Horses five (5) years old and younger may be shown in a snaffle bit, curb bit or bosal.
Horses six (6) years old and older must be shown in a curb bit.
Reference to a “bit” in Western Performance Classes mean the use of a curb bit that has a solid or broken mouthpiece has shanks and acts with leverage.
All curb bits must be free of mechanical device and should be considered a standard western bit.
A description of a legal, standard western bit includes: 8 ½ inch maximum length shank to be measured as in the diagram Concerning mouthpieces, bars must be round, oval or egg-shaped, smooth and unwrapped metal of 5/16 inch to ¾ inch diameter, measured one (1) inch from the cheek.
They may be inlaid, but must be smooth or latex wrapped.
Nothing may protrude below the mouthpiece (bar), such as extensions or prongs on solid mouthpieces.
The mouthpiece may be two or three pieces.
A three-piece, connecting ring of 1 ¼ inch or less in diameter, or a connecting flat bar of 3/8 inch to ¾ inch, measured top to bottom with a maximum length of two (2) inches. The port must be no higher than 3 ½ inch maximum, with rollers and covers acceptable.
Broken mouthpieces are standard. When a curb bit is used, a curb strap or curb chain is required, but must meet the approval of the judge, be at least one-half inch in width and lie flat against the jaw of the horse.
A broken strap or chain is not necessarily cause for disqualification. In all English Classes, an English snaffle (no shank), kimberwick, pelham and/or full bridle (with two reins); all with cavesson nosebands and browbands may be used. In reference to mouthpieces, nothing may protrude below the mouthpiece (bar).
Solid and broken mouthpieces may have a port no higher than 1 ½ inch.
On broken mouthpieces only, connecting rings of 1 ¼ inch or less in diameter or connecting flat bar of 3/8 inch to ¾ inch measured top to bottom with a maximum length of two (2) inches and which lie flat in the horse’s mouth are acceptable.
All mouthpieces must be a minimum of 5/16 inch in diameter to be measured one (1) inch in from the cheek or ring.
Any bit having fixed headstall and/or fixed rein requires the use of a curb chain.
Smooth round, oval or egg-shaped, slow twist, corkscrew, single twisted wire, double twisted wire mouthpieces and straight bar or solid mouthpieces with a maximum of 1 ½ inch high ports are allowed. Bits of any style (Pelham, snaffle, kimberwick) featuring mouthpieces with cathedrals, donuts, prongs, edges or rough, sharp material shall be cause for disqualification.
If a curb bit is used, the chain must be at least ½ inch in width and flat against the jaw of the horse. In timed events, any humane type of bit or hackamore may be used on horses of all ages. No bare metal may be in contact with horse’s head.
It will be at the judge’s discretion if the any padded metal is legal 102.
SHOW CONDITIONS In all Timed and Western Events, courses must be set in such a manner that the horses have ample room to turn and stop. Suggested show ring size: 120′ x 240′.
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