Equipment

The Delegates’ Assembly 2023 unanimously decided to set a positive sign regarding FEIF’s commitment to horse welfare and the fact that horses should be ridden and presented with as little mechanical and external influence as possible and thus to switch to a list of permitted equipment (valid for breeding, education, leisure riding, sport and youth work).

Developments on the markets over the recent years resulted in many discussions and uncertainties, and in many cases, there was a lack of understanding of the detailed functioning and the effects of the bits on the horse.

We believe that the equestrian world needs to maintain and strengthen its social licence for it to have a future. It is the responsibility of everyone who is involved with horses by owning, breeding, riding, training and caring for a horse to demonstrate this.

Below table provides a complete overview of the specifications valid for 2023, no additional specifications apply.

FEIF recommends riders consult professional trainers/instructors when changing to new equipment for assistance in correct fit and making sure both you and your horse have a clear understanding of how the riding aids work.  Further, riders should make a habit of checking their horse, including inside the mouth, for any signs of equipment related injury.  Again, a professional trainer, instructor, or judge can teach you how to check your horse and what to look for.

The General Rules and Regulations describe what equipment is allowed and what equipment is not allowed.  These rules are applicable for sport and breeding and also for youth events like the FEIF YouthCup. (Rules&Regulations 2023 valid by April 1, 2023)

Permitted Bits

Final version, valid as of April 1, 2023

Snaffle bits

  • permitted in breeding and sport
  • all age groups and all tests

Accepted

  • unbroken, single broken or double broken
  • as D-Ring, egg-butt, loose ring snaffle bit with and without port
  • full-cheek snaffle bit (only with English noseband)
  • PERMITTED NOSEBANDS: Flash, Drop, English, Mexican, Micklem, Anatomical, Lever noseband

Not accepted

  • fixation options on separate attachment rings for headpiece and/or reins
  • in combination with any type of curb chain or strap or clip combination between bit and noseband.
  • any leverage effect
  • Micklem with clips attached to bit rings

Icelandic Curb Bit

  • permitted in breeding and sport
  • all age groups and all tests

An Icelandic curb bit has a design with loose connections between the various components, all connecting points are loose and there is no purchase component as the bridle attaches the cheek rings directly.

Accepted

  • single broken, double broken
  • a port of max 0,5 cm is allowed, measured from the lowest part of the bit to the lowest part of the port. The port is a bend over the full width of a bit or a bend in the centre of the bit irrelevant of the direction of the port.

  • Tightness of the chain approx. 110° between shanks and line of the mouth when reins are in contact.
  • Measurements:
    • thickness of the mouthpiece: 1cm minimum at the point of attachment
    • length of loose connection at point of attachment: min.1.5cm – max.2.6cm
    • ring: circular in shape rather than oval
  • PERMITTED NOSEBANDS: English (plain Cavesson), Anatomical ones in plain cavesson version

Not accepted

  • unbroken bits
  • fixed mouthpiece
  • sliding mouthpiece
  • lock-up function
  • abnormally long cheek piece

Pelham

  • permitted in sport (not in breeding)
  • all age groups and all tests

Accepted

  • unbroken, single broken, double broken
  • fixed mouth piece
  • a port of max.0,5 cm is allowed, measured from the lowest part of the bit to the lowest part of the port. The port is a bend over the full width of a bit or a bend in the centre of the bit irrelevant of the direction of the port
  • has to be ridden with two reins
  • tightness of the chain approx. 45° between shanks and line of the mouth when reins are in contact.
  • PERMITTED NOSEBANDS: English (plain Cavesson), Anatomical ones in plain cavesson version

Not accepted

  • in breeding
  • with sliding mouthpiece
  • with one rein only

Bitless bridles

  • permitted in breeding and sport
  • in all age groups and all tests

Accepted

  • bitless bridle with fixed attachment points for headpiece, chain strap and reins
  • material from noseband on plain leather noseband (soft material) without metal or similar inlays

Not accepted

  • in combination with upper and/or lower cheeks
  • in combination with upper and/or lower cheeks and chain/straps of any material

For information
Only bridles and nosebands listed in the permitted sections are allowed. The following remain forbidden:  Kineton noseband, Micklem noseband with clip, conventional bitted bridle used together with a bitless bridle, Flash, Mexican, Drop (German/Hanoverian), Micklem or Lever noseband in combination with any bits with a curb chain and/or upper and/or lower cheeks.