SportsTokyo Olympics

Actions

Equestrian 101: Equipment

Equestrian 101: Equipment
Posted at 9:30 AM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 14:23:51-04

Bridle

Horses competing in the dressage event must wear a double bridle, which means that the horse actually has two separate bits in its mouth, a Snaffle and a Curb, and the rider has to hold onto two sets of reigns. A double bridle allows the rider to have more control over the horse and its movements. A one-bit bridle is usually used in jumping and cross-country events. Because there are so many different styles available, stewards will check each horse's bridle prior to the competition to make sure it is an approved variety.

Saddlery 

  • Dressage: All dressage riders must use a designated dressage saddle, which is an English-type saddle. The saddles used for dressage have longer flaps than a jumping saddle, allowing the riders' legs to be closer to the horse.
  • Jumping: Saddles used for jumping have smaller flaps, causing the legs to be higher up. For safety precautions, the stirrup iron and the stirrup leather must hang freely from the bar of the saddle and the outside of the flap. There can be no other restrictions or attachments of any kind, and the rider cannot attach any part of his body to the saddlery.
  • Eventing: The saddlery in eventing's dressage and jumping events follows the guidelines listed in the individual jumping and dressage events. In the cross-country test, the saddle has flaps that are placed a little forward of the rider's knee. Padding is allowed to secure the rider's legs in position. The stirrup iron and stirrup leathers must hang free from the bar of the saddle and the outside of the flap.

Uniforms

  • Dressage: Riders wear traditional formal attire consisting of a flat-crowned black top hat, black or dark blue swallow tail coat, or shadbelly, white hunting stock or off-white breeches, black dress boots and light colored gloves and spurs. Riders in military service may wear their uniforms.
  • Jumping: Riders wear a hunting cap, riding jackets, white shirt and choker (women) or shirt and tie (men), white breeches and black boots. The riders wear spurs and carry a crop. It is mandatory that all riders wear a fastened hard hat with three-point retention harness. The helmets are usually black, otherwise a dark brown.
  • Eventing: The dressage and jumping attire follows the guidelines explained for each individual event. In the cross-country test, riders wear light-weight clothing. Protective headgear and boots must be worn, and back protectors are recommended. Spurs are optional.

Whips

No whips may be used in dressage, but they are allowed in jumping and eventing. If a whip is used, it must not be weighted at the end or exceed 75 cm (2 feet, 5 1/2 inches) in length.

Tokyo Olympics Learn More