mouthpiece is permitted. Minimum diameter of the mouthpiece should be 10mm. Snaffles used in Young Horse classes must have a minimum diameter of 14mm.”
In the UK you are allowed to compete in a snaffle right up into Advanced level (including National PSG, Inter I, Inter II & GP) unless a double bridle is requested by the selectors. Double bridles must be used for all international FEI tests.
Bit guards (rubber rings on the side of the bit) are not allowed.
Can I warm up in a bit (or tack) other than the one I will use in the test?
Yes, as with all tack regulations, if it is on the accepted list, for your level, you may use it for the warm up and then change to your test tack. You may only use a snaffle bridle for the warm up and test in Preliminary or Novice classes. However, from Elementary up you can warm up in a double bridle and switch to a snaffle or vice versa.