It’s human to look for a fresh start every January, isn’t it?
New habits and attitudes to replace or tweak the old ways.
And because it’s our human nature to find a loophole, horse show committees roll out new or tweaked rules to close them!
Judges and stewards reset our inner scoring systems. Competitors tweak tack and even training techniques.
What’s new from EC?
No ear phones or earbuds in the show ring. And only one bud in the practice ring.
In equitation, black (or other) stirrup irons are again allowed, but silver ones are “recommended”.
What’s new from AQHA?
Knockdowns in equitation over fences will carry a 4 point penalty – in other words, it’s not necessarily a “game over” issue, unless it’s clearly the fault of the rider.
Any “rein detangling” done in western events can be penalty free as long as the adjusting hand stays behind the rein hand – ie. no attempting to alter rein tension or cue with the free hand.
Ranch horses will earn a 10 point penalty for “unnatural ranch horse appearance”.( eg. an obvious, unnatural tail carriage).