Equipment

FEIF encourages a level playing field in the overall Icelandic horse sport — including breeding, competition, and even leisure riding.  The riding and training equipment should always be used correctly with regard to proper maintenance;  sizing and fit; and, with education level of both the horse and rider in mind.   There is an endless number of bits, bridles, saddles, and training aids available in the marketplace.  It would be impractical to create a list of approved equipment in this environment. Therefore, FEIF’s rules are built on the assumption of “correct use” with a few notable exceptions listed below.

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 (see Chapter G8) 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. In addition to this, there is a list of prohibited equipment below. The pictures shown are provided as an example only; the rule applies in case of all bits with similar function as well.

Prohibited Equipment

Valid as of April 1, 2021

Bits

The pictures shown are provided as an example only; the rule applies in case of all bits and nosebands with similar function as well.

Myler combination bits with short or long shanks (and similar bits from other producers)

This type of bit combines bitless techniques with a bit and it is designed as training bit.

Peruvian bit (and other bits typically designed for specific other horse cultures)

This kind of bits is not fitting to the Icelandic horse riding style and/or culture.

Sliding gag bits (bits that can move up and down along the cheek pieces of a bridle)

These bits are mainly correction bits and are not suitable for showing horses.

Breeding only: All bits with leverage mechanism and port higher than 0.5cm (unbroken, single broken, double broken)

These bits are forbidden in all breeding presentations with ports higher than the max. of 0.5cm.

The port is a bend over the full width of a bit or a bend in the center of the bit irrelevant of the direction of the port. The maximum height from the lowest part of the bit to the lowest part of the port is 0,5 cm.

Icelandic bits with ports higher than 0.5cm (unbroken, single broken, double broken, multiple broken)

These bits have been shown to cause bar injuries in studies conducted in Iceland, therefore they are forbidden with ports higher than the max. of 0.5cm.

The port is a bend over the full width of a bit or a bend in the center of the bit irrelevant of the direction of the port. The maximum height from the lowest part of the bit to the lowest part of the port is 0,5 cm.

Peewee Bit

The Peewee bit is, according to the manufacturer, a correction bit not designed for contact riding. It is a bit for training horses. 

Swales Pelham bit

The Swales Pelham bit seems like a Pelham but it is not. It is clearly designed to be a corrective bit for over enthusiastic horses. From the manufacturer: The bit is designed to give control specifically for strong horses that are inclined to lean down. It is extremely popular bit with the showing and driving fraternity and is often used in other disciplines for faster work on an experienced horse that is “over enthusiastic”. This is the only Pelham which removes poll pressure as the cheeks are attached to the inner rings. The action on the curb and exerts more pressure on the jaws causing the lifting action.

Bridles and Nosebands

The pictures shown are provided as an example only; the rule applies in case of all bits and nosebands with similar function as well.

Kineton noseband

With this type of noseband there is an increased risk of bruising between bit and metal halter rings.

Miklem noseband with clip

Micklem with clip (bit and noseband connected with a clip) is forbidden, as a  combination of bit and bitless riding is not allowed.

A conventional bitted bridle used together with a bitless bridle

This is against the intention of a bitless bridle.

Flash, Mexican, Drop (German/Hanoverian), Miklem or Leveler noseband in combination with any bits with a curb chain and/or upper and/or lower cheeks

There is a risk of the cheeks or curb chain becoming entangled in these types of nosebands. In some cases, the combination can become overly severe.